Google has started seeding its latest Pixel Feature Drop to its devices. The March Pixel Feature Drop is now available for download and applies not only to Pixel smartphones, but to Google’s new Pixel Watch as well. Apart from packing the March security patch, the update brings plenty of fixes, new features and improvements as well. While some features like improved Night Sight are available only on Tensor-powered smartphones, some like Magic Eraser are now more widely available. The update is around 500MB in size and is already rolling out to supported Pixel smartphones in India.
Faster Night Sight, which was first available with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones, is now finally available on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro models. The feature which uses advanced algorithms with Tensor processors to cut down those lengthy Night Sight exposures when shooting people or landscapes under dim lighting can now be accessed on the recent Pixel models as well. Google claims that this leads to sharper blur-free photos in dimly lit shooting scenarios, but is surprisingly not available for the Tensor-powered Pixel 6a.
Magic Eraser is another feature that has gradually trickled down from the Pixel 6 series and is now being made available to more widely non-Tensor-powered smartphones. Utilising this feature will still need users to subscribe to a Google One plan. The software feature which is available through the Google Photos app basically lets users remove unwanted people or objects from a photo using Eraser and Camouflage editing tools.
While not available in India yet, more users in the US will be happy to know that Pixel devices (up to the Pixel 4a now support the Direct My Call feature. The feature basically lets users skip the wait times and long and complicated IVR options when calling a business. It does this by presenting users with an on-screen menu of the same, making it easier to navigate such calls and get to the right extension quickly.
New to Pixel is the built-in Health Connect app, which like the Privacy Dashboard, brings all of a user’s health and fitness-related data sharing in one place. While the app has been available as a separate download, Google claims that having it baked into the software makes it easier to track which apps are getting access to a user’s on-device health and fitness data.
Another handy addition from the latest Pixel feature drop is the ability to track timers across devices. Those who own more than one Pixel or Google device, can now set a timer on one device and track them across other Google devices like a Google Home or a compatible Nest device. The “At a Glance” widget on smartphones will also relay timer-related information and will also send notifications when the timer goes off.
Moving to Pixel Watch, a long-awaited feature, which was announced at launch has finally made it via this feature drop. Google’s fall-detection feature is now finally rolling out to its Pixel Watch and will detect if a user has taken a hard fall and also connect them to emergency services if needed. Google will also be bringing new sound and display settings to the Pixel Watch “in the coming weeks”. These settings will make it easier for people with hearing limitations or with specific visual preferences to customise the sound and display on their Pixel Watch to suit their requirements.
The March update also brings 5G connectivity for Pixel users in India. Gadgets 360 can confirm that Jio’s 5G services can be availed by enabling the same in the phone’s Settings app.
Among the smaller updates, Google will now allow users to use their Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones as a digital car key. Fast Pair support will now also be extended to select Chromebooks and new emoji combinations have also been made available on the Emoji Kitchen via Gboard. Also, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro owners will now be able to use two eSIMs with Dual SIM Dual Standby as well.
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