In addition to the December security update, Google is introducing a number of new features to its pixel smartphones. We have summarized the most practical new things in the December Feature Drop for you.
Pixel users will not only receive a current security update this month, but also another so-called "Feature Drop" from Google. The keyword accompanying many of the December 2020 updates is "adaptive". Many of the new features are supposed to adapt automatically to the environment or the use of the smartphone.
Google Feature Drop: adaptive features wherever you look
For example, Google has announced enhancements for the "Adaptive Battery". The improvement for Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 is intended to „automatically save even more power if a user is likely to miss their next charge, keeping the device powered even longer“.
Appropriately, Adaptive Charging is supposed to protect the battery by dynamically controlling how fast it is charged. If the smartphone is connected to the charger in the evening and an alarm is set, the adaptive charging controls the charging process. Thus, at first, the battery is charged in a way that is gentle to the battery and accordingly slow; only when it approaches the set alarm, the battery is completely filled. This feature is also available for Pixel 4 and 4a.
The "Extreme Battery Saver" is now also available for older Pixel smartphones starting with Pixel 3. If you activate it, only essential features and selected apps remain active to maximize battery life.
Pixel 5 and 4a (5G): Adaptive Sound detects ambient noise
To improve the sound of the integrated speakers, Google is also introducing Adaptive Sound. The microphones listen to the environment and adjust the equalizer based on this. As an example of changing soundscapes, Google cites listening to music in the morning as you walk from your bedroom to the bathroom. This feature only works with the integrated speakers. The adjustments don't apply to external speakers or headphones.
Also new for the two latest pixel smartphones is an improved GPS reception. For example, it should now be easier to recognize on which side of the street you are. This is especially helpful when calling a taxi or similar service with an app on your smartphone.
Another helpful feature that should help save power is "Adaptive Connectivity". Based on the app currently in use, the smartphones Google Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 4a 5G switch between the respective mobile phone standards. When surfing the web or sending text messages, 4G is sufficient, but if you start a download or stream a video, the 5G connection is activated. This function depends on the provider used and is also not available for all apps.
Furthermore, Pixel devices are now able to recognize when you use an app or website in a foreign language and can translate it with the help of Google Lens. For this translation, it is enough to take a screenshot or swipe to App Overview where you can select Lens.
Pixel Feature Drop: New customization options
But Google has also worked on the look and promises new customization options for the home screen. In the future, several new wallpapers will follow.
However, one of the most helpful features is only available in the USA so far. With "Hold for Me", the smartphone can remain in a phone queue and then notify the caller when a human voice is recognized on the other end. Callers do not have to listen to the possibly long and annoying queue.
The "December Pixel Feature Drop" should be available for all Pixel smartphones in the coming days.