Forget Apple Intelligence — Google’s bringing Gemini AI to Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple announced a bunch of important news right after Google I/O last month, and now it seems Google is repaying the favor. The WWDC 2024 keynote took place yesterday, and today Google has revealed details about the next Pixel feature drop — and all the upgrades Pixel owners will be able to enjoy.

According to Google these features are primarily designed to enhance productivity, with the bulk of them coming to Pixel phones. However Pixel Watches will also be getting a number of big upgrades, including a pretty major safety feature for drivers and cyclists alike. 

Here are all the features coming as part of the next Google Pixel feature drop.

Pixel phone upgrades

google pixel june update

(Image credit: Google)

The biggest news for this feature drop is that Gemini Nano will be coming to Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a as a developer option. This is Google’s trimmed-down version of the Gemini AI, designed to run on your device and without beaming your data to the cloud. Like the Pixel 8 Pro before it, Gemini Nano will be powering Summarize in recorder and Smart Reply in Gboard.

Speaking of Summarize, this will be getting more detailed summaries, including the name of speakers. You’ll also be able to export these features as a text file, alongside the usual method of exporting them to Google Docs.

Google is also unlocking Display Port Support, letting Pixel phone owners output content to a secondary display via a USB-C cable. Google is also adding a reverse phone number lookup feature, allowing you to figure out who is calling you directly from the phone app.

Pixel Cameras will also benefit from improved HDR+ frame selection, automatically identifying the best moment with a single shutter press — and apparently guaranteeing “picture perfect photos every time”

Finally Google’s updating the new Find My Device app to let users locate any Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro devices when they’re not switched on.

Pixel Watch upgrades

google pixel june update

(Image credit: Google)

Arguably the most important feature coming to Pixel Watch 2 is Car Crash Detection and Bicycle Fall Detection. While the former has been available on Pixel phones for a few years now, this is the first time. Bicycle Fall Detection is technically a spin off of the Pixel Watch’s existing fall detection feature, but has been refined to better spot when you’ve fallen off a two-wheeled vehicle.

PayPal support, which was announced at the end of last month, is also coming to Google Wallet on Pixel Watch. Letting you purchase items through your PayPal account, rather than putting it straight onto your credit card. This was originally announced for users in the U.S. and Germany, and it’s unclear if it’ll be expanding further.

The Google Home app on Wear OS 3 will also offer more seamless Google Home support, including a new Wear OS tile for the Google Home app, giving you quick and easy access to your favorite smart home devices. 

Users will similarly be able to add Google Home Complications to their watch face, while the Google Home app itself will start offering more detailed control of your smart home gadgets — including adjusting fan speed and rotation, humidifier settings and more.

 Pixel Tablet upgrades

google pixel june update

(Image credit: Google)

The Pixel Tablet isn’t getting a whole lot of love in this update, and tablets signed up for the public preview will simply be getting better support for those of you with smart doorbells. While docked in hub mode the Pixel Tablet will be able to offer up more detailed doorbell notifications, including a snapshot of whoever happens to be at the door.

The tablet is also getting an updated Google Home favorites widget, with quick and customizable smart home controls on your home screen. Again that's exclusive to the public preview.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.