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First Pixel Feature Drop of 2024 has arrived and here's what's included

Google also announced a new colorway for the Pixel 8 series.

Published onJanuary 24, 2024

Google logo boot Pixel 8
Damien Wilde / Android Authority
  • Google is rolling out the first Pixel Feature Drop of the year.
  • Pixel phones will be getting new AI, health, and other features.
  • Google also announced a new Mint colorway for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Pixel phones are about to get some new handy features in the first Pixel Feature Drop of 2024. Some of the features will be exclusive to the Pixel 8 series, while others will be available to older Pixel devices as well. If you have a non-Google phone, it’s not uncommon for some features to find their way to other Android devices, but you’ll need to wait for that to happen.

On a slight tangent, Google also announced a new colorway that will be added to the Pixel 8 series lineup. The new color is called Mint and it’s available for order on the Google Store.

Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 8
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 8
Bright display • Upgraded face-unlock • Improved camera
MSRP: $699.00
A bright display from Google's 2023 flagship phone
The Google Pixel 8 introduces the new Actua display, a 6.2-inch panel that's 42% brighter than the Pixel 7. Backed by the fully updated Tensor G3 chipset, and a new 50MP camera, this promises to be one of the more exciting Pixel phones.

Bringing the focus back to the Feature Drop, Google says the new features will start rolling out today and will continue over the next few weeks. Here is everything you can expect, starting with the Pixel 8 series.

Pixel 8 series exclusive updates

google pixel 8 pro bay blue camera
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

In December’s Pixel Feature Drop, the Pixel 8 Pro received two exclusive features. The same will be true for this Feature Drop. However, the vanilla Pixel 8 will get at least one of these features this time around. Here’s what is coming exclusively to the Pixel 8 series:

  • Medical-grade body temperature measurements/Fitbit integration (Pixel 8 Pro): You may have forgotten it exists, but the Pixel 8 Pro has a temperature sensor and an app that goes with it. Google has been seeking approval from the FDA to use the sensor for body temperature measurements, and the company finally has it. You can now take medical-grade body temperature measurements, as well as save your readings to your Fitbit profile.
  • Circle to Search (Pixel 8 Pro/Pixel 8): First announced at Galaxy Unpacked earlier this month, Circle to Search is heading to the Pixel 8 series on January 31. By long pressing the home button/navigation bar, you can circle, highlight, tap, or scribble over what you see on your screen to search for more information without leaving the app you’re on.
  • Magic Compose (Pixel 8 Pro/Pixel 8): The Google Messages app is getting a generative AI feature that will rewrite drafted messages in different styles. You can use this new tool to make your messages sound more professional, dramatic, and more. This feature will work on-device for the Pixel 8 Pro, while it will be a cloud AI feature for other devices.

Features coming to other Pixel devices

google pixel 8 pro 8 7 pro 7 stack pastel colors 2
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

While the focus is mostly on Google’s latest flagships, older Pixel devices are getting some love, too. These are the rest of the features that are included in January’s Feature Drop:

  • Photomoji (Pixel 3a and up): In addition to Magic Compose, Google Messages is also getting a feature called Photomoji. This feature was previously available for users who are a part of the beta tester program, but it is now being released to the public. With Photomoji, you can transform a photo into a reaction by hitting Create and selecting an image from the media picker.
  • Quick Share (Android 6 and up/Chrome OS version 91 and up/64-bit Windows 10 and up): Nearby Share, the feature you use to share files between your phone and other devices quickly, was recently rebranded to Quick Share. That update is now coming to Pixel phones with the new Quick Share icon.
  • Audio Switch (Pixel Watch/Pixel Watch 2/Pixel Tablet/Pixel 5a and up): The Pixel Buds Pro is able to automatically connect when you switch between paired devices. This feature is coming to the Pixel Watch and now allows the earbuds to switch seamlessly between your Pixel Watch, Pixel Watch 2, Pixel Tablet, or Pixel phone. Additionally, users now get notifications about where their audio is switching to.

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