Google typically rolls out new features for its Pixel phones and other devices a few times each year via quarterly Pixel Feature Drops. But the March 2023 Pixel Feature Drop doesn’t really introduce any brand new features. Instead it brings some features that had only been available on the company’s latest devices to more Pixel devices.
This month’s update hasn’t rolled out yet – normally Google releases a feature drop along with a monthly security update on the first Monday in March, but this month’s updates are running a little late. Redditor /u/Austin31415 got their hands on the release notes though, so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
For example, Fall Detection, which had already been available on Pixel 5 and newer smartphones, is also coming to the Pixel Watch. Using algorithms and motion sensors, supported devices can detect a fall and place a call to emergency services if you don’t move or respond within 90 seconds.
The Direct my Call feature shows menu items right away when you call certain phone numbers with recorded messages, allowing you to direct a call before hearing the number options. It will soon be available for all Pixel 4a and newer phones.
Google’s Health Connect feature allows Android apps to share health and fitness data while giving you control over which apps can access which data. Launched in beta last year, it’s coming to Pixel 6 and newer phones.
Google’s Night Sight combines data from multiple pictures to capture more light when shooting pictures in dimly lit environments. But it can take a long time to process those images. Google says new algorithms that tap into the Tensor chips in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 smartphones will speed up the process, allowing you to snap Night Sight pictures more quickly on those phones.
Finally, Google says the Magic Eraser tool in the Google Photos app is now available for all Pixel phones (dating back to the first-gen Pixel). This tool lets you highlight unwanted items in a photo to “erase” or “camouflage” them by desaturating the color. The results aren’t always perfect, but it’s impressive when it works.
Magic Eraser was originally limited to Pixel 6 and newer phones, but Google recently announced that it was coming to all Pixel phones as well as to all Google One subscribers with Android or iOS devices. While the company is listing this as a “Pixel Feature Drop” update, I actually noticed a few days ago that Magic Eraser was already working on my Pixel 4a 5G smartphone.
via GSM Arena