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Google feature drop brings Pixel 5 features to older phones

You'll even get some Mandalorian wallpaper.

Published onDecember 7, 2020

google pixel 5 features coming to 3 4 in drop
  • Google is releasing a feature drop that brings Pixel 5 features to older models.
  • The new photo editor, Extreme Battery Saver, Hold for Me, and Duo screen sharing are included.
  • You’ll also get new The Mandalorian wallpapers as an extra treat.

You won’t need to buy a Pixel 5 or 4a 5G to get some of Google’s latest software tricks. Google is rolling out a December feature drop that has many Pixel 5 features coming to Pixel 3 and newer phones (including the Pixel 4), plus an extra treat for The Mandalorian fans.

You’ll get the promised Extreme Battery Saver mode to wring out additional battery life at the expense of limiting apps and other power-chewing elements. The updated Google Photos editor uses AI to suggest edits you can make with a single tap. Adaptive Sound improves your phone speaker output based on ambient noise, and Google Duo now supports screen sharing for group calls. The Assistant-powered Hold for Me, meanwhile, can save you the hassle of listening to wait music during support calls.

See also: Google Pixel 4a review

Other coming features are specific to the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. GPS location finding will be more accurate on foot. Your phone can also detect when a site or app is using a non-native language and offer a Google Lens translation. Adaptive Battery should save more power if you’re likely to miss your next top-up, and Adaptive Charging (similar to what you find on iOS) extends your phone’s battery health by controlling charge speed based on your alarms. Adaptive Connectivity can add battery life by dropping to LTE when you don’t need 5G’s raw speed.

And yes, Mandalorian fans will be happy with Google’s latest Pixel feature drop. Everyone using a Pixel 3 and later can customize the backdrop with new wallpapers from the Star Wars series, including at least one starring everyone’s favorite Force-wielding child.

More icons, grid views and app shapes are available, and you can set wallpapers based on famous art found in Google Arts & Culture. If you listen to music often, Now Playing’s song recognition can export your history to a YouTube Music playlist.

The Pixel 5’s features are coming to the 3 and 4 series just weeks after Google’s initial release. While there are still incentives to buy the newer phones, the Google feature drop makes it clear that your older Pixel can remain largely relevant thanks to software.

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