Google is going to start giving the Pixel line more than just monthly security updates and yearly major OS updates. Yesterday, Google announced thefirst “Feature Drop”for the Pixel 4, and according to a new report fromThe Verge, this is the first of several planned quarterly feature updates for Google’s flagship smartphone.
There are four big updates included in this first feature drop. The most important sounds like an update to the Pixel 4’s memory management, which Google says “proactively compresses cached applications so that users can run multiple applications at the same time — like games, streaming content and more.” The Pixel 4’s 6GB of RAM is less than most of its Android competition, which means it can’t run as many apps in the background as other phones. This feature is also coming to older Pixel devices like the Pixel 3; With only 4GB of RAM, these devices are definitely RAM starved compared to other Android phones.
The Pixel line has long had a “Call Screen“feature that allows the Google Assistant to pick up a call and ask the caller who they are and what they want . Their answer would then be transcribed on your phone screen, allowing you to see what that call was about without having to actually pick up the call. Before, this was a manually activated feature — your phone would ring, and instead of pressing the “answer” button, you could send the call to the Google Assistant. With this new update, the Google Assistant can now screen calls automatically. Robocalls can be automatically declined, and unknown numbers can get sent to the Google Assistant, where the caller can identify themselves, andthen the phone will ring, showing the caller’s statement on the call screen .
The last two features are just app updates. Google Photos is getting the ability to blur the background of any picture in your collection, even for photos you took “years ago.” Google Duo, a Google video chat app, is getting an auto-framing feature that tracks your face, smoother FPS video playback, and a background blur feature.