Alongside the December security patch, Made by Google is closing 2020 with a Pixel Feature Drop. Coming three months after the last release that coincided with Android 11, Pixel phones picks up Adaptive Sound and improved GPS.
Joining Adaptive Battery and Brightness is the ability for your phone to automatically tune audio output from the Pixel’s speakers to your current environment. Adaptive Sound (Pixel 4a 5G+) works by using the “microphone to assess the acoustics near you” and then adjust the equalizer.
This feature might be “less noticeable at higher volumes.” Meanwhile, Adaptive Sound works entirely on-device and mic audio is deleted after local processing. Users can enable/disable at will from the new settings page.
Adaptive Connectivity (Pixel 4a 5G+) works to save battery life by automatically switching from 5G to 4G based on the app you’re using. Google notes this isn’t available on all apps.
It’ll choose 4G for things like browsing the web or sending texts, and switch to 5G when you’re watching movies or downloading large files.”
Adaptive Charging (Pixel 4+) preserves battery health by dynamically controlling charging speed, i.e. charging more slowly over night and finishing before your alarm in the morning goes off. Similarly, there are Adaptive Battery improvements for Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G.
Google is bringing the latest features introduced on the Pixel 5 to the Pixel 3 and later devices. This includes Hold for Me call waiting and Extreme Battery Saver.
The Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are the first devices to benefit from 3D mapping aided corrections that “spectacularly” improve GPS accuracy in cities. Other new features include:
- The App Overview/multitasking screen features a new Lens translation suggestion/chip for apps and websites
- Now Playing can save discovered songs to a YouTube Music playlist
- Duo screen sharing now works in group calls.
The December Pixel Feature Drop will be fully available in the coming days.
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