Every few months Google include in their monthly update new features with the entire update called the Pixel Feature Drop. This month’s Pixel Feature Drop is their biggest ever and includes some great new features including a VPN.
VPN by Google One
This month’s Drop includes VPN by Google now made available to the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro to allow you to surf the web safely no matter what app or browser you are using. VPN by Google is designed to ensure that your network traffic cannot be tied to you.
VPN by Google is incredibly easy to use, although that also means there are no settings for you to change or alter if you want to tunnel through a particular country. Simply head into the Google One app, scroll down to and tap on VPN then toggle on “Use VPN.” For apps that you don’t need nor want the VPN to be active for you can allow certain apps to bypass the VPN.
In my testing, the speeds with VPN by Google are as good as those without using the VPN — something I’ve rarely experienced with paid VPNs. VPN by Google is already available on multiple non-Pixel devices for users who subscribe to the premium 2TB Google One plan.
Security in a single location
A VPN is not the only security enhancement in the December Drop with a new single unified location for security and privacy settings. With all the information in a single location it is easier for you to protect your phone and yourself online. There will also be action cards to notify you of any current security risks which give ways for you to fix these risks.
Clear calling is also included this month for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Clear calling will help you hear the callers voice clearer thanks to the enhancement of their voice along with reduction of their background noise. This is all done on the Tensor G2 chipset so will not be arriving on any of the older Pixel devices any time soon.
Pixel’s Recorder is now even better
Pixel’s Recorder is the smarter dictation app I’ve ever used, and it gets even better with the December Pixel Feature Drop with speaker labels. When using a Pixel 6 or newer, Recorder will now identify and label each speaker, inserting a line break when the speaker changes.
These labels are applied live and on-device allowing you to watch it as it works. Once completed you can re-label speakers with their correct names rather than “Speaker 1”, “Speaker 2” etc.
Pixel Watch also gets some love in the new update with Fitbit Sleep Profile now available for Pixel Watch. This is available for Fitbit Premium users and all you have to do is wear your Pixel Watch to bed at least 14 nights each month to get in-depth information on your sleep patterns along with recommended actions to adjust and improve your sleep.
But wait, there’s more…
Google has also included some new wallpapers, new watch tiles and have expanded the regions for features such as the digital car key, Grammar Check on Gboard (now in French), Live Translate in five more languages, a “more powerful search,” and Voice Message Transcription in Messages now supports Pixel 4a and newer Pixel phones.
Check out all these new features on your compatible Pixel phone now.