Google Announces New Features and Updates for Pixel Phones

Google is known for regularly updating its Pixel phones with new features and improvements. In its latest announcement, Google has unveiled a new feature drop for the Pixel 8 series, along with some updates for older Pixel models. This article will delve into the details of these new features and analyze their usefulness and relevance.

One of the main highlights of the feature drop is the introduction of Circle to Search. This feature, first seen on Samsung’s Galaxy S24, allows users to circle anything on their phone screen to get more information about it. By simply performing a long press on the home button or navigation bar, Google will provide relevant details and content related to the highlighted object or text.

While Circle to Search seems like a handy feature, its practicality and real-world usage remains to be seen. It may prove useful for quick information retrieval, but its effectiveness can be subjective depending on individual needs and preferences. Nonetheless, it is a welcome addition to the Pixel 8 series.

In an intriguing move, Google has added a built-in thermometer to the Pixel 8 Pro. With the latest feature drop, this thermometer can now be used to measure body temperature. Google claims it to be “medical-grade,” indicating that it has obtained some level of FDA clearance for this functionality.

While the addition of a thermometer to a smartphone may seem puzzling at first, especially considering its limited usage, the ability to measure body temperature can be beneficial in certain situations. It adds an extra utility to the phone and may come in handy for individuals who require regular temperature monitoring.

The feature drop also brings some enhancements for older Pixel models. The Pixel 6 and newer will now have access to Magic Compose, an AI-powered feature that allows users to rewrite drafted messages in different styles. Cloud processing will be employed to provide professional tones or make messages more concise.

Additionally, the previous Nearby Share functionality has been rebranded as Quick Share, aligning it with Samsung’s equivalent feature. Quick Share facilitates content sharing between nearby Android, ChromeOS, and Windows devices, making it easier to transfer files and media across different platforms.

Another notable update is the introduction of automatic audio switching on the Pixel Watch. This feature enables users to seamlessly switch their Pixel Buds Pro between their Pixel Watch and other Pixel devices. Notifications will inform users about the audio destinations, ensuring a smooth transition between devices.

Lastly, Google is adding “Photomoji” to its Messages app. This feature allows users to react to messages with customized reactions created from their favorite photos. The on-device AI technology analyzes the selected photo and creates a cutout that can be used as a reaction. This adds a fun and personalized touch to conversations.

Google’s latest feature drop brings a range of new additions and updates to its Pixel phone lineup. While some features like Circle to Search and the built-in thermometer may have limited applicability, others such as Magic Compose, Quick Share, automatic audio switching, and Photomoji offer practical and enjoyable benefits to users.

These updates reflect Google’s commitment to continuously evolve and improve its Pixel phones, catering to users’ needs and preferences. As technology advances, it will be interesting to see how Google further enhances its smartphones and provides innovative features that simplify daily tasks and enhance user experiences.


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