Back in December of 2019, Google released its first feature drop for Google Pixel phones. The feature drop brought new features and improvements to the Pixel users. Google also promised to release regular feature drops to Pixel users and it looks like we might get another one soon.
First spotted by 9to5google (via Neowin), hints surrounding the new feature drop has shown up on Pixel Tips app. Earlier today, Google released a new update for Pixel Tips for some Pixel phones. The new update had a file named “tips_sw_202003a.json”. The file gave some insights into what we could expect from the March feature drop.
Dark Mode scheduling for Google Pixel
Google has already released Dark Mode schedule feature on Android 11 Developer Preview but the company is now bringing it to the current Android 10 Pixel phones as well. The new update added the following strings which confirm the feature.
<string name=”tips_darktheme2_feature_description”>Dark theme turns on automatically at sunset</string> <string name=”tips_darktheme2_feature_name”>Schedule Dark theme</string> <string name=”tips_darktheme2_link”>Dark theme settings</string> <string name=”tips_darktheme2_media_description”>Video about Dark theme. To add Dark theme to Quick Settings, swipe down twice from the top of your screen and tap Edit.</string> <string name=”tips_darktheme2_summary”>”Dark theme uses a black background to keep your battery alive longer. It also changes the appearance of your Google apps, like Gmail and Photos.\n\nAdd Dark theme to your Quick Settings to turn it on or off anytime. Touch and hold to set up a schedule.”</string> <string name=”tips_darktheme2_title”>Take it easy on your eyes and your battery with Dark theme</string>
Cards and Passes for Google Pixel
This feature has been popping on the Pixel Tips app for a quite a while now. Cards and Passes will basically allow Google Pixel users to access every card in the Google Pay wallet easily from the power key menu. It looks like the feature might finally make it to Pixel users.
<string name=”tips_powerkey_features_link”>Cards & passes settings</string> <string name=”tips_powerkey_features_feature_name”>Quick access to wallet</string> <string name=”tips_powerkey_features_summary”>”Press & hold the Power button to access payment methods, passes, and emergency info. – Payment methods in Google Pay: If your phone is locked, you'll need to unlock it to complete payment. – Boarding passes and tickets: Available from the lock screen before a flight or event. – Emergency info: To help in an emergency, people with access to your phone can view your medical info and dial your emergency contacts without unlocking your phone.”</string>
Motion Sense Gestures for Google Pixel
This is another feature that was expected to be exclusive to Android 11 but will come to current Google Pixel devices as well. The feature will allow users to perform “air tap” to indicate if you want to play/pause the music. Right now, the feature is exclusive to Pixel 4 and Android 11 Developer Preview but will be rolling out to existing Google Pixel users soon.
<string name=”tips_oslo_music_feature_description”>Use Quick Gestures to pause or skip songs</string> <string name=”tips_oslo_music_summary”>”Pause or resume music by tapping the air above the phone. Skip songs by swiping left or right above the phone.”</string>
Car Crash Detection for Google Pixel
Car Crash Detection is was introduced along with Pixel 4 but it looks like Google is planning to bring it to older phones as well. The Pixel Tips app had references to the feature which is expected to drop to Pixel phones in March.
<string name=”tips_carcrash_title”>Get help calling emergency services after a car crash</string> <string name=”tips_carcrash_feature_description”>With car crash detection, your phone can call emergency services</string>
We speculate that the feature drop will happen in the middle of March or towards the end of the month. Google updated its Pixel Tips app two weeks before the actual drop in December so it’s likely that the company will follow the same timeline in March.