• March Pixel Feature Drop is introducing exciting enhancements
  • Product manager Shenaz Zack detailed these changes in a blog post
  • Such improvements enable sleep assistance, underwater photography and more

One of the main selling points for Google's Pixel catalog is the timely updates it gets directly from the developers. These unlock new features or address issues from previous versions of the operating system. The latest one for March 2021 includes functionality enhancements for sleep, productivity, visuals and imaging.

The details of these upgrades were posted on Google's The Keyword blog. "The best part of your Pixel is that it keeps getting even more helpful, and even more unique. With regular updates, Pixels get smarter, more capable and more fun," wrote product manager Shenaz Zack.

She went on to list the changes Google's software engineers have implemented via the March 2021 Pixel update, which includes sleep schedule assistance with the Pixel Stand, new wallpapers to commemorate this year's relevant cultural events, Smart Compose, shareable recordings and underwater photography.

Typing Assistance

With the help of machine learning algorithms, Smart Compose will help users create messages with minimal input. For now, this feature is limited to Pixel users in the United States and is compatible with English only.

Dynamic Personalization

After supported Pixel handsets are updated, a collection of new wallpapers with artwork by international artists become available. These are intended to match the relevant cultural moments in 2021.

For International Women's Day on March 8, background illustrations by Spanish duo Cachetejack will take center stage, according to Google.

Sleep Assistance

Among the features included in the March 2021 update, this is one of two that requires an optional accessory (Pixel Stand). To aid Pixel users with their sleep, the bedtime screen on the Clock app has been changed accordingly.

For now, models supported include the Pixel 3, Pixel, 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 5. While the smartphone is wirelessly charging on the Pixel Stand, notifications and visual elements are adjusted to facilitate sleep.

Although Google has not specified the details, it appears the brightness and colors of the display change to discourage wakefulness.

Underwater Photography

A majority of Pixel owners are aware of the powerful imaging capabilities of their device. Starting with the Pixel 3, Google has designed its flagship models with improved ingress protection. However, this level of water resistance does not entail submersion.

But thanks to the March 21 update, underwater photography is now possible with the optional Universal Smart Phone Housing from Kraken Sports. The product page indicates that it uses Bluetooth connectivity to execute commands via the physical buttons on the case.

Shareable Recordings

Finally, Google has made it easier for Pixel owners to share their audio recordings and transcripts with other users. This is also accessible for others who do not have a Pixel smartphone.

Upcoming Features

All of the above-mentioned features are now available on all supported Pixel smartphones that have updated with the latest software release for March 2021. Zack's blog post also notes that Google Fit will receive another update next week, which will enable health monitoring functionalities for heart rate and respiratory rate.

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