New Pixel feature drop adds underwater camera skills, Smart Compose boost

Google has announced the latest feature drop for Pixel devices, which includes a new underwater photography feature and an expansion of Gmail’s Smart Compose tool.

The March update encourages Pixel owners to ‘say cheese under the seas’ with native support for the four Kraken Sports universal smartphone housings for the best Android phones.

These cases, which retail for a whopping $325, were previously compatible with the Pixel 2 phones and above, but until now have required images to be taken using the Kraken app. Now users will be able to use the native camera app, making Night Sight and Portrait Mode available below the surface too. They’ll need the new Dive Case Connector app from the Play Store.

Elsewhere, Google is bringing the Smart Compose feature, which is popular among Gmail users for use in unspecified “select messaging apps” on Pixel handsets. The machine learning-based tool learns your typing habits and predicts where the sentence is heading. Right now the expanded feature is only for US English users.

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The March feature drop also includes new wallpapers celebrating cultural events, including one for next-week’s International Women’s Day. There’s also a “more seamless bedtime schedules” experience for the Pixel Stand.

“When you use the bedtime features in Clock with your Pixel Stand, you’ll see a new, updated bedtime screen, along with redesigned notifications to help you ease into sleep,” the company writes. That feature is only available on Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 5.

As previously revealed, the excellent Recorder app is also getting a lot better. Recordings are now more shareable, while transcripts will be available online too.

“Now you can share links to your Recorder audio files, so anyone can listen, even if they don’t have a Pixel,” Google says. “At recorder.google.com, you can hear recordings, see transcripts and even search through files — you get the entire Recorder playback experience in one shareable link.”

The features are rolling out now for compatible devices.

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