For instance, Circle to Search will soon be available on the Pixel 8 series as on the Galaxy S24 series. This is the feature that lets you quickly search for stuff by holding down the home button or gesture bar and then drawing around something you want to look up. We already knew that this was coming to Pixel 8 on January 31 (the Galaxy S24's launch day), but it's good to have a more concrete idea how this update will manifest itself.
The Feature Drop will also add Magic Compose to the Pixel 6 series and later, a feature that will help you write or rewrite message replies in different styles. This sounds basically the same as Chat Assist on the Galaxy S24, and the two features seem to have similar pre-sets like formal, social/emoji-heavy and the definitely-not-bound-to-get-annoying Shakespeare mode.
There are a couple of other features in this Pixel feature drop that were announced before the Galaxy S24 arrived that are now coming to Google Pixel devices. One is Photomoji, which as the name hints at lets you turn your own images into emoji reactions. Selecting an image's subject now gives you the option to save it as a reaction for future use in Google Messages, and use others' Photomoji if you're in a group chat with them.
Finally, there's an upgrade to the Pixel 8 Pro's most unique feature - its Thermometer app. As promised at its launch event in October 2023, you can now use the Pixel 8 Pro's temperature sensor to take your or someone else's temperature by scanning your/their forehead. This works with the Fitbit app to keep track of your results too for easy monitoring of changes over time.
These are all in addition to Google's new Pixel features announced last month. These included the revamped Quick Share sharing system for exchanging files between Android, ChromeOS and Windows devices, and Audio Switch support for the Pixel Watch, allowing Pixel Buds Pro users to easily start listening to sounds coming from the wearable.
Pixel 8 now comes in mint
Google's announcement also comes with a hardware component. It's just announced a new Mint (pale green) color for the Pixel 8 series, giving users a choice of four total colors for both models. We've not seen it in person yet but it looks pretty good, a nice balance between fun and sensible.
While we're expecting the Pixel 8a and Pixel 9 this summer and this fall respectively, the Pixel 8 series and its predecessors will still be kept up to date in the meantime, as Feature Drops tend to appear every couple of months. And since Google's promised seven years of updates for the Pixel 8, there are a lot more Feature Drops like this to look forward to.
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