Google Makes Big Move

Feature drop means that Google will continue to develop new features and then push them to users ’phones in batches. Just in December, Google will release the first round of feature drops, pushing new features to Pixel 4, 3, 3a, and 2nd generation phones.

How is this different from previous Android system updates?

System updates are often used to fix bugs or improve system stability, as well as to add software support for newly launched hardware. Often there are no real “new products”. So Google ’s strategy is a bit like the fashion industry. Luxury brands usually publish new products twice a year, once in spring and summer, once in autumn and winter, and each time they are called drop.

For a mobile phone, people often think that it is best to use it when they just bought it. Over time, on the one hand, the battery aging system has become a card, and on the other hand, due to insufficient performance, even if the operating system is updated, the hardware cannot keep up with the new features.

Official blogs point out that your phone should actually be “more useful” (Your phone should get better over time), so Google employees are constantly working to develop new features to ensure that new phones become stronger and that old phones are not too backward.

The Google feature drop strategy allows phones to add new features every so often. On the one hand, to maintain user loyalty, on the other hand, it also extends the life cycle of mobile phones and slows down the rate of depreciation.

1. Old photos can also add portrait depth of field
Even photos taken years ago, or photos without portrait mode turned on, Google Photos can now provide depth of field effects.

Google showed on Pixel 4, but did not indicate which phones are supported. It is conservatively estimated that previous Pixel phones should also be able to use this feature.

2. Automatically block harassing calls
Google introduced the call screen function. In simple terms, there will be a virtual assistant to answer your call, and at the same time you can see what the assistant and the other person say (for marginal people) from the screen.

Now Google tackles spam calls one step further: At Pixel 4, the Google Assistant will help you check, proactively answer, review, and block known harassing calls-these all happen in the background, and if there are really harassing phone calls, you won’t hear The bell rings, but you see the notification.

As for the students who are worried about missing important calls, the actual experience of the author is recognized by Google.

3. AI optimizes video calls, tracks faces, resolves stutters and noise
Google has video calling software Duo, which has fewer users than FaceTime, but the product works well.

In the first feature drop, Duo will add an automatic face tracking function (only on Pixel 4, using a wide-angle front lens). No matter how the phone moves, it can keep the face in the center of the screen and track two photos at the same time. face.

At Pixel 4, Duo also takes advantage of the 90Hz update rate to make video calls “look” smoother.

Video calls, Internet calls, and occasional sudden delays can make your voice change, which can cause harsh noise. Now on Pixel 4, Duo can use the phone ’s built-in computing power, and suddenly use machine learning models to predict the next voice, making the call “sound” smoother.

In addition, Pixel 2 and 3 video calls can also use algorithms to blur the background.

4. New memory management mechanism
With this feature drop, all Pixel phones (including generations) will receive a memory management system update. The new memory management system can actively compress the background app of the buffer, allowing more foreground apps to work simultaneously.

Google’s background management has always been good, at least compared to iOS 13. What does the new memory management mean and experience? I’m afraid I won’t know until the official update.

5. Old phones, new features
One of the highlights of the Pixel 4 is a voice recorder software that automatically dictates. It now supports Pixel 2 and later phones.
Live Caption (algorithm to automatically generate captions) is supported on Pixel 3 and later phones, including 3a.
Flip to shhh (Flip to Phone Auto Mute) supports Pixel 2 and later phones.
Focus Mode: Enter focus mode with one click, close the designated app in the background, let you work without interruption, only support Pixel 4.

Faster and more accurate Google Maps positioning. Only Pixel 4 is supported.
In addition, I tend to think this strategy is good news for Google employees. The functions that are too late to be released before the new machine is released can be updated in batches after the release, which can also reduce the incomplete functions under the rush, which brings a bad user experience.

Judging from Google ’s first feature drop, this strategy focuses on both old and new phones. In other words, after releasing the phone, these Googlers can continue to develop new features for products that have been busy for several months, instead of immediately switching to new products to ensure continuity of development.