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Google’s major Pixel update brings a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra feature to Pixel 7 series

By Liu Hongzuo - on 5 Mar 2024, 4:02pm

Google’s major Pixel update brings a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra feature to Pixel 7 series

Google's Pixel Feature Drop for March 2024 is now out.

Every quarter, Google pushes out a major firmware update to Pixel phones, adding more functionality that doesn’t come along with its regular security updates. 

March 2024’s Google Pixel Feature Drop is now available. In this drop, Google enhanced some features, while also introducing other features onto older Pixel devices. Without further ado:

Call Screen improvements

Call Screen, a feature that’s not available to Singapore-based Pixel phones, is getting an improvement. The new update adds a “hello” chip to prompt a caller to speak (if they are unresponsive). You can prompt a caller to speak by tapping the button on your phone, and it will recite a message to the caller.

10-bit HDR support in Instagram

Both photos and videos uploaded to Instagram via a Google Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, or Pixel Fold device now support 10-bit HDR formats. 

Circle to Search goes to Pixel 7

Circle to Search, a new 2024 feature found on the Google Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S24 series, now goes to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Circle to Search lets users conduct an image search by circling what’s on-screen, instead of having to upload images into the search engine.

Some features from Pixel Watch 2 go to first Pixel Watch

The first Pixel Watch was never officially sold in Singapore (the second Pixel Watch 2 was available here, though). If you happen to have a first-generation Pixel Watch, you’d be happy to know that the following features are being transplanted over from the Pixel Watch 2.

You can use the first-gen Pixel Watch to set more granular workout goals, like a target pace or heart rate for running, along with haptic alerts through Pixel Buds Pro. Pixel Watch also gets auto-start and auto-stop, so you don’t have to manually trigger workouts (only for running, walking, elliptical, spinning, outdoor bike, treadmill, and rowing).

Pixel Watch also now gets Pixel Watch 2’s breathing exercises via the Fitbix Relax app. It also gets transit directions via Google Maps.

Screen share for other Pixel devices

The Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold, and Pixel 5a 5G, along with newer phones, can get app-based screen sharing. This is very helpful if you want to screen your screen in an online call, but do not want to share everything else that’s on your display. 

Device pairing upgrades

Previously connected devices now shows up in your Connected Devices page, so you can quickly pair (or Fast Pair) to the same devices again. 

Google Docs support stylus-written notes on mobile devices

At MWC 2024, Google and Android said that Google Docs support handwritten annotations on mobile platforms. The latest update now extends that support to any annotations made using a stylus.

Pixel Tablet gets new voice-typing toolbar

While the Pixel Tablet was never officially sold in Singapore, the rare user here would be happy to know that it has a new Gboard voice toolbar that takes up less space than its old digital keyboard. The keyboard being optional offers greater real estate on the display, and makes multi-tasking easier.

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Source: Google (blog)

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