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December Pixel feature drop incoming: Here's what's new across Google's devices
- Google has released the December 2022 Pixel feature drop.
- The company says it’s the biggest feature release to date.
- The update is going out to the Pixel 4a through to the Pixel 7 and the Pixel Watch.
The December Pixel feature drop has landed with several new features for Pixel phones and the Pixel Watch. This is the fourth and final Pixel feature drop for the year, with previous ones rolled out in March, June, and September. However, this is the first feature push for Google’s smartwatch.
Pixel phone features
Clear Calling is another feature exclusive to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that Google mentions in the December feature drop. It rolled out for beta users in October and will now be available to everyone with a Pixel 7 phone. The feature helps reduce ambient noise during phone calls for enhanced voice clarity.
Some Pixel users started seeing Speaker Labels in the Recorder app a few days ago. Google is now pushing out the feature more widely by making it a part of the December drop. With Speaker Labels, the Recorder app on Pixels can identify individual speakers in real time and label them with different colors and shapes. Once again, this is a Pixel 7 series exclusive.
Another new feature is a new unified hub (pictured above) for all security and privacy settings, risk levels, and other related information. You’ll notice new action cards that notify you of any safety risks on your Pixel phones and tell you how to enhance your privacy and safety.
Lastly, new wallpapers (see below) are incoming with a curated culture refresh to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities.
In addition to the above, Google also announced that Spatial Audio is coming to Pixel phones in January. Your Pixel phones will support the surround sound listening feature when paired with the Pixel Buds Pro. Other Pixel features like Cough and Snore detection and Live Chat Translate will also expand to more regions and languages.
The Pixel 4a and newer phones are also getting the Voice Messages Transcription feature in Messages as well as a more powerful search experience.
Pixel Watch features
The Pixel Watch is getting some useful updates. Once again, some of these features have already landed on the Google smartwatch, including Fitbit Sleep Profile, which gives you deeper insights into their sleeping habits. Google says if you started using the feature when it first rolled out in November, you’ll now be able to see your sleep animal, a creature that represents what kind of sleeper you are.
New Wear OS Tiles for Weather and Contacts are also headed to the Pixel Watch. The former will get sunset/sunrise tiles to help you plan your day better, while the latter will let you pin up to five contacts from your favorites so you can call or text them with just a tap.
Elsewhere, Google noted that the Pixel Watch will get an Apple Watch-like Fall Detection feature sometime in 2023. It’ll automatically contact emergency services if you take a hard fall or become unresponsive.