Google has announced their March security updates will be made available for Android today, but for Pixel users there’s more with Google’s feature rich ‘Pixel Drop’ enhancements including a few neat new features this month.
Recorder on the Web
For a start, Google is expanding their Recorder app, which offers easy voice recording as well as near flawless transcriptions, with a recorder Web App.
The Web App – which you can find at recorder.google.com – will eventually work with the app on your phone, with a new option letting you opt-in to backing up your recordings online.
Once your recordings are online you’ll be able to ‘hear recordings, see transcripts and search through files – and share links so anyone can listen’.
Google’s Wallpaper app on Pixel phones which offer a broad range of wallpapers to suit a range of tastes. In this months feature drop, Google is expanding with a new range which ‘celebrate different cultural moments throughout the year with artwork from artists around the world’.
THe new range begins with a collection for International Women’s Day, which has been illustrated by Spanish duo Cachetejack. The International Women’s Day wallpapers focus on the strength and transformation of women – and they look like this.
Underwater Pixel Pictures
The camera on Pixel phones has been class leading for some time, offering great shots in all types of light – now, Google is taking it underwater.
Google has partnered with case maker Kraken Sports to offer a case which will let you take your Pixel phone underwater. Google says the cases will let you ‘enjoy all of Pixel camera’s features like Night Sight, Portrait’.
The partnership includes both the Dive Case Connector for Google Camera – available now on Google Play – and a case, of which there are four models that are compatible:
- Kraken Sports KRH04 Universal Smart Phone Housing
- Kraken Sports KRH03 Universal Smart Phone Housing Pro with Depth/Temp Sensor
- Kraken Sports KRH02 Smart Housing
- Kraken Sports KRH01 Smart Housing Pro with Depth/Temp Sensor
The KRH03 appears to be the most widely available in Australia – clocking in about $650, which means you’ll want to really want to take some underwater shots.
Kraken Sports describe the case as a ‘universal professional underwater camera housing fits most popular smart phones enabling their use for underwater photography to 263 ft / 80 m and includes a temperature and depth sensor’. The description says it fits phones up to 158 mm in height, 83 mm in width, and 9 mm in thickness, so it will hopefully last across several phones.
Google Smart Compose
Google will also be expanding availability of their Smart Compose feature to Gboard. Once live, Smart Compose in Gboard will be available for ‘select messaging apps’.
Smart Compose uses Machine Learning to ‘ complete your sentences as you type, so sending and replying to messages is easier than ever’. The downside is that the feature is only launching in the US, and only for English as of right now.
Pixel Stand Bedtime Routine
Finally, Google’s wireless charging Pixel Stand is also getting an update, with a new Bedtime screen showing up when you place your Pixel 3, Pixel 4 or Pixel 5 on the stand. The new screen will show redesigned notifications to help you go to sleep.
The March security update for Pixel phones is now rolling out, you can check your Pixel phone for the latest update now in your notifications or by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update.