Google unveils its biggest Pixel feature drop and includes the Pixel Watch

Today is the first Monday of the month, which means it’s time for Google to release its monthly software update for Pixel phones. Only this time is special. In fact, this is the latest Pixel Feature Drop, and not only that, it’s the biggest ever. It also includes some new features from the recently launched Pixel Watch!

Let’s go then. December’s Pixel Feature Drop comes with Google One VPN at no extra cost for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro owners. VPNs “are designed to ensure that your web traffic isn’t tied to your identity,” including Google. The service was already free for Google One members on the Platinum plan (2TB and above), but is now available to Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro owners regardless of their Google One membership status. However, the VPN can still be used through the Google One app.

Later, security and privacy settings were unified into Android Settings, and this new section features action tabs at the top, alerting you to any security risks and giving you simple steps to improve.

Google unveils its biggest Pixel feature drop and includes the Pixel Watch

Clear Calling on Pixel 7 and 7 Pro then boosts the other party’s voice and reduces background noise so you can hear them clearly even when they’re in a noisy place.

Google unveils its biggest Pixel feature drop and includes the Pixel Watch

Pixel Recorder now recognizes and labels each speaker and includes line breaks when the speaker changes. Then when you record an interview or meeting, everyone is tagged individually. It’s all done with machine learning, live-streamed as you record, and if something goes wrong, you can re-tag the speakers as needed after you’re done.

Google unveils its biggest Pixel feature drop and includes the Pixel Watch

As long as you have activated (and will maintain) your Fitbit Premium subscription, your Pixel Watch will benefit from the Fitbit Sleep Profiles feature. New Pixel Watch buyers get six months of free access, after which you have to pay ten dollars a month to get that feature.

Google unveils its biggest Pixel feature drop and includes the Pixel Watch

Sleep Profiles gives you an instant high-resolution picture of the quality of your sleep, taking into account aspects such as duration, texture, disturbances and presenting you with the best pet for your sleeping style. The results will be adjusted monthly based on your personal measurements. To do this, you’ll need to sleep with your Pixel Watch at least 14 days a month to see results by the first day of the following month. So it’s best to keep your charger handy.

Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have cough and snore detection, which you can access through Sleep mode. There are new wallpapers and Pixel tiles for the Pixel Watch too, including sunrise/sunset tiles in the Weather app, while the Contacts app now lets you pin up to five contacts from your favorites so you can call them Click and view the their details.

Google unveils its biggest Pixel feature drop and includes the Pixel Watch

Digital car keys allow you to lock, unlock and start a compatible car using your phone and can be shared with friends and family who need access to the car. Google promises it’s currently available “on Pixels and iPhones,” but will soon be available on “select phones running Android 12+.”

Additionally, Gboard supports French grammar checker, Live Translate can translate text in Messages app into Arabic, Persian, Swedish, Vietnamese, and Danish (on Pixel 6 and later), Device Search Featured on Pixel 4a and later Voicemail transcription is also built into the Pixel 4a and newer phones.

Google also teased that spatial audio support for Pixel 6, 6 Pro, 7 and 7 Pro with Pixel Buds Pro and wired headphones will arrive in January. Like Google Software Update, it may take days or even weeks for the December update to roll out to all supported devices, so don’t worry if you don’t have it. Say it again.

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