As if the December Android Drop wasn’t enough, Google is rolling out exclusive new features for the Pixel 7 smartphone and Pixel Watch. These features, which may boost the quality of your phone calls or improve your security, should arrive on your devices within the coming days.
Now, if you’re a hardcore Pixel nerd, these new features shouldn’t surprise you. They were announced months ago. But they’re still pretty exciting. (Note that your Pixel phone will also gain new features and improvements from the December Android Drop.)
Pixel 7 Updates:
- Free Google One VPN: The Google One VPN is now available for free on the Pixel 7. This VPN usually requires a 2TB Google One cloud storage subscription.
- Clear Calling: Automatically improves the clarity of phone calls made and received by the Pixel 7.
- Recorder Speaker Labels: The recorder app, which automatically transcribes conversations, can now identify different voices and apply speaker labels to transcriptions on Pixel 7.
Pixel Watch Updates:
- New Wear Tiles: New Pixel Watch tiles, including Weather and Contacts, allow you to easily find what you need with just a few swipes.
Additionally, Google is rolling out a new set of Pixel Wallpapers (designed by Dana Kearley) to celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities. These “Curated Culture” wallpapers depict cartoon flowers with assistive devices, including hearing aids, white canes, and wheelchairs.
This update does not include Spatial Audio support, which will roll out in January (and requires a pair of Pixel Buds Pro). And the Pixel Watch’s Fall Detection feature, which was absent at launch, is still slated for 2023.
To receive the latest Pixel Drops, check that your phone is up to date. You can check for available updates by opening Settings, navigating to “System,” and selecting “System Update.”