A new software update for the Google Pixel 4 adds a slew of new perks, like more Motion Sense gestures, while expanding crash detection to the UK and Australia. Plus, more of its extras are filtering down to older Pixel phones.
Crash detection was one of the more exciting features to launch with the Google Pixel 4: through the Personal Safety app, the phone would use its accelerometer and other sensors to detect whether a collision had occurred and ask the owner whether emergency services needed to be called – and if it gets no response, the phone will share location and other info with emergency responders. That perk was first available in the US, but will now roll out to Pixel 4 users in Australia (000) and the UK (999).
The other Pixel 4 software additions are an erratic mix. Selfies will have better depth effects, Duo video calls get more AR effects that follow your facial expressions, and UI tweaks like improvements to adaptive brightness that make it easier to see the display in bright light. The Motion Sense feature can now be used to pause and resume songs via a ‘tapping’ aerial gesture.
The Pixel 4’s Google Pay interactions are getting more intelligent. Now you can hold the power button to rotate through connected debit/credit cards, event tickets, boarding passes, and so on. This will be available to Pixel 4 users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Taiwan, and Singapore for now – though it’s unclear if this is also rolling out to older Pixel phones (we’ve asked Google for clarification).
- Need a refresher? Check out our Google PIxel 4 review for all its current extras
- Do all these perks sound exciting? Perhaps they’ll come to other phones in Android 11
- They’ll almost certainly be in the upcoming Google Pixel 4a budget flagship
What about older Pixels?
Older Pixel phones aren’t left out of this one. The Pixel 4, Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3a are getting smarter Google Pay features, like the ability to recognize boarding pass barcodes in screenshots and then provide the user with real-time flight updates.
Live Caption, a key Pixel 4 feature that captions audio and video on the fly, will begin rolling out to Google Pixel 2 owners as well. And, finally, Pixel phones are getting 169 new emoji to use, including many more gender options and skin tones in couple combinations to, as Google puts it, “better reflect the world around us.” Cheers to this long-overdue addition.