The update includes a handful of changes that could help extend a phone’s battery life, help you get a better night’s sleep, and use Assistant to interact with more apps and features.
Google says Pixel 2 and later phones can now predict when your phone’s battery is likely to run out of juice given your smartphone usage and take extra steps to reduce resource consumption of apps that want to run in the background in order to squeeze out some extra battery life.
Android already included a “Wind Down” mode in the Digital Wellbeing settings that allows you to drain the color from your phone’s display and present grayscale graphics at a certain time each night, while also enabling Do Not Disturb mode (optionally).
With the new feature drop, Wind Down is being renamed “Bedtime” and you can choose to enable this mode automatically at a certain time based on your schedule, or when your phone is charging at bedtime.
There are also changes to the Clock app that let you set sleep and wake times, as well as support for reminders to let you know when it’s time to head to bed or to set a “Sunrise Alarm” that begins brightening your screen before it’s time for you to wake up.
You can also set a bedtime reminder in YouTube to let you know when it’s time to stop watching cat videos.
Google is bringing the Personal Safety app to all Pixel devices. Previously it was a Pixel 4 exclusive.
Now you can use it to add emergency contacts and medical information that’s visible from the lock screen on any Pixel device. The app also lets you control emergency broadcast notifications and there’s support for car crash detection on selected devices (the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4).
Google is also adding new features to the app including support for natural disaster notifications or alerts about other emergencies. There’s also a new safety check-In feature that lets you schedule a time for a check-in. If you’re going on a trip or a date, for example, you can schedule a check-in for a specific time, and if you don’t respond the phone will notify your emergency contacts.
You can now use Google Assistant with the new(ish) Google Recorder app.
For example, “Hey Google, start recording” will bring up the Recorder app to start making a voice recording, which the app will automatically transcribe into text.
Thanks to that speech-to-text feature, you can also use Google Assistant to search for previous recordings by keyword. And you can ask Assistant to save recording transcripts to Google Docks for you.