For many months now, Google let us test a big quarterly update that would eventually turn into the June Pixel Feature Drop. It arrived via Android Beta program beginning in March and is on the 3rd beta at the moment. During testing, it lacked the “feature” part of the Feature Drop, as it was mostly a quarterly bug fixer that Google would use as setup for a splashier arrival once it went stable. Today, it has gone stable and the Feature Drop is here.
You already know the build and update details from this write-up, so let’s talk here about what’s new from a feature standpoint for those with a Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6 Pro.
At a Glance gets Nest, Flashlight, Air Quality alerts
The At a Glance widget that lives at the top of your main Pixel home screen and on your lock screen is getting three new features. The first is for Nest Doorbell alerts, where you’ll now see the person in At a Glance who just rang your doorbell. You’ll need an actual Nest Doorbell for this, as well as the Google Home app.
The second is a Flashlight reminder. If you forgot to turn your flashlight off and for some reason can’t see it beaming everyone’s eyes out the back of your phone, a little reminder/shortcut in At a Glance will let you turn it back off.
And finally, Google is preparing to show you Air Quality alerts in At a Glance based on your current location. This will work for users in the US, Australia, and India.
New App: Pocket Operator by teenage engineering
The next new item up for grabs is an app called Pocket Operator and its exclusive to Pixel phones for now. Made in collaboration with teenage engineering, this new app lets you shoot video content and then “turn it into fun music and video cut-ups.” There are layers, visual effects, and patterns and beats that can be mixed about to create tracks.
Once live, Pocket Operator will live at Google Play. It will be available to the Pixel 5 and newer.
Google Play Link: Pocket Operator
New Pride Month wallpapers
To celebrate Pride Month, Google is adding three new wallpapers in their Curated Culture collection. The wallpapers were made by Yann Bastard and feature “big, bold shapes and bright colors.”
Vaccine card shortcut on home screen
I’m not sure there are as many vaccine card requirements as there was a year or so ago, but Google is still giving those with vaccine cards an easier way to save them digitally for easy access. Now, when you take a screenshot of your digital vaccine card, you’ll be able to save a shortcut to it on your home screen.
This feature is available in the US, Canada, and Australia. Availability will also depend on state and healthcare providers.
Other new features and those expanding to more phones:
- Real Tone Filters: The Real Tone Filters that Google announced at Google I/O to improve representation of diverse skin tones in Google Photos are now live. You’ll find these in Google Photos under the filters menu when editing a photo.
- Conversation Mode in Sound Amplifier out of beta: The Conversation Mode in the Sound Amplifier app that Google previously released in beta is now available to all Pixel 3 and newer phones.
- Car Crash Detection: Google has expanded Car Crash Detection in Canada for the Pixel 3 and newer (excluding the Pixel 3a).
- Live chat translations in new languages: Google has made live chat translations available in Chinese, Dutch, Korean, Thai, and Turkish on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Again, most of this Feature Drop stuff is rolling out as early as today alongside the June Pixel update.
To check for the update, head into Settings>System>System update.