Three New AI Features Rumored to Be Coming to Pixel 9

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Google is set to unveil its Pixel 9 lineup of smartphones in August, a full month earlier than usual. Along with new hardware, which, of course, has already leaked, the company is likely to reveal new software features for the new Pixel devices, and unsurprisingly, much of that will be AI. Lucky for us, we don’t have to wait to learn about some of these features.

In an exclusive report, Android Authority details new AI features allegedly coming to Pixel 9. Android Authority says a source inside Google provided the outlet with a list of five features the company plans to highlight with the release of its new smartphone this year, via a screenshot titled “Discover Google AI at its best.”

We know about two of these features already. One is Circle to Search, which, as the name implies, lets you draw a circle around an element on your smartphone’s display to start a search on it. The other is Gemini, Google’s AI assistant, which you can already use to replace the traditional Google Assistant on your Pixel if you want to.

While Google may push these two existing AI features as part of its Pixel 9 launch, there are three new AI features the company may also rollout in tandem with the new smartphone:

Add Me

According to the alleged screenshot from Google Android Authority shared, “Add Me” is a feature that lets you “make sure everyone’s included in a group photo.” While that isn’t particularly descriptive, one can infer that Android will use AI to edit you into a picture if you didn’t make it in frame in time.

That would be a compliment to Google’s existing Best Take feature, which, after taking multiple photos of a group of people, lets you choose the “best” face of each subject from each photo.

These are useful features in theory, but they do challenge the idea of the photograph itself: What’s really the point of a photo if it doesn’t actually represent reality? “Let’s all look at that group photo we took on our trip last year. Although Greg wasn’t actually there…and Melissa definitely wasn’t looking at the camera…At least we’re all smiling!”

Studio

“You imagine it. Pixel creates it.” That’s how Google describes “Studio” in Android Authority’s screenshot. By the description, it sounds like a built-in AI image generator on your Pixel. That tracks, since Google is reportedly building an app called Creative Assistant, primarily for making stickers.

It’s par for the course these days for tech companies to offer AI art generators, so this isn’t a surprising development. I’m sure Google will inject some Pixel or Android-specific features with Studio, but for now, this is all we know.

Pixel Screenshots

It’s “Pixel Screenshots” that’s by far the most interesting new feature outlined here. Based on the screenshots of the feature shared by Android Authority, Pixel Screenshots is essentially Microsoft’s Recall feature, but for the screenshots saved on your Pixel.

Recall, as you may recall, was designed to save a snapshot of your entire screen every few moments, so you could search for quite literally anything you ever did on your PC. It was met with widespread concern and criticism, especially once it appeared to be quite vulnerable to hacking. Microsoft has since delayed the feature’s rollout.

Pixel Screenshots, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to take a screenshot of your display every few seconds; rather, it scans your existing screenshots to turn them into a “searchable library.” If you know you screenshotted a pair of shoes you wanted to buy, or a receipt you need to reference, you can use the feature to search for it.

When you turn the feature on, Android will save extra data for screenshots you take going forward, including web links, the names of apps, and the date and time the screenshot was taken, all to make it easier to search for those data points in the future. Interestingly, the feature says all data access and processing happens on-device, so none of your data should make its way to Google’s servers.

On the surface, it sounds much more secure than Microsoft’s solution, although it also serves a much different purpose. That said, there’s a slight risk to the feature: Allowing AI to make searching screenshots a breeze opens the door for anyone with access to your phone to do the same: If you save screenshots of sensitive information, like credit card numbers, banking info, or passwords, anyone with access to your phone could search for this data.

That said, Google hasn’t actually announced any of these features yet. We’ll just have to see which features, if any, the company does decide to bundle with the Pixel 9 when it launches later this year.

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