Google provides recent Pixel smartphones with new features

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Google is releasing a new feature drop for its recent Pixel smartphones. After the update, owners of a Pixel 4 smartphone or newer will be able to record videos in the Night Sight camera mode, for example, to take videos of stars.

Google will make the features available in the June 2021 feature drop , which will also include the “astrophotography videos” feature. Pixel phones already had a Night Sight photo mode; in practice this is a mode in which pictures can be taken with a slow shutter speed, for example for astrophotography. With the new update, users can also record videos of, for example, starry skies in this mode. A photo is still taken in that same mode. The photo and video are both recorded at the same time, then saved to users’ camera rolls. This particular feature will be available to users with a Pixel 4 or newer.

The company is also adding some new privacy features to its Photos service. Users can now lock folders with photos, for example via a PIN code or a fingerprint. Such photos are not stored in the cloud. The feature was already announced at Google I/O 2021 and is gradually being rolled out to Pixel owners.

The Google Assistant will also have the option to record or reject phone calls. Users can do that by saying ‘Hey Google, answer’ or ‘Hey Google’, reject call’. In addition, the Google Gboard keyboard gets a new function that should make it easier to send certain information. When users copy a text that contains a url, phone number or email address, these are shown separately as text suggestions in the clipboard.

Pixel users in Spain, Ireland and Singapore will also gain access to a feature that can detect a car accident. That feature has been known for some time in the US, UK and Australia. The function is incorporated in the Personal Safety app and should, among other things, check whether users are okay after a car accident. The app can also call emergency services if users don’t respond. Furthermore, Pixel owners will receive three new wallpapers in honor of Pride month.

Earlier this month, it was also announced that the June update for certain Google Pixel phones will receive support for Dutch 5G networks. Logically, this only applies to Pixel phones with a 5G modem, such as the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. These smartphones are not officially sold in the Netherlands, but are available at resellers.

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