Last updated on December 15, 2019
New features are coming to the Google Pixel 4 and earlier generations of the Pixel series. Unlike other phone-makers, Google Pixel owners need not have to wait for the next device to enjoy the upgrades. A software update is all it takes to unlock new features.
I can’t help but liken such software-based upgrades to Project Ara, which was a modular phone that Google was building before it was cancelled.
So what’s new on Pixel 4 and the other generation of Pixels?
Pixel 4 users in Singapore will now have an all-new Google Assistant in English. What’s new about it is that your requests can now be processed directly on your device than having to bounce it off the cloud before Google Assistant can respond to your request. In short, faster reaction time. In technical term, on-prem functionality.
Google also had the Assistant redesigned to take up less real estate on your screen so that you can multi-task across other apps without the AI being in your face.
The Natural Language Processing (NLP) of Assistant also got an upgrade in understanding the context of our query. An example that Google gave was that you can tell the Assistant to pull out photos of you at a location, be specific about the type of photo you are looking for and send it to your loved ones all by giving the command.
“Hey Google, show my photos from Bali, the ones of the beach and send it to Mum.”
Unfortunately, Call Screen is still not coming to Singapore. Not sure why. But it’s still worth mentioning and salivating over.
With the new update, Call Screen can now auto-screen unknown callers and filter out detected robocalls before your phone rings. If they do ring, it means they are not robocalls and the screen will display the context of who’s on the other end and why they are calling.
C’mon, Google. You know we want this feature. We are plagued with all these spam calls. Please?
For users of other Pixel phones, not to worry, Google is still giving you tonnes of love and attention through the Pixel feature drop. It’s a thing.
Few of the new experiences you will see on your older versions of Pixel phones include:
- turning a photo into a portrait image after taking the photo;
- enhancing video calling experience on Duo; and
- the arrival of the much-raved about Recorder app that you can download off the Google Play Store.
To enjoy these perks, ensure that you have the latest version of Android and update your software as and when it’s available.