Google's December Pixel Feature Drop Brings Adaptive Sound, Battery Saver Tweaks And More

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Google Pixel owners, rejoice! Some of the new features that launched exclusively with the Pixel 5 are now rolling out to older devices such as the Pixel 3. These updates will hopefully keep the aging devices fresh as a part of Google’s effort to “make the phone better and better (and better)” with “even more Pixel owners will get to experience our most recent updates.”

The first new feature of the bunch rolling out to the Pixel 3 and newer devices is the “Hold For Me” feature. It can save you time if you are put on hold by a business, as it alerts you when someone takes you off hold. Think of this as a robotic “counter-hold” when you need to get other stuff done while waiting for a customer service representative to become available.
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The next big features are the Extreme Battery Saver, Duo Screen Sharing, and “a redesigned, more helpful editor in Google Photos.”
  • When the Extreme Battery Saver is turned on, it limits apps and only fires up essential things, so the battery lasts as long as possible.
  • Duo Screen Sharing is, as the name implies, screen sharing for Google’s Duo. Google explains that “friends and families can share in the joy of watching the same video, cheer on live sports together and plan activities—even when they’re far apart.”
  • The Google Photo Editor recently got a new tab that “gives you suggestions powered by machine learning that are tailored to the picture you’re editing.” Now on Pixel devices, new suggestions are coming, such as “Dynamic, which enhances brightness, contrast and color, and a set of sky suggestions, which help you create stunning sunset and sunrise images in just one tap.”
Next on this list, Google Pixel devices are going to start adapting to your day-to-day needs in what Google calls Ambient Computing. Ambient Computing can adjust the sound quality in a feature called Adaptive Sound, which listens to your surroundings and tinkers with the equalizer settings for the best results. If you are surfing the web and come across a web page in a different language, Google Lens will recognize that and translate it for you now automatically. Finally, coming to the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, Adaptive Battery is getting some updates to “automatically save even more power if a user is likely to miss their next charge, keeping the device powered even longer.”
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Finally, Google is allowing users to “personalize [their] home screen with new icons, grid views, and app shapes, or even choose custom wallpapers of famous artworks provided by cultural institutions from around the world on Google Arts & Culture.” Star Wars fans also get special treatment, while 5G phones gain access to “The Mandalorian AR Experience,” Pixel 3 and newer devices will be getting “original new Mandalorian wallpapers.” There are also some other features coming to all Android devices this holiday season, which you can check out on the blog post for Android.