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PIXEL FEATURE DROP BREAKDOWN

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Don’t panic if you haven’t seen Google’s December Feature drop for Pixel phones yet, it can take a couple of weeks to rollout worldwide. It’s already started but depending on the carrier and device – you might be waiting a few extra days. But the wait will be worth it, as I explained to Jaynie Seal on Sky News Weekend Edition in the video above.

Although the Pixel 8 Pro is the star of the December rollout, there are plenty of other Pixels that will receive updates – Pixel 5a (5G), Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a, Pixel 7/7 Pro/7a,  Pixel 8/8 Pro, Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet and Pixel Watch.

Djuro Sen explains the key features dropped by Google this week on Sky News Australia

The key is making sure you are up-to-date with Android 14 now. Those with a Pixel 8 Pro will get the best out of this update thanks to Google’s new three-level AI model, Gemini Ultra, Pro and Nano. The Pixel 8 Pro will operate with Gemini Nano. Nano is Google’s most efficient model built for on-device tasks and the Pixel 8 Pro is the first smartphone engineered for Gemini Nano.

December Feature Drop Availability for Pixel Devices

As you can see at the top of the table above, the Pixel 8 Pro has three updates the other devices miss out on. It uses the Google Tensor G3 to deliver two expanded features: Summarise in Recorder and Smart Reply in Gboard. Gemini Nano running on Pixel 8 Pro offers several advantages by design, helping prevent sensitive data from leaving the phone, as well as offering the ability to use features without a network connection. In addition to Gemini Nano now running on-device, the broader family of Gemini models will unlock new capabilities for the Assistant with Bard experience early next year on Pixel.

PIXEL DECEMBER FEATURE DROP

Summarise in Recorder

Gemini Nano now powers Summarise in the Recorder app on Pixel 8 Pro. Get a summary of your recorded conversations, interviews, presentations and more — even without a network connection.

Smart Reply in Gboard

Gemini Nano is starting to power Smart Reply in Gboard as a developer preview. Available now to try with WhatsApp and coming to more apps next year, the on-device AI model saves you time by suggesting high-quality responses with conversational awareness.

Video Boost


Video Boost on Pixel 8 Pro uploads your videos to the cloud where computational photography models adjust color, lighting, stabilisation and graininess. You’ll still have an HD copy on your phone while Google’s servers worth their magic. This could take several days to process.

Video Boost also enables Night Sight video on Pixel 8 Pro, which uses AI to apply noise reduction to videos recorded at night or in low-light conditions.

Night Sight in Time Lapse

You’ll be able to record impressive timelapse videos in low light with Night Sight in Time Lapse on Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Find something to rest the phone against, or use a tripod for best results.

Portrait Light

Portrait light in Google Photos uses a new AI model to easily remove harsh shadows. Unless you’re being creative, shadows are enemy of perfect portraits.

Photo Unblur

Photo Unblur is now better at sharpening images of dogs and cats. It will work on new or old images.

Pixel Webcam

Laptop webcams are simply the worst cameras ever! Now you can use your Pixel to lift your online meeting game. Connect your Pixel 6 and newer phones to a laptop or desktop via USB.

Clean Fearture

Pixel’s new Clean feature can help remove smudges, stains and creases from scanned documents. Simply access it through the Camera app to transform your images with a few swipes. Looks very cool.

Passkeys

Google Password Manager can identify which of your accounts support passkeys and help you add them with just a few taps.

Repair Mode

Repair Mode keeps your data safe and private when repairs are needed. There’s no need to wipe your Pixel before sending it device to a repair shop or taking it in for service.

Unlock with Pixel Watch

Pixel Watch has a new feature that helps you unlock your phone with more ease. You’ll be able to use your Pixel Watch to unlock your Pixel phone when it’s nearby. Very handy when it’s a pain to use face unlock or your fingerprint.

Surround yourself with sound

Pixel Tablet now supports spatial audio . Try it through your speakers first, then pair your Pixel Buds Pro to experience spatial audio with head tracking for truly immersive sound.

More Customisation

Wake up knowing exactly what to expect for your day with the addition of weather conditions and daily forecasts to the World Clock tab in the Clock app and within widgets.

Updates for First-Gen Pixel Watch

Sync your Do Not Disturb and Bedtime Modes from one device to the other, like you can with Pixel Watch 2. Plus, the new watch face designs (like Adventure and Analog Arcs) and updated complication styles (like arcs and redesigned bulbs) are now available for your smartwatch.

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