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Google Pixel phones receive spatial audio in January update

Google has launched the January update for Pixel phones, which brings the en vogue spatial audio technology to some of the latest devices in the range.

The update, which mainly includes bug fixes and security updates, also introduces spatial audio for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro handsets. The tech is akin to surround sound and simulates different elements of audio coming at you from different directions.

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A forthcoming update for the Pixel Buds Pro will also bring spatial audio with head tracking, which has proved to be a revelation on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max for Apple Music subscribers. As you move your head, the soundscape changes, similar to being at a concert.

It’s not clear whether Apple Music for Android will be upgraded to support the spatial audio tech, but Amazon Music also offers spatial audio, while Deezer also offers an option it calls 360 Reality Audio. Spotify is yet to offer its own version of spatial audio within the app.

Elsewhere in the update, Google is adding improvement to fingerprint recognition, better pairing with Bluetooth Low Energy accessories and better overall connectivity, and a fix for a camera issue “occasionally causing captured photos to appear corrupted or distorted while zoomed in.”

Elsewhere, there’s a fix for an issue preventing the display from waking, and another issue causing the UI to display in landscape, even when in portrait mode. Phones running Android 13 will receive the update starting today.

“The rollout will continue over the next few weeks in phases depending on carrier and device,” Google says in a post on a support page.

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