Google Pixel phones are getting the December Pixel feature drop that brings along a host of new features, improvements, and the latest Android security patch. The new update is available only for Pixel 3 and later, but a report claims that Pixel 2 phones will also receive one final update. Google has said that the update for Verizon phones will start rolling out later this week. Some of the new features part of the December 2020 update include ‘Hold for Me’, extreme battery saver, contextual translation, and more.
Google has shared details of the December 2020 update available for Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. It brings a ‘Hold for Me’ feature that makes use of the Google Assistant when you are put on hold. The Google Assistant waits on the line for you and lets you know when the other person on the phone is ready to talk. The December Pixel drop also brings an ‘Extreme Battery Saver’ mode, which “limits active apps to run the essentials so your battery lasts as long as possible”. You also get group screen sharing feature in Duo video calls that allows everyone on the call to watch the same video.
The December 2020 update also allows Pixel phones to automatically adjust the speaker’s sound equaliser settings based on the environment. This feature is available on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. Pixel phones with 5G support can now switch between 5G and 4G based on the app you’re using to help you save battery life. Essentially, the phone will switch to 5G when watching movies or downloading files, and 4G when browsing the web or sending messages.
Adaptive Charging has also been added to Pixel phones, which helps preserve battery health over time. This feature is available on Pixel 4 and later. Google says the GPS in Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 has been improved for better accuracy. If an app or website is in a different language, Pixel phones can now detect and translate using Google Lens. You will need to take a screenshot or go to App Overview and tap the Lens icon.
Users can also make playlists from their Now Playing history and customise their homescreens with new icons, colours, app shapes, and grid views. There are new wallpapers as well.
The December 2020 update for Pixel phones brings several security fixes for framework, media framework, system, and more. Some of these have ‘high’ and ‘critical’ severity ratings.
Google says that this update will roll out in phases depending on carrier and device. Verizon users with Pixel 3/ XL, Pixel 4a/ Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 will get the update starting December 14.
Additionally, an older report by Android Police states that Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will get one last update in December as they have reached their end of life. Though Google had originally stated that the October 2020 update will be the last for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the report states that the company is promising one last update that includes a final set of critical fixes.
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