Google’s Pixel phones get security updates every month. But at the end of every quarter, the company also rolls out a Feature Drop containing several new features and enhancements.
With the June 2023 Feature Drop, Google is adding several useful new options to its Pixel phones, including a palm timer for selfies, smarter car crash detection with live-location sharing, and more. Find everything new for your Pixel phone in the June 2023 Feature Drop below.
Improved Car Crash Detection
Starting with the 2018 Pixel 3, all Google phones have built-in car crash detection. If your Pixel detects you are involved in a car crash, it will automatically call the emergency services and share your location with them.
Google is making this feature even better with the June 2023 Pixel Feature Drop. Besides contacting the emergency services, your Pixel will automatically share your real-time location and call status with your pre-specified emergency contacts.
This small improvement will help your loved ones know whether you are safe, giving them peace of mind. And with location sharing, they can get to you as soon as possible.
Even better, you can now ask Google Assistant to start a safety check. All you need to say is, “Hey Google, start a safety check for 30 minutes.” If you don’t respond to the safety check-in notification within half an hour, your phone will inform your emergency contacts and share your real-time location with them.
Record Macro Videos
Like recent Pro iPhones, the Google Pixel 7 Pro’s 12MP ultrawide camera features macro focus capability. But while you can record macro videos on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro, the Pixel 7 Pro was only limited to photos.
This is changing with the June 2023 Feature Drop, as it enables macro video recording functionality on the 7 Pro. You can now shoot very close-up clips on your phone.
Palm Timer in the Camera
On the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series, you can show your palm while taking a photo to start a timer, after which a picture will be automatically taken. This will make taking group selfies a lot easier.
Samsung already offers a similar palm shutter option on its Galaxy phones—just turn the timer setting on first, then hold up your palm to the screen, and it’ll begin.
Emoji and Cinematic Wallpapers
Using its AI prowess, your Pixel phone will turn your 2D wallpapers into dynamic 3D shots with an added depth effect post the June 2023 Feature Drop. This will add a pop effect to your home screen and make the app shortcuts stand out.
Emoji Wallpapers is another new option, allowing you to mix and match over 4,000 emojis in different patterns and colors to create a unique live wallpaper for your Pixel phone. These were both among the AI features coming to Android that were shown off at Google I/O.
Recorder Gets Smarter
Pixel phones ship with one of the best voice recorder apps for Android. Thanks to the Tensor chip and its machine learning and AI capabilities, Google’s Recorder app can transcribe your recordings in real-time, and is even able to identify multiple speakers. With the June 2023 Feature Drop, you can export transcripts directly into Google Docs for easy sharing.
Further, you can search for a speaker in a recording, with the app now also capable of generating speaker-labeled video clips.
Pixel Feature Drops are among the best parts of Google’s phones as they regularly add new features to your phone months after its release.
Pixel Watch Gets Better As Well
The June 2023 Pixel Feature Drop also adds new features to the Google Pixel Watch.
First, the update activates the SpO2 sensor, enabling the watch to track your blood oxygen levels while you sleep. Second, taking a cue from some of the best Android and iPhone watches, the Pixel Watch will provide high and low heart rate notifications.
As a part of the update, Google Assistant’s availability is expanding to more languages and locales on the Pixel Watch.
Lastly, Google’s watch is getting better at tracking your runs and bike workouts. It will automatically pause workout tracking when you take a short break and then resume recording when you start again. If you use your Pixel Watch to track your run times, this change will ensure you get more accurate recordings now.
Get the Update Now
Apart from all the features mentioned above, the June 2023 Pixel Feature Drop packs several bug fixes and minor improvements. The update is rolling out in batches, so it may not show up immediately on your phone.
You can always try to download it manually on your Pixel from Settings > System > System Update. And if that does not work, download the OTA file from Google’s developer site and sideload it manually.