You’ve waited long enough, the June Pixel Feature Drop is official!
Google announced the latest Pixel Feature Drop today along with this month’s Pixel update, which is also a big Platform Quarterly Release (QPR). This is a big Android 13 update that should fix dozens of bugs, while also adding a number of new features.
Browsing the list of new ones things, I think it’s fair to say that this is one of the most important features to date if you include the Pixel Watch. Yes, the Pixel Watch is also getting a bunch of goodies, which we covered in this post.
So let’s talk about what’s new for your Pixel phone!
Movie emojis and wallpapers
One of them may have leaked early last week, but the Emoji Workshop and Cinematic Wallpaper experiences are officially coming to Pixel phones. Emoji wallpapers allow you to create your own custom wallpapers with your favorite emojis. There are over 4,000 emojis to choose from, as well as different patterns and colors that we had a lot of fun with. Cinematic wallpapers, on the other hand, use the power of Google AI to transform 2D photos into dynamic 3D scenes that look truly magical.
Macro focus video
This is a Pixel 7 Pro exclusive feature, but Google is updating the camera app to let you record video using its macro mode. That should mean ridiculously close-up shots of your favorite little objects.
Palm Timer for selfies
For folks with a Pixel 6 and up, you’ll now be able to use your palm to trigger a selfie timer. Google says you’ll do this by raising your palm towards the camera after setting it for 3 to 10 seconds.
Schedule a security check
Google is adding a new feature called Security Checkup that you tell your phone to run. This security check runs on a timer of your choice which then checks with you when the timer runs out. If you don’t respond, it will notify your emergency contacts and share your real-time location with them. To try, just say “Hey Google, run a security check for 30 minutes.”
Emergency sharing in the event of a car accident
Google is expanding vehicle crash detection to let it reach out to your emergency contacts and share your real-time location. For years, this feature alerted 911 if you were in an accident, but now it will tell your loved ones as well.
Redesigned Home panel on the lock screen
If you’re the type to access Google Home from your lock screen, you’ll now see a redesigned Home panel like the one above to let you control your lights, watch cameras, adjust your home’s temperature, etc.
The recorder gets the speaker labels
Google’s impressive Recorder app gets even more impressive with the ability to export transcripts to Google Docs, generate speaker-labeled video clips, and allowing you to search for specific speakers within recordings.
Smarter Haptics on Pixel 6a and 7a
I’m not sure why this is specific to the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7a, but Google says both phones now have a smarter tactile feel. Using Adaptive Haptics, each phone can reduce the intensity of the vibration if it detects that you have placed the phone on a hard surface such as a desk or counter. I believe this launched with the Pixel 7a (in sound settings), so it may be more of an expansion for the Pixel 6a.
Adaptive charging becomes more adaptive
Adaptive charging on your Pixel phone now uses Google AI to predict when a long charging session is about to start based on your previous charging habits/sessions. If it detects such a session, it will slowly charge your phone to 100% an hour before you think you’ll unplug. The goal here is to extend battery life.
New Google Assistant voices
Finally, Google has added two new voice options to Google Assistant, bringing the total to 12.
As is always the case with Pixel Feature Drops, these features will start rolling out today, but it could take weeks for them all to appear on your device. Once we have more details on each, we will try to let you know.
This post was last edited on June 13, 2023 at 10:44am
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