Last year, Google announced its Pixel Drop initiative that aimed to bring all Pixel devices up to speed with each other. Last time, it bought the Pixel 4's Astrophotography Mode, Automatic Call Screening, and more to older devices. Google has now released the second Pixel Drop that adds a host of new features to all eligible devices.
- New play/pause gesture for Pixel 4 Motion Sense
- Pixel 2 gets Live Caption
- Car Crash Detection rolls out for Pixel 4 in Australia and the UK
- AR effects for Duo video calls
- Pixel 4 front-facing/selfie camera portrait blur improvements
- 169 new emoji from the 12.1 release
- New power button wallet menu for quick access to Google Pay payment methods, boarding passes, tickets, etc.
- Support for screenshots of boarding passes is also coming for Pixel 3, 3a, and 4, with real-time flight updates
- Scheduled dark theme/mode, including sunset/sunrise triggers
- New automation Rules for Wi-Fi networks or physical location (possibly including a wider rollout spotted earlier)
- Long-press in the Pixel Launcher for the Pixel 4 now includes "firm" presses
- Pixel 4 screens set to adaptive brightness will get brighter now in strong, direct light (probably the hidden/disabled HBM support spotted last fall)
Most of the changes in this Pixel Drop are centered around the Pixel 4, which gets a new Motion sense gesture, new emojis, car crash detection in Australia, AR effects on Duo, Dark Theme scheduling and more. Furthermore, you can now invoke your Google Pay wallet directly from the Power Menu. It isn't quite as intuitive as Samsung Pay's home screen shortcut, but it should get the job done. Here's a handy list that shows what device is eligible for which feature.
This particular Pixel Drop has been coupled with the March security update and should be available to Pixel owners in the coming weeks. As expected, the original Pixel doesn't get anything because it stopped receiving official updates in December of last year.