In these troubled times, having a way to notify emergency contacts if you don’t check in could save lives.
Safety Check: In addition to making Google’s Personal Safety app available on all Pixel devices (and the car crash detection available on Pixel 3 devices), a new safety check feature lets you set a specific duration for an activity, like going on a run, hiking, or walking alone. If you don’t respond to an automatic app check-in after that period of time, the app will notify the emergency contacts you specify. “In the event that you need immediate help or are in a dangerous situation,” writes Google’s Tok Tokuda, “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.”
Better Battery: The latest update also includes Adaptive Battery improvements, for Pixel 2 and up, to help predict when your battery will run out and reduce background activity when it notices (kind of like an automatic iOS Low Power mode).
Bedtime: Google’s Clock app now lets you fall asleep to calming sounds and limit interruptions during your sleep time. If you stay up on your phone, Google will let you know which apps you’re spending time awake on, like a little scolding from mom. Sunrise Alarm will let you wake up in the morning with a song or a gradually brightening screen.
Record with your voice: Now you can start, stop, and search voice recordings with Google Assistant. “Hey Google, start recording my meeting,” will make it happen, and you can save transcripts right to Google Docs.
Bottom line: Personal safety is super important, especially during these times of protest and pandemic. Having these features on Google Pixel phones is likely a welcome addition for all of us.