Google announces new update with several new features for Pixel phones

Joanna Estrada
December 10, 2019

The first "feature drop" brings new features to the Pixel 4, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 2. This new Call Screen feature works without using internet. Interestingly, our in-house Pixel 4 still hasn't seen the November security patch, let alone the December one that just came out a few days ago, so hopefully Google can do a better job of getting these helpful enhancements out to users' handsets in a more timely manner.

Google says the features and updates are rolling out to all compatible Pixel devices right now, and will continue to roll out over the coming weeks.

The Pixel 4 gets some key Duo improvements, as well, including auto framing, which keeps one or two people centered The feature appears to look similar to the more sophisticated versions found on the Nest Home Max (and Facebook's Portal before it), zooming in and out to get people in frame. If another person joins you, the frame will automatically adjust to fit them in.

In this first Pixel drop, Google is adding a new setting in Google Photos that allows you to add bokeh or blur to a photo that you've previously taken, even if it wasn't taken with Portrait mode. This enables the app to predict upcoming sounds, so finicky audio connections don't disrupt conversations. This works even on old images.

This feature drop should improve the memory management for all Pixels.

How well it works will likely depend on the quality and resolution of the photos, but it's pretty sweet the company is suddenly giving you all this flexibility with old photos.

Welcome to the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL Android update hub.

Unfortunately, it seems most of these new features are only coming to the Pixel 4. They are expected to receive three major updates in their lifetime in accordance with Google's smartphone update policy.

The rest of the Pixel line, save for the original Pixel, can expect to see some meaningful updates as well.

The Recorder app is now available on older generations of Pixel. It's expected around September of 2020.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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