Pixel Feature Drop rounds out 2021 in style – if you’ve got a new BMW
There’s another Pixel Feature Drop out in the wild that brings significant improvements to the brand new Pixel 6 series, as well as older devices in the range.
The December drop, which is likely to be the last of 2022, includes the addition of the Quick Tap To Snap feature to the Pixel 4a 5G and above.
This feature was announced at the Pixel 6 launch in October and enables users to quickly access Snapchat by double tapping the back of the screen. The idea is to provide deeper Snapchat integration within the Android camera, making it easier to post your most recent photo or video to the ephemeral social network.
For Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro owners, this update enables the digital car key feature also previewed during the launch event. You won’t be able to use it unless you have a 2020, ’21 or ’22 BMW, but those who do can lock and unlock their cars by tapping the phone next to the door handle.
Also, “you can start your car by placing your Pixel on the interior key reader and pressing the engine start button,” Google explains in a blog post.
The update also unlocks the ultra-wideband connectivity for the Pixel 6 Pro, exclusively. Google says it offers improvements to the Nearby Share feature, thanks to the greater precision offered by the location-based tech.
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Google has also updated its Now Playing music detection experience for Pixel phones. It works entirely on device now and the track will automatically be detected and listed on the lock screen. Google adds: “And if you’re really digging it, smash that music note icon next to the track’s recognition on your lock screen to save it as a favorite.”
It’s similar to the Shazam feature built into the Control Centre in iOS. This feature is now available on Pixel 4 and up. Sticking with music, there’s also improved bass control for users of the Pixel A-Series earphones, bringing a bass slider within the Pixel Buds app.
Elsewhere, there’s also a new feature for Pixel 3 and above that enables more granular controls for the power button that determine how long you press to summon the Google Assistant. That can help to avoid accessing the voice assistant accidentally.
You can see some of the improvements detailed in the video below.