Google Announces a New Pixel Feature Drop

Partial sharing on Pixel Tablet

Pixel fans have already received two Pixel Feature Drops in the past three months, but Google is back today with a new Feature Drop that adds several new features across compatible Pixel phones, tablets, and watches. It’s rolling out today worldwide, except for the United States, where it’s expected March 11.

Here’s what’s new.

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Pixel phones

Ultra HDR photo and 10-bit HDR video support in Instagram. Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 8, 8 Pro, and Fold can now capture and share Ultra HDR photos directly to Instagram and 10-bit HDR videos directly to Instagram Reels.

Call Screen improvements. Those with a Pixel 6 or newer or a Pixel Fold can now tap a new “Hello” chip on the Call Screen to help get a call started when the caller is silent. When you do, Google Assistant will prompt the caller to speak, helping you understand why they’re trying to reach you. Google Assistant will also let the caller know they need to wait longer if you’re unable to answer a screened call immediately.

Circle to Search comes to Pixel 7. A month after Google added Circle to Search to Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google says this new feature will soon come to Pixel 7 and 7 Pro as well.

Pixel phones and tablets

Partial Screen Sharing. This new feature lets you share one app at a time instead of the full screen when you cast, record, or present in a video call. It’s available on Pixel 5a with 5G and newer phones, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet.

Fast Pair improvements. You can now access previously configured Bluetooth devices on a new phone or tablet via Fast Pair’s new “Previously used with account” feature. This works on Pixel 5a with 5G and newer phones, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet.

Docs Markup. You can now add handwritten annotations to a Google Docs document using only your finger or stylus. This one isn’t Pixel-specific and will work on any Android 8 or newer phone or tablet.

GBoard Voice Toolbar. This new feature for Pixel Tablet optimizes available on-screen space by minimizing the virtual keyboard when you activate voice input.

Pixel Watch

Public transit directions. Google Maps for Wear OS now provides public transit directions right from Pixel Watch 1 and 2 (and other Wear OS 3+ wearables). It shows different transit options, real-time departure times, and a compass-enabled map view to help get you to your destination.

Auto Workout mode. Available previously on Pixel Watch 2, Auto Workout mode is now available on the OG Pixel Watch as well. It detects certain activities—running, walking, elliptical, spinning, outdoor bike, treadmill, and rowing—and starts and stops workout tracking without any intervention on your part.

Pace Training. Available previously on Pixel Watch 2, Pace Training is now available on the OG Pixel Watch as well. This feature lets you set a goal pace during an exercise so you can see when you’re within your target range and get notifications when you are not. Voice notifications also require Pixel Buds or other compatible earbuds.

Heart Zone Training. This is another feature that debuted on Pixel Watch 2 and is now available on the first-gen Pixel Watch. It lets you track the time you spend in each heart rate zone to help optimize and guide your training. You can also optionally configure notifications to alert you when you move from one zone to another.

Fitbit Relax App: This new app works with both Pixel Watch models and guides you through breathing exercises so you can find moments of calm and mindfulness throughout the day.

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