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Pixel June 2021 Feature Drop Brings Astrophotography in Night Sight, Locked Folder in Google Photos, More

Pixel users in Ireland, Singapore, and Spain can access the car crash detection feature in the Personal Safety app.

Pixel June 2021 Feature Drop Brings Astrophotography in Night Sight, Locked Folder in Google Photos, More

Pixel update brings the ability to answer and reject calls using Google Assistant

Highlights
  • OTA download links are available for Pixel phones
  • Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 users get video playback issue fix
  • Call Screen feature availability has been expanded to Japan

Pixel phones are now getting the June 2021 update and it comes with a slew of fixes and changes. The June update brings astrophotography in Google Camera, new locked folder in Google Photos, the ability to take or reject calls using Assistant, and intuitive copy and paste in Gboard. Car crash detection in Personal Safety app is being made available in more countries, along with Call Screen and Recorder features. Additionally, Google has released new Pride-themed wallpapers, ringtones, and notification sounds to celebrate the June Pride month.

The latest June 2021 update brings a host of new features for Pixel phones. The most notable change is the addition of astrophotography in Night Sight to help take better photos of the night sky. This feature is available on Pixel 4 and newer phones only. Pixel users get three bold Pride-themed wallpapers created by London-based artist Ashton Attzs and new Pride-themed ringtones and notifications created by LGBTQ+ artists and YouTube creators to celebrate the June month of Pride.

Google previewed Locked Folder in Google Photos at its I/O 2021 keynote, and it is now rolling out to Pixel users. This new Locked Folder feature enables you to save specific photos in this folder for more privacy. “They're saved on your device and won't show up in shared albums, Memories or any other apps on your device, and can only be accessed using your device passcode or fingerprint,” Google says.

Car crash detection feature in the Personal Safety app is being rolled out to users in Ireland, Singapore, and Spain. Earlier, it was available in Australia, UK, and US. The update also brings a new Heads Up feature inside Digital Wellbeing settings, enabling the Pixel phone to detect when you're walking and periodically remind you to look up from your screen.

Google Assistant gets the ability to answer or reject a call with voice command. Users need to say, "Hey Google, answer call" or "Hey Google, reject call." Gboard also gets smarter for Pixel users, offering copied text as suggestions to quickly paste them in apps like Messages and Google Maps.

Google also says that the Call Screen feature that helps users avoid spam calls by answering unknown numbers to find out who's calling and why is now available in Japan. Recorder, the app that transcribes audio into text so you can search, edit, and share recordings, will be available in more English dialects including Singaporean, Australian, Irish and British English. The tech giant says that Recorder expansion will roll out to all Pixel 3 or newer phones by the end of July.

Alongside new features, the June update includes several fixes and improvements across many areas including performance, stability, battery, and more. Pixel 3 series, Pixel 4 series, and Pixel 5 users are getting a fix to an issue with specific wireless chargers. A general issue wherein motion photos could not be edited were also fixed and Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 users are getting a fix for a video playback issue in few third-party apps and an issue that caused notification sound fluctuation. 9to5Google also reports of a new grouped notification count icon with the June Pixel Feature Drop.

The OTA update for Pixel phones will rollout in phases depending on carrier and device. Users will receive a notification once it becomes available. Alternatively, you can sideload it from the developer page as well.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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