Google just announced software updates for its Pixel phones, that also extend to the Pixel Watch and Fitbit devices. The latest feature drop includes camera enhancements, new personal safety options, and updates to haptics and adaptive charging.
Foremost, the most significant camera enhancement feature is the new ‘macro mode,’ that enables enhanced filming of little details. This, however, is exclusively a Pixel 7 Pro feature and not available for all camera apps or modes.
Moreover, phones from Pixel 6 onwards will be equipped with a new hands-free gesture where you show your palm to the viewfinder frame, to enable a timer when taking photos. Upon detecting the gesture, the camera will count down from 3 or 10 seconds, depending on the set number, and then snap a shot.
Another enhancement feature is the ability to create ‘cinematic wallpapers’ that add more depth to your lock screen, as well as a slick parallax effect. Cinematic photos are not a new Google technology as they have been a Google Photos feature for quite some time now. However, until now users didn’t have control over selecting photos for this effect, and will now be able to create cinematic effect for any photo of their choice.
Next, there is a new security check feature as part of the personal safety updates. Integrated within Google Assistant, it relies on a user’s voice to start emergency sharing or to schedule a safety check for additional security. Once a safety check goes into effect, and if a user doesn’t respond within the scheduled duration, their emergency contacts will be automatically notified of the emergency, as well as the user’s real-time location.
As for haptics, Google has equipped the Pixel 6A and 7A phones to automatically reduce the intensity of vibrations when the devices are placed on a hard, flat surface. Improvement to adaptive charging includes extended lifespan of the Pixel battery, as a result of an AI technology that is able to predict a long charging session based on a user’s previous charging habits. It therefore lets the battery be charged slowly to 100 percent an hour before it is expected to be unplugged.