Google’s latest Pixel feature adds Drop Circle to Search, Magic Compose, and more


Google’s latest Pixel feature adds Drop Circle to Search, Magic Compose, and more -Gudstory

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A “fresh” new color for the Pixel 8 series isn’t the only thing Google is announcing today. The company is also detailing its latest feature drop, which brings a brand new Circle to Search feature to both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro – which was first seen on Samsung’s Galaxy S24. Google says Circle to Search will go live on January 31, which is the release date of Samsung’s S24 lineup. By long pressing the Home button or navigation bar, you’ll be able to circle anything on your phone screen, and Google will provide more information about the highlighted content.

This feature drop also makes the built-in thermometer on the Pixel 8 Pro less of a Little More useful: You can now use it to take your (or someone else’s) body temperature. Google describes this feature as “medical-grade,” so it seems almost certain that the company has received some level of FDA clearance to use the thermometer in this way. It’s still baffling to me that Google decided to build thermometers into phones to begin with, but now you’ve got a practical use for it instead of just checking the temperature of your coffee or something silly.

You can sync body temperature readings to your Fitbit account.
Image: Google

Older Pixels are getting some new tricks, too: Google says the Pixel 6 and newer will be able to use Magic Compose to “rewrite a drafted message in different styles” with the help of AI. In the case of the Pixel 8 Pro this processing happens on the device, but other Google phones will be able to take advantage of the cloud to give their messages a professional tone or make them more concise.

The feature drop also replaces the earlier Nearby Share now with the simplified Quick Share branding shared by Google and Samsung. The functionality is still the same: Quick Share lets you send content to nearby Android, ChromeOS, and Windows devices that support the feature.

Rounding out the latest update, Google says automatic audio switching is coming to the Pixel Watch. “You can switch your Pixel Buds Pro from your Pixel Watch to any Pixel phone or Pixel tablet and get useful notifications about where your audio is switching,” the company wrote in its blog post. ” And finally, Google is bringing “Photomoji” to its Messages app:

Do you want to respond to a message with a cutout of you or your four-legged best friend? Photomoji on Google Messages allows you to turn your favorite photos into reactions with the help of on-device Google AI. Simply select the photo, review the object you want to react with and click Send. Your creations will be saved in a special tab for reuse, and, as a bonus, your friends in the group chat can use the Photomoji you sent.

As usual with these feature drops, these will begin rolling out to some Pixel hardware owners as early as Thursday, while others will be released “over the next few weeks.”


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