Gadgets for humans

Google’s Pixel phones can now perform scheduled check-ins for your safety

Snag_47f35c43

Every few months, since the Pixel 4’s launch, Google has been surprising users with ‘feature drops.’ It’s that time again, with Google adding four notable improvements to its flagship devices.

As noted in the headlines, the most interesting feature might be a new ‘safety check.’ Within the Pixel’s Personal Safety App (which is now available on the Pixel 3 as well as 4), you can ask your phone to check in to make sure you’re okay at a given time.

This is useful if you’re walking home at night, are hiking alone, or are otherwise in a potentially risky situation. If you don’t respond to the safety check, your phone will alert your emergency contacts, and you also have the option to share your location or call 911 from the app or check in screen. In addition, you can now set up crisis alerts for natural disasters or public emergencies.

Your personal safety aside, here’s what else is coming to Pixel devices:

  • On the Pixel 2 and newer, phones can better predict when your battery run out and “further reduce background activity” to keep your phone going for longer.
  • A bedtime feature in the clock app can now play ‘calming sounds’ and limit notifications while you sleep ( you can schedule your sleeping hours). If you stay up past your scheduled bedtime, Google will keep track of the apps that are keeping you up the most.
  • The Pixel’s fantastic recorder app lets you immediately transcribe recordings. Now, you can activate the recorder with the assistant and save the transcripts directly to Google Drive.

The new features are rolling out to Pixel devices starting today.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Published June 1, 2020 — 22:35 UTC