Google Pixel’s First ‘Feature Drop’ Brings Robocall Screening, Portrait Blur, and More

Google has today started rolling out the very first “feature drop” for its Pixel smartphones, bringing tons of new features and updates such as robocall screening, new portrait mode features, better memory management, and improved video calling. Google says it will be releasing such feature drops for its Pixel phones on a regular basis.


Starting with the Pixel 4-exclusive robocall screening, the updated Call Screen feature helps you automatically screen unknown callers and filter out detected robocalls before your phone ever rings, so you’re not interrupted by them.

Video calls are now also better on Pixel 4 with new Duo features, such as auto-framing, which keeps your face centred during the calls. When you make Duo video calls on Pixel 2, 3 and 4, you can now apply a portrait filter as well.

The update also brings the ability to turn a photo into a portrait on Pixel by blurring the background post-snap.

In addition to new features for Pixel 4, we’re also bringing new apps and features to Pixel 2, 3 and 3a:

  • The Recorder app is now available on older generations of Pixel.
  • Pixel 3 and 3a users will get Live Caption. 
  • Digital Wellbeing is getting updates too. Focus mode is rolling out to help you stay productive and minimize distractions by pausing apps you’ve selected in a single tap. You can now set an automatic schedule, take a short break or end Focus mode early without disrupting your schedule.
  • Flip to Shhh will also join the Digital Wellbeing features on Pixel 2 and 2XL.
  • If you use a Pixel 4 in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Singapore and Australia, you’ll soon get the new Google Assistant (English only), which is even faster and more helpful.

Google’s first feature drop is already rolling out and will hit Pixel devices in the coming weeks.