Google has announced a new Feature Drop for Pixel phones alongside the new Mint green hue for the Pixel 8 range.
Google is adding the Circle to Search feature demonstrated during the Galaxy S24 launch last week as well as a new Thermometer app to take body temperature.
Google Messages is getting a Magic Compose feature, while users will be able to respond with Photomoji. Elsewhere, Google is detailing the Quick Share (fka Nearby Share) and the expansion of the Pixel Buds Pro‘s Audio Switch feature.
Here’s the lowdown on the January 2024 Pixel Feature Drop, which Google says will be rolling out in the weeks to come.
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Circle to Search
Google chose to debut this awesome-sounding new feature at Galaxy Unpacked last week, but it’s coming to Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro from January 31.
The feature enables users to long press the Pixel home button to unlock the feature before circling, tapping on or scribbling over on the item they’d like to perform a Google Search for. It’s great for clothes and accessories.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are are getting a “medical-grade” body temperature sensor courtesy of the new Thermometer app rolling out to the flagship handsets. All you’ll need to do is launch the app and scan your forehead with your phone to get an accurate reading. The reports can be saved back to the Fitbit app.
New AI Messages features
Google is adding Magic Compose, an AI powered composition tool, to Messages. On Pixel 6 and above, it’ll rewrite a drafted message in a style of your choice. You can make it sound more professional, or dramatic (like Shakespeare, apparently) or get into the whole brevity thing with a more concise message. If you have a Pixel 8 Pro it’ll happen using the Gemini Nano tool on device.
You can also respond with Photomoji, which are stickers created from your photographs. Google says: “Simply select the photo, review the object you’d like to react with and hit send. Your creations will be saved in a special tab for reuse, and, as a bonus, your friends in group chats can use your sent photomoji.”
Not much to report here, but Google worked with Samsung to create an Android-wide version of AirDrop-rivalling Nearby Share tech. It’s now named Quick Share across the Android realm and we’re seeing it roll out on Pixel Phones this month.
Auto Switch on Pixel Watch
Finally, the Audio Switch feature for the Pixel Buds Pro will now quickly transfer the wireless connection to a Pixel Watch. It’ll automatically perform the switch between paired devices, so you won’t have to do it manually.