Google has a new Pixel Feature Drop for owners of Pixel devices. All of these points to the Pixel 6 and 6 Professionals, but for the rest of the pixels that are still supported, you’ll get a subset of “relevant updates,” according to Google.
Either way, let’s dive right into the drop. December’s Pixel Feature Drop puts Snapchat on your lock screen (if you want it there), with Quick Tap to Snap. That means you’ll be able to snap faster than on any other device, Google boasts. Additionally, “starting this month” you will be able to add a new Pixel exclusive lens called Pixel Face to your Snaps. This feature is coming to Pixel 4a 5G and newer phones.
Then the car keys. As already announced, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro can now be used as a digital car key for certain 2020-2022 BMW models “in certain countries”. Ultra wideband is now enabled on the Pixel 6 Pro, which improves nearby sharing.
Chat Mode is a new “early stage” accessibility feature found in the Sound Amplifier app, and it’s now available in beta on Pixels. This uses machine learning on the device to help you hear conversations better in noisy environments by tuning into the other person’s voice and avoiding competing noise.
The Now Playing experience also gets an upgrade – if it can’t automatically find a song, you can activate the new search button and tap to let the Pixel find the song for you – this is loosely worded in google press release, but we guess once you press that button the search will be done online, unlike automatic identification which is done entirely on the device.
There are also new wallpapers, to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and you can find them in the Curated Culture collection.
Car crash detection support extends to Taiwan, Italy and France, in addition to Spain, Ireland, Japan, UK, Australia , Singapore and the United States. When this feature is enabled in the Personal Security app, your Pixel 3 or a newer model can help detect if you’ve been in a serious accident. In the event of a crash, the phone will check with you to make sure you’re okay, and if there is no response, it can share your location with emergency responders.
The Recorder app supports new languages for transcription: Japanese, French, and German, on Pixel 3 and later.
Finally, the Pixel Buds Series A haven’t been forgotten either, and they benefit from improved bass level control. On any device running Android 6 or later, you can open the Pixel Buds app and adjust the bass from -1 to +4 with a slider.