Android 11 to the nth power: what the new Pixels can do

New features and apps debut on the new Pixels that show us what Google's Android 11 can do

Google unveiled the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G smartphones on September 30 and will start selling them in the second half of October. Since before the launch no one expected much from the hardware side, but everyone expected a lot from the software side. And that's just the way it is: the new Pixels are two mid-range devices, with the best possible implementation of Android 11.

Artificial intelligence algorithms, on the one hand, and more advanced and optimized apps, on the other, make the difference between a regular Android smartphone and a Google Pixel 2020. The new Android features debuting on the Pixel (and that only in the future, perhaps, will come on the devices of others) are in fact many. We don't know if they will all arrive in Europe (and we don't even know if the new Pixel will arrive in Italy), but it's possible that at least some of them will be extended to previous generations of Google's smartphones. So that's why the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G are different from the other Android smartphones on the market.

Google Pixel: the new Camera app

The quality of the photos taken has always been a plus of Pixel smartphones, even though the Pixel never had as many sensors and super-thin lenses as phones from other manufacturers. The Camera app has always made a difference, making the most of the available hardware with a big injection of artificial intelligence.

New features in the 2020 Pixel's Camera app include "Cinematic Pan" for smoother video shooting, night mode applied to portraits as well, and a powerful new editor with many presets already set up but leaving the freedom to deeply edit the shot in post production.

Google Pixel and auto responders

Another very useful feature of the new Pixels is "Hold for me". When we call a service number with an auto-answer very often we are forced to spend several minutes on hold, listening to repetitive music. Now the phone waits for us.

This feature, currently available only in the US, listens to the recorded words spoken by the auto attendant and senses that we will be waiting. We can then ask the phone to wait for us and call us when it realizes a human has arrived on the other end.

Google Pixel: the new Recorder

Last year Google introduced some new features to the Recorder app that made audio recording smarter, with real-time transcriptions. On the new Pixel Recorders, it automatically transcribes each recording and allows us to use those transcriptions to edit the audio as well: just highlight a phrase in the transcribed text to crop or remove the corresponding audio.

Google Pixel: the Extreme Battery Saver

Another feature of the Pixels has always been their ability to stay on for much longer than you might think. These smartphones have never had huge batteries, but they've always been very optimized on the software side and this has allowed them to have a very good autonomy even after months and months of use.

Now comes the "Extreme Battery Saver", a new mode that promises even 48 hours of total autonomy. It works by pausing most apps, disabling other features and slowing down non-essential background processes. However, essential processes such as those in Phone, Messages, Clock, Settings or other vital Android 11 features are not touched.