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Home / News / Your Pixel phone, watch, and buds just got better with this free upgrade

Your Pixel phone, watch, and buds just got better with this free upgrade

Google is adding a bunch of new features to its latest Pixel phones, watch, and earbuds through updates. Here's what you'll get

Google Pixel 8a review image showing phone back in hand

Pixel owners, we have good news! Your phone, watch, and buds are getting a bunch of new features thanks to these free updates.

Ok, ok – you’re not supposed to buy a phone on the promise of future features, but Google’s ‘Feature Drops’ are an excellent reason to buy a Pixel device.

These often add extra functionality to your existing smartphone. And it’s not just your smartphone these days, software can add extra goodies to your smartwatch or earbuds these days as well.

For Pixel smartphones

Pixel 8 Feature Drop June 2024

Gemini Nano is reaching the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a. The AI chatbot promises to make your on-device tasks smoother than ever. Just pop into your settings to enable developer options to enable it. Plus, the Recorder app is now powered by Gemini. Summarize in Recorder can deliver more detailed, downloadable summaries on Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel 8a. It even detects and includes speaker names in transcripts. You can export these transcripts to text files or Google Docs.

Love watching movies on your phone but hate the small screen? You can now plug your Pixel 8, 8 Pro, or 8a into a computer monitor via USB-C to watch. Find My Device now works even when your phone’s off or the battery’s completely kaput. Plus, your location data stays encrypted and private from Google. Can’t place a mystery number? Do a reverse phone number search directly from your call log with a few taps. No more guessing games.

The Pixel camera’s HDR+ can now pick out the best moments automatically. Just one shutter press, and you’ve got a photo with everyone’s best faces in focus. No more endless retakes. Pixel phones also now let you manually select which camera lens to use.

For the Pixel Watch

Pixel Watch Feature Drop June 2024

Pixel Watch 2 now gets Car Crash Detection. If you’re in a severe accident, your watch checks in on you and can call emergency services if you don’t respond. It even notifies your emergency contacts with your real-time location. Fall Detection is also improved, especially for those bike spills.

PayPal users can now link their account to Google Wallet on your Pixel Watch. Plus, the Google Home app is now even better on the Pixel Watch. You can control your smart home devices faster and easier right from your wrist. Adjust the temperature, dim the lights, or even control your blinds – all with a tap.

For Pixel Tablet

Pixel Tablet Feature Drop June 2024

Got a Pixel Tablet docked in hub mode? You’ll now see richer doorbell notifications, complete with a snapshot of who’s at your door. Two-way talk and Quick Responses make answering the door a breeze. And, the new Google Home Favourites widget on your tablet or phone home screen offers quick access to your smart home controls. You can adjust the thermostat or turn on the lights with just a tap.

All these features are rolling out from today, to all of these devices. You’ll need to update your Pixel phone and watch wirelessly, which you can do in the Settings app. The buds will then automatically get the update.

Profile image of Connor Jewiss Connor Jewiss


Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home