Google’s Pixel feature drop brings battery, bedtime, safety, and Assistant changes

Ruben Fields
June 2, 2020

Google has released new features, including adaptive battery improvements, for its Pixel smartphones. The Clock app is getting a new "Bedtime" tab with several tools for helping you get better sleep. Users can also set their favorite songs as an alarm to make the alarm less jarring, Google recommends. If you do want ot update it yourself you can grab the full factory image here and the OTA package here. When it's enabled, Bedtime mode uses DND (Do Not Disturb) to silence notifications, calls, and texts during sleep.

Based on your bedtime schedule, you can now opt to have it automatically turn on after your phone is plugged into its charger. Using this feature, a transcript can be directly saved to Google Docs. You can set the next check for anywhere between 15 minutes to 8 hours from that time. Parents can create a bedtime schedule that's adjusted for certain days and weekends.

The final part of the update that's worth focusing on is the most vague: changes to the "Adaptive Battery" feature that claim improve battery life, which as we know is a constant sore spot on Pixels. It can play calming sounds when you try to fall asleep. If your Android smartphone has Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings, then you should be able to use Bedtime mode as well. The newly added Safety Check feature is designed for individuals who may be outdoors alone, be it walking somewhere, out for a trek or simply doing an outdoor run to stay healthy. With this update, Adaptive Battery on Pixel 2 and newer devices can predict when your battery will run out and further reduce background activity to keep your Pixel device last longer on the available battery.

With all these features in mind, Google has made it easier than ever for Android users and their families to achieve better sleep.

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The updated Bedtime experience is launching first on Pixel devices starting today, and will roll out to the Clock app and on other Android devices later this summer.

If you don't respond to it, the app will alert your emergency contacts. Plus, the app's auto crash detection feature will be coming to the Pixel 3 after originally only being offered on the Pixel 4. In the event that you need immediate help or are in a unsafe situation, emergency sharing notifies all of your emergency contacts and shares your real-time location through Google Maps so they can send help or find you.

Google phones will also get an upgrade to Recorder app that integrates it with Google Assistant, letting you "Hey Google' to start recording or intelligently search for keywords or subjects along with saving directly to Google Docs". There are new safety features, too, including safety check, which schedules a check-in from the app at a later time, and crisis alerts so that you can be notified about natural disasters or other public emergencies.

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