Google Pixel update delivers time-saving improvements on new and older models

New features include a bass slider for Pixel Buds and UWB on Pixel 6 Pro.

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Steve Dent
December 6, 2021 1:00 PM
Google update delivers time-saving improvements for Pixel devices
Engadget

Google has rolled out a number of updates that will help owners of both older Pixel and the latest Pixel 6 devices. To start with, the Pixel 6 Pro is getting UWB (Ultra-wideband) capability, letting you quickly share photos and other files using the Nearby Share function. As we mentioned earlier, Pixel 6 and 6 Pro users will also get the digital car key function that lets you unlock and start select BMW models. 

Other features will appeal to a wider group. The Quick Tap to Snap feature lets Pixel 4a 5G and higher users access Snapchat directly from their lock screens by double tapping the back of the phones, to start with. Until now, the feature has only been available on the Pixel 6. 

Pixel 3 or newer smartphones, meanwhile, will now be able to adjust how long they hold the power button to activate Google Assistant. This feature makes it possible to avoid activating the Assistant by mistake when you're just trying to, say, turn off the phone. Another key feature for Pixel 3 (and up) owners is the Bass Slider that allows you to double the bass range available for Pixel Buds A-series earphones, now from -1 to +4.

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Google is expanding car crash detection to Taiwan, Italy and France, letting you automatically send your location and details to emergency responders when a car crash is detected. It's also added the "Now Playing" feature that lets you detect a song and quickly add it to your favorites. Finally, Google has added new languages, including Japanese, French and German, that can be transcribed in the recorder app. All of these features are now rolling out to Pixel devices. 

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Google Pixel update delivers time-saving improvements on new and older models