In December Google released an update to the Pixel phones with quite a few new features — a feature drop. Now it seems that a new feature drop is set to arrive according to the latest update to the Pixel Tips app.
9to5Google have delved into the depths of the latest Pixel Tips update to find out some of the new features arriving along with when they will land.

As early as tomorrow?

Based on the December Pixel Tips update around the feature drop at that time the next feature drop will arrive in March. December’s Pixel Tips update had a file called “tips_sw_201912a.json” signalling the update as arriving in the 12th month of 2019 (remember the US do their dates backwards). Now the new update that has arrived to day has the file “tips_sw_202003a.json” and it doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that refers to March 2020 — starting tomorrow.

New features on the way

Of course not all of these features mentioned in the code of the app are guaranteed to make it to the feature drop but it’s a fair bet most, if not all, of them will.

The apk deep-dive shows that dark theme scheduling is coming in the next feature drop — along with auto-scheduling around sunset and sunrise. We saw this in the Android 11 Developer Preview and now it is on its way to stable Android 10.

<string name=”tips_darktheme2_feature_description”>Dark theme turns on automatically at sunset</string>

<string name=”tips_darktheme2_feature_name”>Schedule Dark theme</string>

The play/pause Motion Sense gesture Android 11 Developer Preview is apparently also on the way. This “air tap” near the phone is finally a useful Motion Sense gesture that apparently works quite well. Overall Motion Sense is apparently better on Android 11 Developer Preview so we hope all those changes also arrive to make it more consistent.

<string name=”tips_oslo_music_feature_description”>Use Quick Gestures to pause or skip songs</string>

<string name=”tips_oslo_music_summary”>”Pause or resume music by tapping the air above the phone.

Skip songs by swiping left or right above the phone.”</string>

There is also some evidence that power menu access to your cards and passes in Google Pay may also be arriving along with car crash detection.

The new update has not rolled out to me yet but keep an eye out for it (version 2.01 (6231163) and more importantly an eye out for the feature drop — most likely with the March security patch.

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It’s a leap year so, technically, the day after tomorrow! 😛


Dark mode scheduling is long overdue!

Phillip Malone

Pause/Play Motion sense will be huge! I am really hoping that if the 4a also has Motion Sense (I haven’t been following the rumors) perhaps at IO we will hear more on making Motion Sense available to developers. Would love to have the interactions available in Pocketcasts to Play/Pause/Skip/go back.


Has someone forgotten it’s a leap year? March is 2 days away 😁
Also I hope the play/pause air tap gesture can be used independently from the skip/prev. gestures because I had so many accidental swipes from interactions near my phone that I had to turn that one off.