Google’s Third Pixel ‘Feature Drop’ arrives but what’s new?

Google has followed up its previous feature rollouts (Feature Drops, in Google parlance) from March 2020 and December 2019 with another slew of goodies that should be arriving on your Pixel phone as we speak. Don’t worry if the June 2020 Feature Drop hasn’t shown up yet – it’ll come through in due course, or you could always try checking the Updates section in your Pixel’s settings app. Meanwhile, here’s a quick look at what all Pixel owners will be getting with the latest feature drop:

Adaptive Battery gets better

The Pixel 2 and newer devices get an improved Adaptive Battery feature that will be able to predict how much more usage you can get and will automatically reduce battery consumption by reducing background usage.

A ‘bedtime’ feature for the clock

Own a Pixel 2 or newer device? Google’s trying to help you sleep better and stick to a proper sleep schedule with the new ‘Bedtime’ feature in the Clock app. It’ll play calming sounds while you doze off, and will also limit interruptions. This will also give you data on what apps keep you up the most, helping you fix your midnight Netflix bingeing or Twitter flamewar habit.

Google Recorder gets Assistant, Docs integration

Google Recorder was added in a previous feature drop. Now, it finally gets a couple of features we’d have expected it to ship with – Google Assistant integration, which means you can just speak out aloud to start recording; and the ability to save transcripts to Google Docs. Unfortunately, this is only available on the Pixel 4 for now, though there really should be no technical reason preventing Google from making this available to older variants (hopefully, future updates will bring about wider availability).

New personal safety features

The Pixel 4’s Personal Safety app now comes to the entire Pixel range (including the Pixel 1). It also gets some new features, including a scheduled safety check, which will send out alerts to your emergency contacts if you fail to check-in at a pre-set time (a bit like a dead man’s switch); Emergency Sharing, which will share your real-time location with your emergency contacts; and the option of receiving alerts for public emergencies. The Pixel 3 will also be getting the Car Crash Feature, which sends out alerts upon detecting an automobile crash. 

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