Google's first Pixel 'feature drop' brings Portrait Blur, automatic call screen, and more
What you need to know
- Google says it will be bringing "bigger updates" to its Pixel phones as part of new 'Pixel feature drops.'
- The first feature drop will arrive this month for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.
- It will bring automatic call screening, improved video calls on Duo, and the ability to blur the background of your photos post-snap.
Google today announced that it will be bringing new features to its Pixel phones on a regular basis with "feature drops." The first 'feature drop' will soon be rolled out for the Pixel 4 series phones and come with several new features and enhancements.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature that will be part of the first feature drop will be the ability to turn any photo into a portrait by blurring the background post-snap. This means regardless of when a photo was taken, you can head over to Google Photos and blur the background with Portrait Blur.
The second major feature coming to the Pixel 4 series phones is automatic call screening. The latest update to Call Screen on Pixel 4 in the U.S. makes it possible for the Google Assistant to automatically screen phone calls from unknown callers and filter out detected robocalls without interrupting you.
You can also look forward to improved video calls, as the update will help you better focus on your conversations on Duo. The Auto-framing feature will use the Pixel 4's wide-angle lens to keep your face centered during video calls, even when you move around. And when someone else joins you in the shot, the camera will adjust to ensure both of you are in the frame. To get rid of spotty audio, a machine learning model on the Pixel 4 will predict the likely next sound so your conversation can continue with minimal disruptions. Additionally, the update will bring the ability to add a portrait filter during video calls, along with reduced choppiness thanks to the Smooth Display refreshing up to 90 times a second.
In addition to the new features, Google says the update will bring faster accuracy in Google Maps as well as improved on-device computing for better location quality. Google is also expanding the availability of the new Google Assistant to the UK, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, and Australia.
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