Here are the 6 New Features from the Latest Pixel Feature Drop
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Hey I’m David from TheUnlockr here with #teampixel to help give you a closer look at the 6 new features that have been updated on Pixel.
Now, if you’re not familiar, Google releases these over-the-air updates for Pixel devices that don’t just add security patches and bug fixes, they also straight up add a bunch of new features to make the phone more useful over time.
The latest of these Feature Drops just went out to Pixel users around the world, so really quickly let’s go through all the new things you can do.
Safety Check & Emergency Sharing
Firstly, some of the most important new features they added in this drop are the new safety check and emergency sharing features1. These are features for when you know you’re heading into a potentially uncomfortable situation.
So, for example, let’s say you’re going out for a walk by yourself, you can use the new Safety Check feature to have the phone ping contacts you set in advance to let them know to check in on you after a certain amount of time.
To set this up, you’ll open the pre-installed Safety app on your Pixel (which will have you set up some emergency contacts when you first open it). And before you head out, you tap on Safety Check.
Then you can put in a time, the reason you’re a little concerned, and then select which of your emergency contacts you want to be notified (and you can select whether to notify them immediately that you started the safety check or only notify them after the time has passed).
After the selected time, it’ll ping the contact with a message encouraging them to reach out to you via call or text. If they call you, you can then either use one of the Google auto-reply options on your Pixel to let them know you’re okay, or you can answer and make up a good excuse why you have to get going and boom you’re out.
We also have another feature called Emergency Sharing that lets you take this a step further for scenarios that you feel like you might actually be in a little more immediate danger.
For example, say you’re walking around a park at night and realize your phone is about to die and so maybe instead of just a safety check you want your friends/family to be a little more aware of your situation and use the new emergency sharing feature instead.
This lets you send out a message to your emergency contacts with your on-going real-time location along with a message as to why they’re receiving it. You can tell them maybe to reach out or contact help if you don’t call reach out by a certain time and when you get home you can end the sharing with a message saying you’re safe.
Another safety-minded feature in this release is called Crisis Alerts and it’s all about keeping you informed before you even leave your house.
You can get real-time notifications based on your location about natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, fires, etc. and even up to date information on COVID-19 in your specific area along with information on how to better protect yourself or get help if you feel you or someone you know has been infected.
The next feature I’ve already used a ton even though this just launched and it’s a big update to the Google Recorder app.
So let’s say you’re working, or in a meeting, or class (even if it’s at home as is the case for a lot of us right now). You can tell Google to start a voice recording. It’ll open the Google Recorder app and automatically start to record everything as an audio file and even turn any voice it hears into a transcript–which isn’t new and has been out for a bit but now, you can export the transcript directly to a Google Doc. This is way more useful, easier to share, format, etc. than just a .txt file like it used to give you.
Also, you can now search through all recordings with a specific word in them using your Google Assistant and it’ll also put the playhead right before that word in each of these so you can go right to that part, so clever.
I already use Google Docs for my video scripts so to be able to record my thoughts throughout the day and then export them directly to Google Docs and even search for them with my voice just makes my workflow that much easier.
Next, they’re pushing to make the batteries better for Pixel users.
In this release, they’ve further improved Adaptive Battery to help your battery on the Pixel last longer. The past versions of Adaptive Battery learned your favorite apps and reduced power to the ones you rarely use. Now your Pixel can predict when your battery will run out based on your daily phone usage. It can then stop unnecessary background activity and prioritize essential apps, which can help your Pixel can stay powered longer.1
And finally, when the day is all done, and you just need to wind down, they’ve added some new bedtime features.
You can now go into the clock app, tap on the new Bedtime tab in there, and set your preferred wake up and sleep times. You’ll also be able to have it play calming music from a list of music services, see what your device usage right before bed usually consists of, as well as automatically change the screen to greyscale, and see your upcoming schedule all to help you relax, reduce anxiety, and sleep better.
I have to admit, it’s kinda cool that Google just sends these Feature Drop updates to help make your phone more helpful overtime and that they are just a free perk that comes with owning a Pixel.
If you have a Pixel, here’s how to get access to these new features:
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap System.
- Tap Advanced.
- Tap System Update.
- See your update status. Follow any steps on the screen.
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Thanks for watching!