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Google Pixel 4 ‘Feature Drop’ brings post-capture Portrait Blur and more

Google’s Pixel phones run the company’s Android operating system in its ‘purest’ form which also means they are the first devices to receive Android updates. Now Google has released its first ‘Feature Drop’ for the Pixel 4 and given us an overview in a blog post.

From an imaging point of view, the most interesting new feature is the ability to add a simulated bokeh effect post-capture, even if the image wasn’t originally shot in the Pixel’s Portrait mode. This means using Google Photos you can now add background blur to images that were shot a long time before bokeh simulation even was a thing.

On the downside, we would expect subject segmentation to be less precise than on images shot in Portrait Mode as the feature won’t have any depth data to work with and solely relies on subject recognition.

Other new features include an option for automatic Call Screen for robocalls and spam calls. Google Assistant can detect spam calls and silence them. Then it will screen the call to see if it might actually be worth your while. Google says it will also provide a ‘helpful context about who is calling and why.’

In addition, the video-calling app Google Duo can now auto-frame your face using the Pixel’s wide-angle selfie camera and expand the frame if a second person joins the caller. Google also says it has improved the Pixel 4’s memory management.

All new features will roll out ‘soon’ to Pixel users and at least some of them are likely to at some point appear on other Android devices as well. You can find the full list of new features on the Google Blog.