Google promised to release “feature drops” for Pixel phones occasionally, and it’s delivering today. The latest feature drop includes Dark Theme Scheduling, easier access to your Google Pay cards, expanded car crash detection, motion sense updates, and new A.R. effects for Duo calls.
If you own a Pixel phone, you may want to check for updates because Google says it’s rolling out new features today. First up on the list is Dark Theme scheduling, a feature we’d almost swear Android phones already had.
Now when you turn on the new Dark Theme scheduling, your phone can automatically switch between dark and light themes based on local sunrise and sunset times. It’s a subtle but welcome update.
Google is also making it easier to get to your Google Pay credit cards. Just press and hold the power button, and you can then swipe through your debit and credit cards, event tickets, boarding passes, or anything else you’ve stored in Google Pay. It beats digging around in the app.
Google says the “more powerful power button” is available for U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Taiwan, and Singapore users.
If you like Motion Sense, you’ll appreciate today’s upgrade. While you could already “swipe” over your phone to move back and forth between music tracks, you can now hold your hand over the phone to pause and play music.
And while users in the U.S. already were benefitting from Pixel’s Personal Safety App and its car crash detection capabilities, today’s update expands the features to users in the U.K. and Australia. If the phone detects you’ve been in a crash, it can call emergency services for you automatically—even if you’re unresponsive.
Finally, Pixel phones are getting new augmented reality (AR) effects for Duo calls. And you can use the front-facing camera to create images with depth, which should improve Portrait Blur and color pop, and lets you create 3D photos for Facebook.