Right on cue Google has released the March update for Pixel phones along with details of the Pixel feature drop. While all the details of the feature drop have been revealed not all seem to be present in the update just yet.
The OTA brings with it not just quite a few security patches (1,2) but also a large number of bug fixes and improvements as you can see in the image below:
The list is substantial with all Pixels (from Pixel 2 on) receiving some love with various audio, bluetooth, camera, face unlock, and video fixes — along with more general System UI fixes and kernel updates. Check out the list above to see what your Pixel will receive fixes for.
Along with the fixes the Pixel Feature Drop is also included although at this stage not all features seem to be active — it is possible they will require either app updates or a server side switch for them to become functional.
Android Police have compiled a list of the features arriving and they include:
- New play/pause gesture for Pixel 4 Motion Sense
- Pixel 2 gets Live Caption
- Car Crash Detection rolls out for Pixel 4 in Australia and the UK
- AR effects for Duo video calls
- Pixel 4 front-facing/selfie camera portrait blur improvements
- 169 new emoji from the 12.1 release
- New power button wallet menu for quick access to Google Pay payment methods, boarding passes, tickets, etc.
- Support for screenshots of boarding passes is also coming for Pixel 3, 3a, and 4, with real-time flight updates
- Scheduled dark theme/mode, including sunset/sunrise triggers
- New automation Rules for Wi-Fi networks or physical location
- Long-press in the Pixel Launcher for the Pixel 4 now includes “firm” presses
- Pixel 4 screens set to adaptive brightness will get brighter now in strong, direct light
Some of the above features we have seen in the Android 11 Dev Preview but some are totally new. Check out the list above and try them out on your Pixel. With the feature drop and security update rolling out now you won’t have long to wait before it pops up on your phone.
You can also refresh your update screen to trigger it to your device or you can grab the OTA from here and the factory image from here if you are impatient like me.
Grab the update and let us know which new Pixel features are live for you and what you like most about the March Pixel Feature Drop.
I only have 1 credit card in Google Pay. I don’t really “get” the point of the power menu shortcut. When my screen is on, even when locked, I can pay with my credit card. No need to long press on the power key to bring up this menu. Can someone enlighten me here? Again, I don’t have boarding passes or multiple cards I need to switch through. Just the single card I use for paying for stuff or public transport (TfNSW Sydney).
I would say that this feature is not intended for your use case – its for users who have multiple cards configured, and who use different cards for different purchase types. I have a mate who opens the google pay app each time he uses his phone to pay for something to select the appropriate card. It would be a little simpler for him to long press the power button and select the card he wants, rather than having to start/switch to the google pay app
Luckily I can disable this feature. Thanks!
Motion sense gestures on the Pixel 4 are dramatically improved. It’s actually really cool now.
I have the Pixel 2XL and live caption isn’t enabled there. Did they really just enable it for the Pixel 2 only?!?