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Pixels gain underwater shooting smarts, new wallpapers, and more in new update

It's a new month, so get ready for a new Pixel feature drop.

Published onMarch 1, 2021

Google Pixel 5 Camera 1
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google is rolling out new features to current Pixel phones.
  • These features include compatibility with an underwater camera housing, new Recorder functionality, and more.

It’s a new month, so get ready for a new Pixel feature drop. A host of new features is hitting Pixels this month, including new camera tricks and smarter routine recognition.

The first notable tweak comes to the Pixel’s Recorder app. In addition to recording notes and clips to the device, Recorder will now let Pixel owners share links of audio files to others even if recipients don’t own a Pixel themselves. These recordings will also be made available on the Recorder website.

Go scuba diving with your Pixel

google pixel kraken sample 1

While most flagship Pixels feature ingress protection, you can’t really use their cameras underwater unhindered. Google has now announced compatibility with the Kraken Sports KRH04 underwater phone housing. Think of it as a little vacuum scuba suit for the Pixel that will allow users to operate their devices beneath the waves.

The case itself has a depth rating of 80 meters and fits devices measuring 158 x 83 x 9mm. With the housing, Google will give Pixel owners access to key Camera app modes and features, notably Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and Motion Photos.

Read more: The best waterproof phones you can buy

A new Google Fit feature is also heading to Pixel cameras. From next week, Pixel users can measure heart rate and breathing rate through their device’s camera. While it’s not likely the feature will provide results as accurate as wearables, it’s a nifty addition nonetheless.

New customizations, Pixel Stand features, and more

Beyond camera smarts, Pixels also gain new customizations. The phones will gain new wallpapers that celebrate key cultural moments in 2021. This kicks off with International Women’s Day on March 8 with wallpapers that “focus on the strength and transformation of women,” says Google.

google pixel bedtime stand 1

Pixel Stand owners are getting their own feature bump, too. This includes a new seamless nighttime routine with an updated set of notifications and a redesigned bedtime screen. This feature’s limited to Pixels with wireless charging smarts — the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, and Pixel 5.

Finally, Google is broadening the availability of Smart Compose to more messaging apps. For now, it’s only available in the US at present and limited to English.

For a list of all the features hitting Pixels this month, head on over to Google’s full update hub at the link.

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