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Pixel 4 update: Access Google Pay as fast as Apple Pay on your iPhone

A handful of new software features are available for Pixel phones, including the ability to schedule Dark theme.

226-google-pixel-4-and-google-pixel-4-xl

The Pixel 4.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google dropped a handful of notable software updates today, enabling new features for its line of Pixel Android phones, including its main flagship handset, the Pixel 4. While some of these updates bring brand-new tools to the Pixel 4, others are previously-known features that are either newly available to other Pixel models or expanded to different countries where Pixel phones are available. For instance, you can now quickly access Google Pay by pressing and holding down the power button. 

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You can also add boarding passes to Google Pay by taking a screenshot of them (this latter feature will come to Pixel 4 phones in March, as well as to Pixel 3 and Pixel 3A devices). Also, users can now pause or resume music through Motion Sense by quickly hovering one's hand above the Pixel 4. Motion Sense is Google's touchless gesture feature, which it first introduced on the Pixel 4 in October 2019. At launch, users were only able to skip or repeat songs by waving their hand above the phone's display from one side to the other. 

Accessing Google Pay with the power button.

Google

Other updates include scheduling Dark theme to a specific time interval and 169 new emoji.

Crash Detection, which enables the phone to detect a car crash and automatically call an emergency number will be available for Pixel users in the UK and Australia. And Live Captioning, which debuted on the Pixel 4 and transcribes audio from videos in real time, will be available now for the Pixel 2

For more information on other minor updates for the Pixel, which include changes to Adaptive Brightness and AR effects for the Duo calling app, read Google's full release. And check out CNET's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL reviews as well.

This article was originally published on March 2.