Google is rolling out updates for Pixel phones that bring both the latest security patches, but also a bunch of new features… although some of the most useful new features are limited to the latest Pixel phones.

For example, the latest Google Pixel Feature Drop allows Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro owners to use the Google One VPN free of charge, adding an extra layer of security to their internet use. Pixel 7 series phones also get a new Clear Calling feature that uses the phones’ Tensor G2 processor for AI-enhanced clarity in phone calls, by reducing background noise and highlighting the voice of the person on the other end of the call.

Clear Calling / Voice Recorder labels / Security and Privacy Settings

Both of those features are optional, and can be enabled or disabled from the phones’ settings. And both are limited to Pixel 7 devices at the moment.

Have an older Pixel phone? Then there might still something in the latest Feature Drop for you. For example, if you have Pixel 6 or newer phone, the Google Recorder voice recorder app can now identify and label speakers when it detects multiple people talking, and it can even insert line breaks when a different person begins talking.

Pixel 4a and newer phones also now support voice message transcription in the Messages app. And Pixel 4a and newer phones have also picked up an improved search function, allowing you to conduct searches across apps, contacts, screenshots, settings, and web results.

The company is also rolling out a unified Security & Privacy Settings view for quick access to all your relevant information in one place. There are also new action cards to let you know about security risks.

Google says if you use a Pixel phone as a digital car key to lock, unlock, or start a compatible car, you can now share your digital key with a friend so they can access your car with their phone.

And Google’s Live Translate feature for translating text messages now supports five additional languages, while Grammar Check on Gboard is now available in French (as well as English and Spanish).

Google says starting in January, Pixel phones will support spatial audio when used with Pixel Buds Pro, enabling support for head tracking.

You can find more details in Google’s blog post about the December Pixel Drop.

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