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Google's latest Pixel feature drop is here. Check out what's new

Both Pixel phones and the Pixel Watch are gaining new features and capabilities with the latest update.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
Pixel 7 Pro in hand with ZDNET's website
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Google on Tuesday announced its latest feature drop for Pixel phones and the Pixel Watch

This update includes a new batch of features aimed at improving both devices. 

Also: Change this one Pixel setting for dramatically better sounding music

Google releases quarterly feature updates that add core features to the Pixel phone, and recently, Google started including its first Google-branded wearable, the Pixel Watch, in the regular feature updates. 

Here's everything Google announced for the Pixel phones and Pixel Watch in the latest feature drop. 

Pixel drop features in June 2023

What's coming to Pixel phones?

Over the coming weeks, Pixel phones will gain several new features -- some of which are limited to specific devices, which I'll note below. 

As for all Pixel phones, you can expect to gain Google's new cinematic wallpapers that turn standard 2D pictures into 3D images for a more immersive wallpaper. Speaking of wallpapers, Google announced new Emoji Wallpapers during the Google I/O keynote, and they're officially launching with the latest feature drop. 

Also: 7 Google Pixel phone settings you should change immediately

Google Assistant is getting a new Safety Check feature that allows you to schedule a safety check between 15 minutes or 8 hours into the future. The check will alert your emergency contacts of the duration and a reason for it if you provided one. At the end of the scheduled time, Google Assistant will ask if you're safe. You can then mark yourself safe, start sharing your location with your pre-selected contacts or have Google Assistant call for emergency help. 

Google also made improvements to the Pixel's car crash detection feature by not only alerting first responders of a detected accident, but also now sending your location to your emergency contacts. 

The Pixel's Recorder app will soon let you label speakers, then search the recording for a specific speaker or export the transcription to Google Docs, as well as create speaker-labeled video clips of a recording. 

Also: Change this Pixel 7 Pro setting for far better video quality instantly  

The Pixel 7 Pro camera app is getting a new Macro Focus video feature that enables close-up video, and not just photos. If you have a Pixel 6 or newer, you'll also gain the ability to raise your palm while framing a photo and start a countdown to snap the picture. 

Pixel Watch drop features in June 2023

What's coming to the Pixel Watch?

Google's Pixel Watch is gaining a few key features with the latest update. 

The Watch will now auto-pause a run, walk, or bike ride when it detects you've stopped, be it at a stoplight or when you need a break. It'll then auto-resume when you start moving again. 

Also: Forget the Pixel Watch: This $350 Android has a sportier look and superior battery life

Additionally, the Pixel Watch will start tracking your blood oxygen (Sp02) levels while you sleep, and you will start to receive high and low heart rate notifications from the Watch, letting you know if your heart rate goes above or below your typical heart rate range. 

As is usually the case with Google updates, not all of these features will be immediately available. They're starting to roll out now and ultimately can take a couple of weeks before they reach your Pixel phone or Watch.

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