One of the good things about being a Pixel owner is that even if a new feature is made available on the latest and newest models, there is always a chance that Google will figure out a way to add the feature to older Pixel phones. For example, Google recently took the Magic Eraser and Camouflage features, which supposedly required the use of the Tensor chip found only on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 lines and added them to all Pixel phones.
Google recently added Magic Eraser/Camouflage to older Pixel models
Magic Eraser removes unwanted people and things from photos stored on the Google Photos app. Camouflage tones down the color of items that distract from the subject of a photo. For example, if you’re taking a dull picture of a kitchen oven and a bright red package on the side of the photo is distracting, Camouflage will tone down the color of the package so it blends in with the rest of the image.
Camouflage tones down the color of distracting items in a photo
Now, this writer must confess to getting envious when the Pixel 7 series was announced because it made my Pixel 6 Pro (which I’m paying off over 36 months) outdated. Forgetting Face Unlock, which I would love to have, the Pixel 7 had some cool new features such as the one that saves battery life by allowing users to reduce the screen resolution from QHD+ (1440p) to FHD+ (1080+).
I also wanted Photo Unblur, the feature that “fixes” blurry photos no matter which camera was used to shoot them. The Pixel 6 line only has Face Unblur which will correct photos with blurry faces. Another Pixel 7 series feature that I longed for, believe it or not, was the version of Direct My Call available only on the Pixel 7 models. With Direct My Call, when you ring a business with an automated menu, the phone shows each option as it is announced by the pre-recorded operator.
The enhanced version of Direct My Call on the Pixel 7 will show the menu options for a particular company before the automated operator starts speaking. Google gets this data from Pixel users who previously called the same number and gave the data to the search giant. It’s certainly a time saver. The last Pixel 7 feature I want is Clear Calling which removes ambient noises from phone calls.
Google upgrades the Direct My Call feature on the Pixel 6 line
So let’s see what has happened. In December, the Pixel 6 line received the feature that allows users to reduce the screen resolution to save battery life. To do this on your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, go to Settings > Display > Screen resolution and tap on high resolution (1080p) and Full Resolution to return to 1440p. This might give you some extra battery time and most people say that you can’t tell the difference between the two resolutions anyway.
The enhanced version of Direct My Call is now available on the Pixel 6 line
Today, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pop-up alert on my Pixel 6 Pro telling me that my handset now has the same enhanced Direct My Call version as the one on the Pixel 7 series. Turned on by default, I will now be able to see menu options before they are announced. This will allow me to choose an option before the automated recording starts.
Now, about the other features I’d like to see made available to my Pixel 6 Pro. Face Unlock, while possible, is not probable although you never know. This, and Clear Calling, both supposedly require the second-gen Tensor 2 SoC which is only found on the 2022 Pixel models. Still, if Google can find a way to offer Magic Eraser on all Pixel handsets, it might be able to make Face Unlock and Clear Calling backward compatible. And Google told us last year that Clear Calling would eventually be offered on the Pixel 6 line, so we will have to see.
As for Photo Unblur, this is the next exclusive Pixel 7 feature that just might be added to older Pixel phones. If you own a Pixel 6 series phone or older, just keep your fingers crossed.