Google Pixel’s lock screen Snapchat shortcut is here

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Quick Tap to Snap, a Google Pixel feature announced in October that lets you open Snapchat directly from your lock screen by tapping twice on the rear of the phone, is arriving as part of the Pixel’s latest feature drop. The functionality will be available on the Pixel 4A 5G and newer devices, and Google says there’s also a new Pixel-exclusive Snapchat filter called “Pixel Face” on the way this month.

The Quick Tap to Snap feature is one of a handful of updates coming as part of the Google Pixel’s feature drop this month. Other features include new ultra-wideband (UWB) functionality on the Pixel 6 Pro, a new “conversation mode” accessibility feature in the Sound Amplifier app, and the expansion of car crash detection and automatic transcriptions to more countries and languages, respectively.

We’ve known since its launch that the Pixel 6 Pro includes an ultra-wideband chip, but until now it’s not been used for much. However, with this latest update, Google says the 6 Pro’s UWB chip will be used to improve its Nearby Share feature when sending files to other ultra-wideband devices, including compatible Samsung phones. UWB chips found in Samsung and Apple’s recent phones have used the technology to accurately pinpoint their respective location trackers, but similar functionality has yet to make an appearance on Google’s latest phone.


The Sound Amplifier feature in action.
Image: Google

Google is characterizing Sound Amplifier’s “conversation mode” as an “early-stage accessibility feature.” It’s designed to tune out distracting background noise when you’re trying to listen to someone, with an interface that’s as simple as pointing your phone at the person to whom you want to listen.

A couple of previously launched features are also expanding. The Pixel’s Recorder app, which allows you to automatically transcribe speech, now supports more languages like Japanese, French, and German on the Pixel 3 and up. These languages were previously exclusive to Pixel 6 devices, according to Google’s support page. Car crash detection, which originally launched with the Pixel 4 in 2019, is also expanding to more countries. It’s coming to Taiwan, Italy, and France, after having previously been available in Spain, Ireland, Japan, the UK, Australia, Singapore, and the US.

There are a couple of customization tweaks coming to select Pixel devices and accessories. If you’re using a Pixel phone with the A-series Pixel Buds you now get more control over bass response, and the Pixel 3 and newer can now customize how long you need to hold the power button before the Google Assistant activates.

Google says these features are rolling out “in the next few weeks.” The exact availability of features varies by Pixel model. They join a collection of new features that were announced for the Android platform more generally last week, which included the ability to unlock select 2020–2022 BMW cars in certain countries by tapping Pixel 6 phones on the door handle.

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