Google’s new “Feature Drop” program kicks off this month for the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4 smartphones (XL models are also included). There’s a lot you’ll find in this inaugural feature drop — though not all features apply to all Pixel phones —so here’s a quick list of the full batch of features and which phones are getting them.
Portrait Blur filter for Google Photos (all Pixel phones)
This feature will let you apply a depth of field blur to photos to achieve a portrait effect without needing to have taken the photo with portrait mode enabled in the first place.
Automatic call screening (Pixel 4)
Google Assistant has been able to help weed out potential robo and spam calls for a while now, but on Pixel 4 phones, you can have the AI helper automatically recognise and screen these calls. To gets started, pull up your Phone app, tap the triple-dot icon in the upper-right corner, tap on Settings, and pull up the “Spam and Call Screen” menu.
Better Duo video calls (Pixel 4)
The Pixel 4 is getting a host of AI-driven enhancements for Duo video calls, including better face tracking and shot composition, plus the ability to smooth out call quality by predicting the next sounds that may be played when the audio starts to stutter. You’re also going to be able to max out at 90fps for video playback.
The Google Recorder app (Pixel 3, 3a, 2)
Not long ago we mentioned that the previously Pixel 4-exclusive Google Recorder app would be coming to other Pixel devices, and anyone with an officially supported Pixel device can download it now—though users with non-Pixel phones may able to sideload it, too.
Live Caption (Pixel 3, 3a)
Piggybacking off Google Recorder’s presence on more Pixel devices, the Pixel 3 and 3a will now be able to transcribe any videos or audio being played, even when the volume is muted.
Focus Mode (Pixel 3, 3a, 2)
The Digital Wellbeing feature Focus Mode is now coming to the Pixel 3, 3a, and Pixel 2 lines, and can be found and configured in the Digital Wellbeing app. Get back to work by silencing apps that would otherwise try to steal your attention.
“Flip to Shhh” (Pixel 2)
Pixel 2 devices can now be placed face-down to turn off notifications. You’ll find the setting in the Digital Wellbeing app, too
Updated Google Assistant for Pixel 4 users in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and Singapore.
Portrait Mode for Duo calls (Pixel 4, 3, 2)
Updated Google maps performance and accuracy on Pixel 4.
Better memory management on all Pixel devices.
To download all of the additions in the first feature drop, make sure your Android OS is up to date by going to Settings > Security > Check for an update. Make sure you’ve also updated your Google apps via the Play Store’s My Apps and Games section.
Some of these features will be rolling out in stages over the coming weeks, so it may still be a few days before they start appearing on your device. As for future feature drops, we’re not sure what the schedule is, but we’ll keep you in the know about any noteworthy updates.