Google is making good on its promise to bring a much-lauded photo feature to all of its phones and has some other goodies for Pixel owners in the latest feature drop. The update is now available for Pixel phones and includes Magic Eraser for all devices, faster Night Sight for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, and a Direct My Call improvement for older Pixels.
Magic Eraser debuted on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro and was also available on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro last year. That means it was only available on phones with Google’s custom Tensor chipset, leading you to believe it could only run on phones with Tensor. That is clearly not the case – last month, Google has announced the feature would be offered with older Pixel devices and would also be bundled with Google One plans for non-Pixel Android and iOS users. That said, there are a few qualifications: your phone must have at least 3GB of RAM and must be running Android 8.0 or iOS 15.0 or higher.
Today’s feature drop also brings one of the Pixel 7’s camera improvements to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro: faster Night Sight. Night mode on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro doesn’t do anything fundamentally different; it just runs a second or two faster. That may not sound like much, but it makes a big difference in real world usage. Now the 6 and 6 Pro get that benefit too, thanks to “new algorithms powered by Google Tensor,” according to a Google blog post.
Tensor may be required to speed up night mode, but it’s apparently not a requirement for the updated Direct My Call introduced on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Direct My Call – currently supported on the Pixel 3A and above – creates a live transcript of phone tree options as they are read during a call. The improved Direct My Call on the 7 and 7 Pro can transcribe menu options before reading them in some cases. That upgrade comes to Pixel 4A phones and newer for “many of the most popular toll-free numbers in the US.”
There’s also a hodgepodge of other updates: the ability to set a timer on a Nest device and then view it on your Pixel, a hub for your health and fitness data settings called Health Connect, and for the Pixel Watch , a previously announced fall detection feature.
Google is bringing many of its newer Pixel features to older devices, which we’d love to see, but there are still a few newer Pixel 7 and 7 Pro features that older models haven’t made it to, including face unlocking, Clear Calling, and Cinematic Blur- video mode. These features seem more closely tied to the hardware on the new devices, so we’re not holding our breath that they’ll make it to the previous generation of phones.