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Google’s Pixel phone, watch and buttons are being armed with next-generation smart tools as the Mountain View-headquartered company desperately tries to bridge the gap with its close competitors.
The much-anticipated December 2022 Pixel Feature Drop is finally out! Just like every other Pixel Feature Drop, the December 2022 one is also aimed at improving the overall Pixel experience in many ways.
For a while now, Google has been unleashing a Pixel Feature Drop, once every four months. The main idea behind the quarterly Pixel Feature Drop is to do away with the long wait for the next big Android release to add more firepower to your Pixel gear.
However, the latest Google Pixel Feature Drop clearly stands out among the crowd of Pixel Feature Drops that have come so far. Google themselves say that it is their ‘biggest to date’. It has unveiled the next generation of smart tools that are going to open up new horizons in your Pixelverse experience.
Meanwhile, this Google Pixel Feature Drop will mark the first of its kind for the Google Pixel Watch. Interestingly, devices as early as the Pixel 4a to as recent as the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro will enjoy the huge boost that comes in the form of the Pixel Feature Drop in December 2022. Let’s dive deeper to find out what’s in store.
December 2022 Pixel Feature Drop: The Silent Explosion
Typically, the quarterly Pixel Feature Drops overlap with the rollout of the monthly Android security updates. This time too is no exception, as we already have the much-needed Android December Security Patch, which takes care of many bug fixes and fixes a number of long-awaited security issues.
The latest Google Pixel Feature Drop happens to be a bomb that was quietly dropped by Google and ensures that you have an absolutely amazing experience with your favorite Pixel devices – be it Google Pixel phones, watches or even buds. Here’s a closer look at the new features and major changes along with the detailed discussion of all other important aspects surrounding them.
Growing concerns about browsers
Recently, privacy has become a growing concern globally. The headache seems perfectly fine when we look at the latest wave of data breach cases – data theft, cyber fraud, hacking, phishing. Just a few days ago we came over new Android malware Schoolyard Bully Trojan, which has been active since 2018 and has already affected more than 300,000 devices. Zimperium zLabs discovered that they have been aggressively targeting Facebook accounts worldwide.
The shocking events that massive Deribit Hack, which went on to wipe out $28 million, has made users even more skeptical of the security system of their respective devices. Moreover, this comes amid the undercurrents that began building since the cybersecurity giant Kaspersky Labs warned us through a searing report that more than 90% of global businesses are ill-equipped to deal with the next wave of cyber threats.
We have to remember that most of the users don’t use any kind of antivirus on their smartphones these days, forget smartwatches. Although there are actually some useful data cleaning tools which protects your browsing data from possible phishing attacks or other potential hacking incidents in the case of laptops and desktops, the options are quite limited when it comes to smartphones. With people increasingly opting for digital transactions through their smartphones, the risk of such scams only increases.
Secure browsing with VPN from Google One
In such a scenario, both Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro will now be strengthened with VPN by Google One. This is one of the most important changes that happened thanks to the December 2022 Pixel Feature Drop.
Much to the delight of Pixel users, it would be available without an extra penny. Google claims with absolute firmness that “your online activity is protected at the network level no matter what app or browser you use.” Brilliantly designed, Google One VPN is designed to give you the ultra edge when you’re otherwise stuck in network traffic. It could be a coffee shop or an airport lounge, but you can rest assured.
Also, Google One VPN blesses you with an extra layer of online protection. Basically, it’s going to mask your traffic and IP address, reduce web tracking, and provide security on public Wi-Fi and other unsecured networks, which reveal your identity and leave you easily vulnerable. Therefore, it streamlines your web browsing and keeps potential phishing, digital fraud and other cyber threats at bay.
Enhanced security and privacy settings
This happens to be another extremely important area that has gone through a much needed massive upgrade. In recent times, many reports and research studies have sounded the alarm bells when it comes to security and privacy settings. Courtesy of the latest Google Pixel Feature Drop, you can actually review your security and privacy settings, risk levels, and other information together.
