Google’s latest Pixel feature drop, where the company brings a slew of new software tricks to its smartphone lineup, is being announced today. Alongside some brand-new functionality like Adaptive Sound, which “improves the sound quality of your phone speaker based on your surroundings,” the December drop is also bringing many of the latest software features from the Pixel 5, 4A 5G, and 4A to older devices; Google says the Pixel 3 and newer will be included.
That means features like Hold for Me, where the Google Assistant waits for a real person to hop on the customer support line instead of making you do it, and others like Extreme Battery Saver mode and screen sharing on Duo calls will soon hit older devices.
Extreme Battery Saver seemed like an over-correction from the company after last year’s Pixel 4 and 4 XL got average (at best) battery life; this year’s Pixels all have great endurance, and most people will never need to consider using it. But Extreme Battery Saver, which “only runs the essentials so your battery lasts as long as possible,” definitely makes more sense on those Pixel 4, 3A, and 3 devices as their batteries continue to age.
And last, the home screen on Pixel phones is getting more customizable with this update. You’ll be able to choose “new icons, grid views, and app shapes” as seen below.
All of this, plus smaller stuff like the option to export the Pixel’s “Now Playing” automatic music recognition to a YouTube Music playlist, will roll out as part of the December feature drop beginning today.