June Feature Drop for Google Pixels includes At a Glance improvements, Pocket Operator, and more
Every three months, Google rolls out new features to Pixel phones outside of the usual Android OS updates for years, and the company refers to them as “Feature Drops.” They’re usually released alongside a security patch, and the most recent one brought improvements to live caption, night mode in Snapchat, and a whole lot more. Now the June Feature Drop is now available (alongside June security patches), and it packs a ton of cool stuff you can try out on any Pixel smartphone release between the Pixel 4 and the latest Pixel 6 series.
In case you’re wondering, the June feature drop is based on the QPR3 builds that Google has been testing over the last few months. It’s currently unknown if Google will continue to beta test quarterly platform releases in the future.
Made in collaboration with teenage engineering, Pocket Operator is a new app that will let you shoot videos and “turn them into fun music and video cut-ups.” You can layer sounds, add visual effects, create patterns and beats, and mix it all together to make your own unique tracks. It’s available on the Google Play Store now, and you can check it out down below. It works on the Pixel 5 and newer, and currently, it’s only available in English.
Google has had the ability to add a vaccine card to your Google Pay for quite a while now, but now the company says you can add a shortcut to it to your home screen to quickly and easily get access to it at any time. It’s available in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.
More “At a Glance” alerts
The Pixel 6 series debuted a revamped “At a Glance” widget, which can display your calendar events, flight boarding pass, workout stats, and more on your home screen and lockscreen. Since its release, Google has added several new features to the widget to further expand its capabilities. Now the company is adding three new features to it.
Nest Doorbell video feed
Google added Nest Doorbell alerts back in January to the At a Glance widget, and they can tell you if “Someone’s at your door”. This can help you find out if a package has arrived, or if someone is just trying to get your attention out the front of your house. Now you can see an actual video feed from your doorbell too, right on your home screen.
Ever left your flashlight turned on on your phone? It’s pretty embarrassing, but I’m pretty sure that we’ve all been there. Now you’ll be able to see if it’s on straight from your home screen, without needing to turn your phone around to catch it.
Coming soon: Air Quality alerts
If you live in the U.S., Australia, or India, soon you’ll get Air Quality alerts in your At a Glance widget for your current location.
Conversation Mode exits beta
Google previously added “Conversation Mode” to the Sound Amplifier app in the December feature drop, and it’s been in beta since then. It uses on-device machine learning to block out surrounding noise. Conversation Mode is exclusively available to Pixel phone owners, and now it’s exiting beta. It’s designed for people with hearing loss to filter out sounds around them. It amplifies their voice, and you uses the camera to focus on whatever their phone should be properly listening to.
Real Tone Filters
Google introduced Real Tone with the Pixel 6 series last year to help users accurately capture various skin tones. The Real Tone functionality used an updated face detection algorithm capable of recognizing more diverse faces in a wider array of lighting conditions, resulting in a better representation of different skin tones.
At I/O this year, Google expanded on the functionality and announced that it would implement Harvard professor Dr. Ellis Monk’s scale in Search and Photos to achieve similar results across all its products. These filters are now rolling out to users of Google Photos.
Car Crash Detection comes to Canada
Google’s Car Crash Detection is rolling out in Canada now to Google Pixel 3 users and above, though excluding the Pixel 3a. It can, as the name suggests, detect if you’re in a car crash and act accordingly. It’s a safety feature that could potentially save lives.
More Chat translation languages
Chat translation in messages will now be available in Traditional Chinese, Dutch, Korean, Thai, and Turkish for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Download and install the June feature drop
The June feature drop is now available for all eligible Pixel smartphones, and you can download it by checking for an update in your device’s settings.