This one-stop solution makes it very easy to protect your phone, accounts and passwords. In addition to all these, it includes a new series of action cards that will alert you to all kinds of security threats and give you simple steps to increase your privacy and security.
Therefore, you can rest assured and explore the vast functionality of your Pixel device.
Crystal clear conversations
Even with the most expensive phones available in the market at our disposal, we face problems of not hearing the person on the other end properly. These days, headphones or earbuds with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) features are nothing new. Sometimes they become very useful to remove your background noise while you are in a conversation.
But what about the other side? This is still a problem, and in case the person on the other end happens to be in a crowded area, you fail to engage in proper communication with them. This time too, Google Pixel Feature Drop comes to the rescue.
To deliver a clear calling experience, it has an ace up its sleeve – the all-new Tensor G2. Thanks to the highly advanced technology of the Tensor G2, it can stretch its limits to pull off the incredible! It becomes able to enhance the voice of the other caller and reduce their background noise, which is truly remarkable and unheard of.
Therefore, you can now enjoy hearing the other person’s voice clearly, even if they are in a noisy place. We must not forget that despite so many upgrades and new features, the basic purpose of having a mobile is still to make calls. Most importantly, since the arrival of the pandemic, online meetings have become an integral part of the new normal. Therefore, in a nutshell, this new item ticks one, if not the most important box, without problems and removes many worries.
This is an absolute gem of a feature and will be of immense help to students, researchers, journalists and even business people. Pixel’s recorder was widely celebrated and highly regarded for its array of exciting features.
With the December 2022 Pixel Feature Drop, it has gotten even sharper to identify and label each speaker and insert line breaks when the speaker changes. You can now record an interview, meeting, seminar, lecture or conversation with each person who is marked individually. Google claims that after this massive Pixel Feature Drop, their Pixel gear — be it phones, watches, or buds — will be able to perform this task with inch-perfect precision.
Interestingly, this unique feature uses machine learning to process speaker tagging live and on-device. That’s why you can watch it work while you record. And as soon as the recording is over, you can easily tag speakers with their respective names.
Ensure quality sleep
Several studies have revealed that our mental stress has only increased in the last couple of years, especially after the pandemic. One thing that has been suggested time and time again by doctors and scientists as a good remedy for this is none other than quality sleep. The total duration of sleep may well vary greatly from the amount of quality sleep achieved.
Now Pixel Watch will be seamlessly compatible with Fitbit Sleep Profile. Therefore, you can gain fascinating useful insights into your sleep cycle and take the necessary measures. The Fitbit Premium feature takes 10 different aspects of sleep into account—including duration, bedtime consistency, and disruption—to depict your patterns with one of six sleep animals.
If you wear your Pixel Watch to bed for at least 14 nights in a given month, you’ll be able to check your stats on the very first day of the following month. This way you can have your sleep measurements and keep track of them regularly. You can also consult your doctor if there are discrepancies in the results.
More room for customization
With the December 2022 Pixel Feature Drop, you can customize your Pixel phone with three new wallpapers from Curated Culture to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities. These are brilliantly illustrated by artist, poet, podcaster and author Morgan Harper Nichols, who has drawn inspiration from real-life interactions and stories.
The newly minted Live Bloom wallpaper collection is also there, bringing your Pixel screen to life with images that shift and sway the moment your phone moves.
Meanwhile, customize your wrist with a range of new tiles for popular apps to keep important information just a swipe away. Google has also added the Sunrise/Sunset tile from the Weather app to help you better manage your day at dawn and dusk.
The Contacts app has also undergone significant changes and staying in touch with your near and dear ones has become a cakewalk. You can now pin up to five contacts from your favorites so you can easily call or text them and view their contact details with a single tap.
More to follow
In January 2023, if your Pixel phone is paired with Pixel Buds Pro, head-tracking spatial audio support will be unlocked. Therefore, you will be able to dive into an immersive audiovisual experience, which seems to be a paradise for film enthusiasts.