Google rolls out next Pixel Feature drop with updated music controls, AR emoji effects and more


Google has been steadily pushing out new features to its Pixel devices via its Feature drop, with the last one being rolled out in December, 2019. In the new Feature drop that’s rolling out today, Google is adding automatic car crash detection, new Motion Sense functionalities, more AR emoji effects for Google Duo and more.

When Google launched the Pixel 4, one of the main uses of its Motion Sense was the ability to skip tracks forward or backward with a wave of your hand over the phone. Now, Google is adding the ability to pause and resume music with a tapping gesture above the phone.

The second feature that the Pixel will receive is the automatic car crash detection. It will use the phone sensors to detect if the user has been in a severe car crash and will offer to call emergency services quickly. The feature will work for the USA (911), Australia (000) and the UK (999).

Now for a feature that is more creative, Google is adding more AR effects when making Duo video calls that will change based on the user’s facial expressions, and move around the screen with the user. Other selfie camera improvements include the ability to create images with depth, which improves Portrait Blur and color pop. They have also added Emoji 12.1 support with 169 new emoji.

Adding functionality to the power button, by press and holding, users can now see a carousel of debit and credit cards, event tickets, boarding passes or access anything else in Google Pay. However, this feature will be limited to users in US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Taiwan and Singapore.

Google has also added a bunch of tiny system level updates to the Pixel like the ability to schedule Dark Theme according to the local sunrise and sunset times. Users will be able to set up a rule to automatically silence their ringtone when they connect to their office Wi-Fi, or go on Do Not Disturb when entering their house. Long press options in the Pixel launcher have been improved and Adaptive brightness can now temporarily increase screen brightness when reading content in extremely bright ambient lighting. Google has also announced that they’re rolling out Live caption to Pixel 2 users, which was a highlight feature of the Pixel 4.



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