When Google says they’re bringing a lot of new and bigger things and improvements with the Pixel feature drops, they apparently mean business. In the first one that they are officially releasing, Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and especially Pixel 4 users will be able to enjoy several new things like new ways to create portraits using your device’s camera, improved Duo calls, automatic screening to avoid robocalls and lots of other new things that will improve your Made by Google experience.

Creating portraits with your smartphone camera is pretty easy nowadays. With the update to compatible Pixel devices, you’ll be able to still create a portrait even after you’ve already taken the photo. You’ll get a more artistic-looking photo by using the Portrait Blur feature in Google Photos. For Pixel phones, you’ll now be able to let your Google Assistant screen your calls to avoid the super annoying robocalls. And if it’s not, you’ll get a ring a few seconds later with more information on who’s calling you.

If you’re using Duo to make video calls on your Pixel 4, there are also some improvements here with the Pixel feature drop. It now has auto-framing where your face is always centered when making your video calls even if you’re moving around. The camera also adjusts if another person joins you in the call. If during your call you get spotty audio, it will predict the “likely next sound” so the conversation continues. Choppiness is also reduced on your video feed because of the Smooth Display of the Pixel 4.

If you have a Pixel 2 or Pixel 3 (or a Pixel 4 of course), you will also now be able to apply a portrait filter in your Duo video call. The older Pixel devices also get several improvements with this feature drop. The Recorder is now available for the older generations while Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a get the Live Caption feature. Focus Mode is also now available in the Digital Wellbeing section where you can set a schedule and take a break from the mode if needed.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will have Flip to Shhh in its Digital Wellbeing. Pixel 4 users in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, and Australia will finally have the new Google Assistant but it’s only available in English. Pixel 4 users now have on-device computing for their Google Maps so they get better location quality. Lastly, all Pixel devices get an update in its memory management with this first Pixel feature drop.


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