Google's Latest Pixel Feature Drop Is Packed With Useful Tweaks

Gif: Google

Google’s regular software updates have become one of the best parts about its Pixel phones. I admit this month’s new feature drop isn’t a game-changer, but it does comes with some handy new additions for underwater shooting, the Recorder app, adaptability, and more.

Advertisement

For people hoping to take their Pixel on bigger (deeper?) adventures, Google Pixel engineer José Ricardo Lima collaborated with Kraken Sports to add support for the Pixel to the company’s underwater Universal Smart Phone Housing, allowing you to use all your favorite Pixel camera features like Night Sight and Motion photos while swimming.

Illustration for article titled Google's Latest Pixel Feature Drop Is Packed With Useful Tweaks
Image: Google

Kraken’s case features a built-in vacuum port system to make sure your phone stays dry, and supports optional lens adapters for various macro and wide-angle shots. For more info on how underwater shooting with Kraken’s case works, you can check out Google’s support page here. 

In a more practical use case, Google has upgraded the super handy Recorder app with sharable links that make it easy to send saved audio files to anyone you want. And if you don’t own a Pixel, you can visit recorder.google.com to access many of the Recorder app’s features on the web, including the ability to view transcripts, listen to recordings, and search clips for specific words or phrases.

Illustration for article titled Google's Latest Pixel Feature Drop Is Packed With Useful Tweaks
Image: Google
Advertisement

When it comes to texting, Google is adding support for Smart Compose, which first debuted in Gmail back in 2018, to a wider range of messaging apps, so you can use machine learning to speed up quick replies.

And in keeping with Google’s emphasis on ambient computing, Pixel phones (Pixel 3 and newer) are getting updated bedtimes features in the Clock app when used with the Pixel Stand due to a new nighttime UI. Redesigned notifications will help you get to sleep easier.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Google's Latest Pixel Feature Drop Is Packed With Useful Tweaks
Image: Google

Finally, in support of International Women’s Day on March 8, Google is adding a selection of colorful new wallpapers for Pixel phones from Spanish illustration duo Cachetejack celebrating the event.

Advertisement

The latest Pixel feature drop will begin rolling out today, so if you don’t get it immediately, keep checking your phone throughout the week for Google’s latest software update.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

DISCUSSION

I’m a little confused on the sleep aid stuff. Is it trying to set an alarm to tell me when to go to sleep? Because that sounds antithetical to a relaxing end of the day to me. I have the wrong kind of Pixel phone(4a) to make much use of the stand so I guess I won’t be getting much use out of those other features anyway.