Certainly in the shadow of WWDC 2022, Google announced the Pixel Feature Drop for June 2022. We’ve lent a hand to find out if the Pixel-exclusive updates and changes are worth the wait.
Along with the bonus of the cleanest, smoothest version of Android running on your smartphone, feature drops are another enticing prospect for Pixel owners and potential buyers. You get a few extra features and device improvements all lumped together in what would normally just be a regularly scheduled update.
The June 2022 feature drop comes along with Google’s security patch and adds some nice Pixel-exclusive features not available on smartphones from other brands like Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo. Being the second feature drop of 2022, it also means there will be two more quarterly updates by the end of the year. But let’s not anticipate! Here are the latest and greatest additions to the June Feature Drop.
Video – June 2022 Pixel Feature Drop hands-on!
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Upgrades at a glance
The persistent widget on the Pixel Launcher gets even more functionality thanks to the Pixel Feature Drop in June 2022. At-a-glance can already show you things like your calendar appointments, Bluetooth earbud battery levels, security alerts, timers, and more.
Google is adding even more features for more people after sporadic rollouts over the past few months. After the update, you’ll soon be able to see Nest Doorbell video feeds from your lock screen and home screen with a mini live stream, without having to dive into the Google Home or Nest app on your Pixel.
If you’re using the flashlight (or flashlight), you’ll also get a visual indication here that it’s been activated or is still on. Additionally, you can tap this indicator to quickly turn it off without having to expand the Quick Settings panel.
Air quality alerts will also appear in the At a Glance widget in the coming weeks, but unfortunately this will be limited to the US, Australia and India, at least for now. This mimics the feature already available for Nest Hub, giving you a score with a scale showing the currently reported air conditions in your area.
Pocket operator for pixels
Pixel owners can get a brand new app developed together with teenage engineering. The purpose? To help you create music from your videos. It is not exclusive to the June 2022 Pixel Feature Drop as it can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store. However, it’s limited to the Pixel 5 series and newer to actually work.
Optimized vaccination card registration
To streamline adding your COVID-19 vaccination to the Cards & Passports section of your device, you can now take a quick screenshot of your PDF vaccination confirmation and your Pixel will give you the option to quickly add it to Google Pay and the home screen your device.
This is a great help for regional vaccination cards that may have arrived via email or SMS. Currently, this option is limited to the US, Canada and Australia, while other regions can still access something similar via dedicated local medical authority apps like the NHS app in the UK.
Conversational mode is coming to more devices
Google’s commitment to better device accessibility means Talk mode in the Sound Amplifier app is available on more devices starting with the Pixel 3. It’s a great tool, available since December 2021, capable of amplifying speech when pointed directly at a person you want to converse with.
The result is impressive considering it’s all done using models and visual indicators to isolate speech and muffled background noise, while also applying sound cancellation.
Pride Month Wallpapers
To celebrate Pride Month 2022, three new wallpapers designed by Yann Bastard are now available in the Curated Culture section of the Wallpapers app with the June Feature Drop. All of the new designs feature bright, bold colors and shapes, with purple being a key component.
Alongside last year’s new additions to Pride celebrations, you currently have six unique wallpapers to choose from celebrating LGBTQ+ communities around the world.
Where is Face Unlock?
We previously reported that Google has discontinued Face Unlock for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro ahead of launch. Our source has indicated it was slated for a quarterly Android update, but the feature isn’t live here in the June feature drop. It could be that Google saves Face Unlock for Android 13 and given all the mounting evidence in recent betas, it could be the case.
As it stands, in the June 2022 Pixel Feature Drop there is no option to register your facial features as part of Face Unlock unless you have the Pixel 4 series, which is currently the only Pixel to use biometric face unlocks can.
What’s your favorite new addition from the June 2022 Pixel Feature Drop?
Unlike the March update, the June 2022 Pixel Feature Drop for Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will roll out concurrently with all other eligible devices. That’s probably great to hear, as Google is fixing previous update issues for the biggest and best Pixels yet.
We want to know if you have a new favorite feature introduced as part of the first Pixel Feature Drop of 2022. Let us know in the comments section below.
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