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After a week-long delay, the March 2022 Pixel Feature Drop arrived on Monday as a rather unexciting update. It would have been a complete bust if it weren’t for Cross Device Timers that appear at a glance and Google Assistant notifications. (Fun fact: This feature — for whatever reason — won’t work with timers on the Google Home Max.) Meanwhile, Pixel 7 and 7 Pro users will benefit from the ability to use two eSIMs with Dual SIM Dual Standby, as well as digital car keys. UWB.
Magic Eraser for all Pixel phones was considered part of the Feature Drop after it was announced last month. Perhaps it would have been better to continue this launch until this week. I don’t think older Pixel owners were expecting anything when Magic Eraser became a Google One capability for all subscribers. This expansion would have been the main capability. Speaking of expansions, there are Direct My Call (now Pixel 4a-5a) and Home for Me (Japan).
The other way Google could have done this Drop Drop feature was by keeping the Pixel Watch Fall Detection and Pixel Buds Pro Head Tracking versions until yesterday. This quarter could have been the big accessory update, especially since there was nothing too exciting about the phone. Personally, I’m surprised Watch Unlock hasn’t been announced yet. Its launch window before Android 14 ends.
I would argue that Android 13 QPR2 with its many bug fixes was the biggest deal for most users. What’s strange about it is that the March update is not yet available for Pixel 6, 6 Pro, or 6a as of yesterday. Google’s native Tensor chip is the common factor, while the faster Night Sight feature has overshadowed it.
Finally, there is the changelog in the Android Beta Program. Google is no longer rolling out the stable version of Android 13 QPR2 to all users. Instead, you have to opt out to get it. Namely, check out before Android 13 QPR3 Beta 1 rolls out later this week.
Once you exit the program, you should avoid an OTA downgrade. Telling users to avoid the update seems risky, especially since there is a high risk that users (who are going through the motions) will accidentally accept it and delete their data. That’s the big problem here, and Google should have been very careful instead. Now, you have people worried about this data asking over and over that it’s safe to leave the beta.
video: Hands-on with all the new Pixel Feature Drop additions for March 2023
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