What you need to know
- Google has just announced the first Pixel feature drop of 2021.
- This release comes with enhancements to Recorder, the camera, and bedtime mode.
- There are also new wallpapers to celebrate Women's History Month.
Google has just announced the first Pixel feature drop of 2021, and it's the second that'll hit the newly released Pixel 5 and 4a series. Coming just after the Android feature release last week, this one is a little bit limited in scope. It doesn't really bring much new to the Pixel like with older releases, instead, this one is more geared towards helping your Pixels work better with devices and accessories.
First, Google's desktop Recorder app is going to go live soon. It was spotted last week, and now it's official. Sometime later today, users should be able to go to recorder.google.com, view, and share all their recorded audio. The regular features from the Pixel's recorder app will be here as well, absent the recording.
Next, Google is rolling out smart compose to other messaging apps. Use any Google app long enough and you'll notice a smart compose feature somewhere. This is a smart, helpful little pop up users aimed at filling in the blanks of your text input box with what you'll most likely say. It has been present for a while on the Google Messages app, and now Google is bringing it to more messaging apps with the March feature drop. The company doesn't elaborate which ones specifically, so we'll have to learn by experience. It does share a screenshot of the Chat app, so that's included. Presumably popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram should be supported as well.
The next two features are targeted at those who own accessories. The first is an improved camera feature "Dive Connector". This is for people who are interested in taking photos underwater when diving. "Now, divers will be able to use their Pixel camera with the Kraken Sports' Universal Smart Phone Housing to capture marine life and seascape," Google says. There's a help guide included with more information on supported devices. Next, Google is rolling out a new bedtime screen for Pixel Stand owners. If you're using a wireless charging enabled Pixel (not the a-series), you'll get that new bedtime screen, a redesigned notifications panel when using bedtime mode.
Finally, Google is adding new wallpapers to celebrate Women's History Month. Just like with the update that rolled out with wallpapers for Black History Month last month and last year's Pride wallpapers, these new wallpapers "focus on the strength and transformation of women."
It's a small update to one of the best Android phones, but it's better than nothing. You can download the Pixel feature drop if you're using any Pixel from the Pixel 3 and above.
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