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Home / News / This free Pixel update brings more features to your Google smartphone

This free Pixel update brings more features to your Google smartphone

Thanks to this free update, your Pixel smartphone is getting a lot smarter with features like 10-bit HDR video and Circle to Search.

Pixel Drop March 24

While you’re never supposed to buy a phone on the promise of future features, software updates often add extra functionality to your existing smartphone. And good news! Pixel smartphone owners are getting a bunch of new features thanks to this free update.

Google’s much-anticipated Circle to Search feature is finally making its grand entrance beyond the Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 series, landing on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. This nifty trick lets you circle or squiggle away on your screen to launch a Google search faster than you can say “Oi, Google!”

The smartphone giant is also rolling out the red carpet for app-specific screen recording. Now, you can share your screen shenanigans without accidentally revealing your embarrassing notification from Mum. This gem is available from the Pixel 5a onwards, including the Pixel Tablet. Switching Bluetooth earbuds between your myriad of Google gadgets is now smoother, thanks to a new “Previously used with Account” option.

But wait, there’s more! For those who fancy themselves a bit of a Spielberg or Ansel Adams, the Pixel 8 and 7 series are getting camera and video upgrades. Now you can upload Ultra HDR images and 10-bit HDR videos to Instagram, making your cat photos and lunch snaps pop more than ever. Call Screen is getting a smidge smarter, too. If someone’s giving you the silent treatment, your phone can now prod them with a “Hello?”

Android tablets are getting a floating voice typing keyboard, making it less of a pain to dictate your next novel or angry forum post. It’s like having a tiny secretary you can shove around your screen. Don’t think Google’s forgotten about its wrist candy. The first-gen Pixel Watch is getting some love with new fitness features, including pace and heart zone training. It’s like having a personal trainer on your wrist, minus the shouting.

Google is rolling out these new features to Pixel smartphones from today, so you’ll see them hit your device very soon. Those in the US will have to wait until 11 March to see the update, however. You will need to update your handset first via Settings to get them.

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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

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