Google’s latest Android upgrade for Pixel could compete with Apple’s iOS 16

Google's latest Android upgrade for Pixel could compete with Apple's iOS 16

Tech Highlights:

  • The update adds new options for info that can be shown on the lock screen, including a video feed from your Nest Doorbell, air-quality alerts, and a reminder that your flashlight is on. But that’s not all this update brings. It also allows you to add a shortcut to a screen-shotted vaccine card on your home screen, so that you can bring up proof of your vaccination status with a single tap. Elsewhere, Google’s Live Translate feature now supports Traditional Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Turkish, and Thai; there are new wallpapers available; and the update lands alongside a Pocket Operator app(opens in new tab), which allows you to edit and add sounds to your recorded videos.

  • Apple has officially released iOS 16, its next major iPhone software upgrade, and all eyes are on the corporation right now. But Apple isn’t the only business with new software to show off: Google’s June Feature Drop for Pixel phones has been surreptitiously released, and it comes with some eye-catching upgrades of its own. The enhancements to Google’s At a Glance widget, which makes crucial information glanceable from both your home and lock screen, are possibly the most notable upgrade.

There’s also the usual plethora of bug fixes and security updates, so even if the new features don’t interest you, the update is worth downloading. It’s already started rolling out, but it won’t be available to everyone immediately, so keep an eye out for an alert on your phone. Analysis: lock screens are getting upgrades on both iOS and Android. One of the big new features coming in iOS 16 is the ability to fully customize the lock screen and add widgets to it. It’s a big change, but with this Feature Drop, Pixel users are getting a number of new widget-like features right now via the At a Glance update.

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.

These new features follow other recent At a Glance updates which added the likes of earthquake alerts and details of connected Bluetooth devices to the lock screen, so there’s a lot you can see without ever unlocking your phone. That said, these features are only available to Pixel owners – not the wider Android world, and it sounds like iOS 16 will allow users to add an even wider variety of things to the lock screen. So this isn’t quite a match for what Apple’s doing, but on the other hand it’s available now, whereas iOS 16 probably won’t be released in its final form until around September.

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