It’s Pixel Feature Drop month! If you own a still-supported Google Pixel phone, this month’s Android patch is a special update that not only brings you up-to-date on security and bug fixes, you get new features to play with too. Those new features include new widgets, live caption in new places, Night Sight in Snapchat, and more.
The current list of Pixel phones getting this month’s update should include the Pixel 3a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, and Pixel 6. Of course, you already know that the Pixel 6 update is delayed until “later this month,” so for now, enjoy, pre-Pixel 6 owners!
Here’s the simple bulleted list of everything new in the March Pixel Feature Drop:
- Pixel battery widget: The battery widget I begged for is here! The new Pixel battery widget will show you up-to-date battery information on Bluetooth-connected devices. It can spread across a home screen or shrink down to fit your specific spaces.
- At a Glance’s big update: The At a Glance widget at the top of your main screen (and on the lock screen) is getting its big update that adds info like battery levels of Bluetooth devices, safety check countdown from the Personal Safety app, reminders to turn off alarms, and more.
- Live Caption in calls: Now during calls, you can enable Live Caption and see what the other person is saying to you. You can even respond back through the keyboard if you are unable to talk.
- YouTube and app sharing in Duo: When Samsung announced the Galaxy S22, Google announced that Duo was getting a sweet new feature that allowed you to share YouTube or other apps. They are now expanding that capability to Pixel phones.
- Gboard’s custom auto-stickers: With the latest version of Gboard on your Pixel phone, you’ll be able to type out a message and then choose from custom stickers that were auto-created based on whatever you just typed. For example, if you typed out “Happy Birthday Steve,” you should get new stickers that actually say “Happy Birthday Steve” on on them. Pretty sweet.
- Live Translate to Spanish: Live Translate is expanding to Spanish on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
- Night Sight in Snapchat: Google continues its close relationship with Snapchat by now offering Night Sight within the Snapchat camera app on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. That means better night photos and videos if you are using the Snapchat camera app to snap those life moments. Just look for the moon icon in the camera to enable it.
- New Curated Culture wallpapers: The new Curated Culture wallpapers for this month include three papers from Manjit Thapp, an illustrator out of the UK. This is a continued celebration of International Women’s Day. The three wallpapers can be seen at the top of this post.
For this month’s Feature Drop, Google is also expanding previously released features to other devices and languages:
- Direct My Call and Wait Times are now available on Pixel 3a and above.
- The Recorder app now transcribes Italian and Spanish on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
- Google Assistant Quick Phrases are now available in Spanish, Italian, and French on Pixel 6.
Finally, here is the chart of all the new features and which phones will get them:
Again, this big update is hitting the Pixel 3a up through the Pixel 5a today, with Pixel 6 devices getting in later this month.