In a significant move to enhance user experience, Google is rolling out a feature-packed December update for its Pixel devices, bringing cutting-edge AI smarts to the forefront. The update, applicable to Pixel 8 Pro and other Pixel hardware, introduces exclusive features like Video Boost and Night Sight for video.
Video Boost and Night Sight Take Center Stage
Video Boost, exclusive to the larger Pixel 8 Pro, takes video processing to the cloud. Google’s computational photography models adjust color, lighting, stabilization, and graininess, delivering touched-up videos that appear true to life. A groundbreaking addition is the integration of Night Sight for video, using AI to apply noise reduction in videos recorded at night or low-light conditions, promising rich detail and color. This marks a departure from Night Sight’s previous limitation to still images.
Bonus Feature: Pixel Fold’s Dual Screen Preview
For Pixel Fold users, a new “dual screen preview”
feature allows a preview of the camera view on the outer screen while framing a shot with the inner display. This innovative addition facilitates users to check their appearance and strike the perfect pose before capturing the moment.
Photography Enrichments Across Devices
Beyond Pixel 8 Pro, the December update brings a host of photography enhancements to various Pixel devices:
- Balance Portrait Light Mode: This new mode in Google Photos eliminates harsh shadows in portrait photos, even for images already in your library.
- Photo Unblur Improvement: Google Photos’ Photo Unblur is now more adept at sharpening the faces of pets, including dogs and cats.
Pixel Ecosystem Expansions
The Pixel ecosystem sees several expansions, catering to a diverse range of users:
- Pixel Phones as USB Webcams: Pixel 6 and newer devices can now double as USB webcams on computers supporting USB video class (UVC).
- Clean Option for Receipts: A new “clean” option in the update helps users remove smudges, stains, and creases from receipts before attaching them to expense reports.
Security and Practicality
Google places a strong emphasis on security and user convenience with the latest features:
- Repair Mode: Pixel devices now feature a Repair Mode that safeguards private data during servicing, ensuring photos, messages, and sensitive content remain protected.
- Password Manager Enhancement: The password manager can identify accounts supporting passkeys, simplifying the addition process with just a few taps.
Pixel Watch and Tablet Enhancements
The Pixel Watch and Tablet users aren’t left behind in the update, enjoying added functionalities:
- Pixel Watch Integration: Pixel Watches can now automatically unlock Pixel phones, providing a faster and more convenient alternative to face unlock or fingerprint readers.
- Call Screen on Pixel Watch: Users can dismiss or pick up calls directly from their Pixel Watch, complete with live voicemail transcription.
- Pixel Tablet Updates: Pixel Tablet users will appreciate spatial audio through built-in speakers and Pixel Buds Pro, along with Clear Calling functionality.
Additional Features and Conclusion
The feature-rich December update includes a myriad of additions:
- Combined Clock/Weather Widget: A new widget for at-a-glance time and weather information.
- New Watch Faces for Original Pixel Watch: Users of the original Pixel Watch receive new watch face options.
- Bug Fixes: The update addresses various bugs, ensuring a smoother and more reliable user experience.
As 2023 draws to a close, Google’s commitment to enhancing synergy and cohesion within its product portfolio is evident. Additionally, the article highlights that, at the time of writing, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are still available at prices matching their Black Friday discounts, providing South African users with continued affordability and cutting-edge technology.