It appears that a new “Pixel feature drop” is on the way, similar to what the devices saw this past December. Should all of the following information be accurate, detailed by 9to5Google via an APK teardown, this is exciting because a few of the hinted features were previously thought to be tied exclusively to Android 11. If that’s not the case, we won’t have to wait until later this year to access features like dark mode scheduling.
Let’s go over what was discovered.
Dark Mode Scheduling
Dating all the way back to December, we have known that dark mode scheduling was coming — we just weren’t sure when. Quite recently, it was made available in the first developer preview of Android 11, but according to code found in an updated Pixel Tips app, it may be available in March as part of a new Pixel feature drop update.
If we don’t have to wait for Android 11’s release for supported Pixel owners to get in on this, that’s righteous!
Cards & Passes
Another feature called Cards & Passes is also hinted at. With this, users would be able to access cards associated with their Google Pay accounts directly from a Pixel device’s power key menu.
Among other things pointing to Cards & Passes, the code specifically states, “<string name=”tips_powerkey_features_summary”>”Press & hold the Power button to access payment methods, passes, and emergency info.”
For those wishing there was a quick way of accessing Google Pay info, this is big news.
New Motion Sense Gesture
Another feature we thought would simply come backed inside of Android 11, since it’s now available in the developer preview, is a new gesture for the Pixel 4 lineup’s Motion Sense. The new gesture just allows for the pausing and resuming of music, so while this may not excite hardly anyone, it’s nice that Motion Sense is getting at least one new feature since launch.
Car Crash Detection
The last piece of code points to the arrival of the Personal Safety app (which includes the car crash detection feature) for older Pixel devices. On recent Pixel phones, you can have the phone automatically detect car crashes and the device will offer buttons for you to press if whether you’re “OK” or need 911 assistance.
Here’s the code.
<string name=”tips_carcrash_title”>Get help calling emergency services after a car crash</string>
<string name=”tips_carcrash_feature_description”>With car crash detection, your phone can call emergency services</string>
That appears to be it for now, but if we learn anything else, we’ll let you know. We’re only a few days away from March, so if you’re a Pixel owner, feel free to get excited.