Google is out with yet another software update for its Pixel phones and it’s big! Billed as the December Pixel feature drop, the new update brings a slew of “helpful” features including free VPN and clear calling to Google’s latest Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The update as such is rolling out simultaneously to all Pixel phones starting from Pixel 4a, the significance there being updated security.
Some of the features that are only arriving on Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro now, were in fact promised during launch. The biggest one of them all is free VPN.
Now, Google already offers a VPN but as a premium service which is to say that it costs money. Bundled with Google One, the service is available with 2TB storage platinum plan that costs about $10 a month in the US. Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users can use the same VPN service now at no extra charge, though it will still be accessible through Google One. Sadly, Indian Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users will not be able to use it because Google doesn’t offer a VPN service in India currently.
The other big feature update perhaps has wider use case. Called clear calling, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro can now enhance call quality by automatically reducing background noise on the other caller’s end. You’ll need to manually toggle it through the phone’s sound and vibration setting. Google says it’s using the added guts of its second generation Tensor chip to make this possible which is to say that the feature is only available for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users, much like free VPN.
Google’s recorder app which is nothing short of a tech marvel for those who use it, is also getting an important update with the new Pixel feature drop. The app can now keep track of who said what and label individual speakers on the fly. The app will also insert line breaks when it identifies that a speaker has changed. You can re-label the speakers once the recording is complete. Google says it’s relying on on-device machine learning to pull this off. You can use it on the Pixel 6 series in addition to the latest Pixel 7 phones.