25 January 2022
Pixel Feature Drop is Google's way of releasing a bunch of new features for Pixel devices including older generations. It is time for the newest that adds new features to the device as old as the Pixel 3a. These undoubtedly cover the latest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro but also have a feature meant for Pixel Buds-A users.
The first new feature is the list is called Quick Tap to Snap and as the name suggests, it will let Pixel users take a Snap quickly. They simply need to enable the feature and then double-tap on the phone's back to launch Snapchat. This will work even when the phone is locked and thus, Google claims Pixel is the fastest phone to take a Snap. It is available for the Pixel 4a with 5G and newer models in the lineup. There is also a new Snap Lens called Pixel Face which is exclusive to Pixel users.
The next important feature is called Conversation mode which is an accessibility feature within the Sound Amplifier app. It is meant to help users listen to other person clearly in loud environments. Google says on-device machine learning allows it to focus on what the other person is saying and eliminate other competing noise. The feature shows a circular camera view and the user needs to point it towards the person they are talking to. It is currently available in the beta stage only for Pixel users.
It was last week when Google first announced support for digital car keys for Pixel 6 series users. It has now shed some more light and revealed that it would work only with 2020-2022 BMW cars in certain countries. The feature can be used for locking/unlocking the car and also for turning on the engine. The latter can be done by placing the Pixel on the car's interior key reader and then pressing the engine start button.
Google has further enabled ultra-wideband on the Pixel 6 Pro. This will allow users to quickly share files, videos, and map locations with other ultra-wideband devices via Nearby Share. One of the unique Pixel features is Now Playing which automatically recognizes songs playing nearby you. Google says it has now been improved as if it fails to identify the song, there will be a new search icon that can be tapped to let the Pixel find it for you. It seems like this allows the device to perform an online search for the song instead of trying to do it locally on the device.
Lastly, Pixel Buds-A users will now have access to a new bass control feature. The new slider will allow users to adjust bass between -1 to +4. This is said to deliver twice the bass range than what users currently have. It will work with any Android device as long as it is running at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow.