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Google to bring at least five Pixel 4 features to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series

Google to bring at least five Pixel 4 to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series. (Image source: Google)
Google to bring at least five Pixel 4 to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series. (Image source: Google)
Night Sight 2.0 with a new astrophotography mode, Live Caption and offline Google Assistant are just three examples of features debuting on the Pixel 4 series. However, these will not remain Pixel 4 exclusives, with Google planning to bring them to older generations too. We have laid out Google's plans in a brief overview, underlining that you need not buy the latest tech to get the latest software.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series remain just as good devices as they did before Google launched the Pixel 4, but the latter's new features may be tempting you to upgrade. Thankfully, Google is bringing some of these to its older handsets, although the company is yet to lay out a timetable for doing so.

Night Sight 2.0

One of the features that Google focused on heavily during its Pixel 4 presentation, Night Sight debuted on the Pixel 3 series last year. Version 2.0 improves not only the white balance of conventional night shots but also allows optically stabilised camera sensors to dabble in some astrophotography. Google should enable this on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series via a Camera app update.

Top Shot

Like Night Sight, Top Shot first appeared on the Pixel 3 series. As originally reported by Android Police, Google is effectively integrating its Smartburst software within Top Shot, having removed the former from the Camera app on the Pixel 3. Pressing and holding on the shutter button on the former now saves a 1,024 x 768 video instead of several full-resolution photos, which we expect to make its way to the Pixel 3a series too. The latter still has Smartburst though, so this feature currently seems rather fragmented.

(Image source: Google via 9to5Google)

Live Caption

Next up is Live Caption, a video about which you can watch below. While Google's promotional video implies that this is a Pixel 4 series exclusive, the real-time caption software is coming to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series too. We suspect that Google will deliver this with a system update, hopefully with an offline option too.


While Google has yet to confirm this one, the Recorder app should work on most smartphones. 9to5Google has uploaded the apk to APKMirror if you fancy trying it on your device, with our German-speaking colleagues reporting that it works on the Huawei P30 Pro. The app can transcribe recordings, as the video below demonstrates, and even without an internet connection. This feature only works in English currently, though.

Google Assistant

Another English-only feature is Google Assistant, which also now supports offline voice recognition. The service can respond to follow-up questions too, as Google has demonstrated in a promotional video that we have included below. While "Google Assistant 2.0" will make its way to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series, we are unsure when it will appear.


Those are all the features, of which we aware, that are being brought to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series. There is no word yet on whether Google will roll these out to even older Pixel devices, but you may have some luck in sideloading the apks once they appear online.


@Google, Google Blog & 9to5Google (1) (2)

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Google to bring at least five Pixel 4 features to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a series
Alex Alderson, 2019-10-24 (Update: 2019-10-24)