Smartphones & Tablets | February 7, 2024
Last October, Google announced the Pixel 8, its flagship phones that compete at the highest level. Now, in its promise of continuous updates, the company based in Mountain View (USA) has announced both the availability of new artificial intelligence (AI)-based features and a new attractive mint color, which is already available.
The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in mint green are available today on the Google Store, while the rollout of the new features that make the phone more useful and versatile begins tomorrow and will be completed in a few weeks, the company explains in a statement.
Some of these features coming to Google’s latest phones are also arriving on Samsung’s high-end Galaxy S24, marking a leap forward in powerful artificial intelligence tools aimed at being more useful for users.
Specifically, the features that Google brings to its Pixel phones starting this week are:
Searching for things on the internet with your Pixel 8 and 8 Pro is easier than ever with a new and simple gesture: surrounding what you see on the screen. Starting January 31, the new “Surround to Search” feature allows Google’s AI to find anything you’re looking at on your phone without leaving that screen or switching apps.
To activate it, simply press and hold the home button or the Pixel’s navigation bar, then circle what you want on the screen. Immediately, the user will access more information, wherever they are. In practice, it’s a more advanced feature of Google Lens, allowing users to identify the clothing a YouTuber is wearing, get help with a crossword puzzle, or find the location of a photo they are viewing. With the latest AI-assisted advances from Mixed Search, users can ask complex questions related to the image on the screen.
One of the most interesting details of AI is its ability to help draft messages. From now on, it will help change the tone or wording of messages, whether you’re looking for a more professional tone, a more formal one, or just to clarify an idea.
This feature will not only come to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro but also to older Google Pixel models, as it will be available starting with the Pixel 6, the phone released in late 2021. In any case, it will work best on the Pixel 8 Pro, as it runs on the device thanks to Gemini Nano, Google’s most efficient language model for on-device tasks.
The Photomoji feature, available in Google Messages, allows users to transform their favorite photos into reactions with the help of Google’s on-device AI. All the user has to do is select a photo, decide how they want to react, and hit send.
The different creations will be saved in a special tab, so users can reuse them as many times as they want. Additionally, friends in chat groups can also use the photomojis sent by the user.
Quick Share Improvement: The Quick Share feature, formerly known as Nearby, has been improved to quickly share images, files, and text from the Pixel phone with any compatible device across Android, Chromebook, and Windows ecosystems. Simply tap the new Quick Share icon, and a list of nearby devices with which to share content will appear, even if there is no internet connection at that time. Like other ecosystems such as Apple, privacy is in the hands of the user, as in the phone settings, they can determine who can detect the device (anyone, only contacts, or only their own devices).
Pixel Watch Audio Switch: The Pixel Watch now has the Audio Switch feature. When the user switches from one paired device to another, the Pixel Buds Pro connect automatically, eliminating the need to switch manually. Users can now switch Pixel Buds Pro from the Pixel Watch to any Pixel phone or tablet and receive useful notifications wherever the audio is. All to achieve a more advanced ecosystem fluidity than ever before.