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Google Pixel smartphones receive new features with September Feature Drop

The September Feature Drop is separate to Google's recent September security patch update for Pixel smartphones. (Image source: Google)
The September Feature Drop is separate to Google's recent September security patch update for Pixel smartphones. (Image source: Google)
Google has started rolling out a host of new features to many Pixel smartphones, courtesy of a new Feature Drop. From featuring revised Nearby Share functionality to an updated Gboard keyboard app, the September Feature Drop is aimed at making it easier to 'get more done' while also having fun in the process.

Google has released a new Feature Drop for Pixel smartphones, just a few weeks after the company issued a stable version of Android 13 for the Pixel 4 onwards. For reference, the Feature Drop differs from the September security update that contained several bug fixes and which we discussed separately. As far as we can tell, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL should receive this month's Feature Drop, although support may end when Android 13 QPR1 arrives later this year.

As for the September Feature Drop, Google has bundled Nearby Share's 'self-share' feature, which allows you to move files between Chromebooks, smartphones or tablets that are signed into the same Google account. Google states that a receiving device will automatically accept a Nearby Share from a device that shares a paired Google account, even when its display is switched off. In short, Google has finally built Apple's AirDrop functionality into Nearby Share.

Additionally, the Gboard keyboard app now features an 'Emojify' button that will add emojis to your messages. Similarly, Google has added Emoji Kitchen mashups as stickers within Gboard, as well as integrating a Bitmoji watch face for WearOS. Not available just yet, you will be able to design a bitmoji on the company's mobile app, its desktop website or on Snapchat, which will then appear when you select the Bitmoji watch face.

Moreover, Google has added a new Google Keep tile within Wear OS and a larger widget for tablets, the latter of which applies to Google Drive too. Furthermore, audio descriptions on Google TV will now narrate live information, while Google has also added the option of finding a list of movies with audio descriptions. According to Google, this curated list can be pulled up by asking the Assistant to 'search audio description movies'. You can find the full list of changes in the September Feature Drop on Google's accompanying blog post.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 09 > Google Pixel smartphones receive new features with September Feature Drop
Alex Alderson, 2022-09-10 (Update: 2022-09-10)