Google Brings Circle to Search, Magic Compose, More to Pixel 8 Pro With January Feature Drop

Google’s January Pixel feature drop is now available to download, unlocking new functionality on the company’s latest Pixel 8 lineup. According to details shared by the search giant, the January feature drop update comes with the new Circle to Search feature found on the Galaxy S24 series of smartphones that was unveiled by Samsung earlier this month. It also makes the thermometer sensor on the Pixel 8 Pro more useful, and brings generative AI features to the flagship phone.

With the January Pixel feature drop, Google has brought the new Circle to Search feature that arrived on the Galaxy S24 series to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. You can long press the navigation bar — or home button — and circle, scribble, or highlight images and text on the screen to perform a search without leaving the app. This feature will go live on January 31, in time for the arrival of the Galaxy S24 series.

The Pixel 8 Pro is also getting a option within the thermometer app, allowing owners of the high-end Pixel phone to record their body temperature. Google says that the “medical grade” feature will let you record body temperatures of any person, but you can choose to store your own records using the Fitbit app. The standard Pixel 8 and older models aren’t equipped with this sensor, so the feature won’t be available on those handsets.

Magic Compose powered by Google’s on-device Gemini Nano AI model is also available on the Pixel 8 Pro with the latest feature drop. You can pick from four different writing styles — Chill, Excited, Formal, and Shakespearean. Similarly, the Photomoji feature is now available on all currently supported Pixel phones, allowing you to turn photos on your phone into emoji that you can use for message reactions.

With the January Pixel feature drop, Google has rebranded the Nearby Share feature to Quick Share, a feature offered by Samsung alongside Google’s feature. This change was previously announced by the company and will roll out to all Android smartphones in the future. Meanwhile, owners of the Pixel Watch 2 will now experience seamless switching between their devices, when they’re using the Pixel Buds Pro, according to the company.

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