I’ll be honest. Today might be the worst day for a non-Apple company to drop a raft of mobile operating system updates. But I suppose a Google Pixel feature drop waits for no one, Tim Cook and Company included — even if it means dropping a blog post the exact moment the WWDC 2022 keynote kicks off.
For owners of the Pixel 4 through 6/6 Pro, however, rejoice, because you’ve got some stuff to celebrate today, too. There’s a wide range of features on-board here, including the ability to add directly to the homepage a shortcut to a vaccine card screen shot. Given that COVID numbers are steadily rising in a number of areas, it’s a nice little feature to help you avoid the panicked search for the shot when you’re in the front of the line. That’s available in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
The previously beta-tested Conversation Mode is coming to Google’s Sound Amplier, designed to help filter out ambient sounds for people with hearing loss. The user holds up the phone, pointing the camera at the subject, and the phone will use on-board machine learning to amplify their voice and filter out the background.
Google’s also partnered with design firm Teenage Engineering for a new app called Pocket Operator, which offers quick and easy music and video editing on the fly, adding sounds, effects and beats. It’s available as a download from the Play Store for Pixel 5 and later.
Other new features include a reminder that pings you when you accidentally leave your flashlight on (you know who you are), as well as a Nest doorbell video feed directly on the lockscreen. Google’s also introduced a new collection of wallpaper for Pride Month.
A new air quality alert feature is in the works, meanwhile, currently listed as “coming soon” for the U.S., India and Australia.