Google Pixel December Update Brings VPN and Clear Calling, Still No 5G Support for Phones in India

The latest feature drop does not include 5G support for Pixel phones in India.


Google made its biggest feature drop yet for the Pixel phones and for the first time, the Pixel Watch. The monthly update bringing new features includes a bunch of new things to try out on your Pixel devices. As Google said in its blog, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. This time, the feature drop brings a dedicated VPN for Pixel 7 users, along with a dedicated security section, AI-powered clear calling, and an enhanced voice recorder. But that one gift all Pixel users are waiting for in India is still elusive. The latest feature drop does not include 5G support for Pixel phones in India.

After the update started rolling out, Indian Pixel 7 users took to Twitter to voice their concerns regarding the absence of 5G support, which Google had promised will be delivered some time in December for Airtel and Reliance Jio 5G networks. But it seems this is not the one to bring it. Nevertheless, there’s still time in December, so hopefully, we may 5G support come in as as Christmas gift to Pixel users in India.

Google Pixel Feature Drop: What’s New?

The December feature drop for Pixel phones and Pixel Watch includes a variety of new features.

First, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users can use the VPN by Google One at no extra cost. The VPN is built to ensure your network traffic can’t be tied to your identity, even by Google, the company said in a blogpost. The VPN service is already available for Google One members on Platinum plans, but now Pixel 7 and 7 Pro users can use even without having a subscription.

Next, Google has unified security and privacy settings in the Settings app. The new section shows up action cards that notify users of any security risks and provide easy steps to secure yourself against threats.

Furthermore, the December feature drop includes Clear Calling, which leverages the Tensor G2’s AI cores to enhance the caller’s voice when there’s a noisy background.

The Pixel Recorder app also got a facelift and new features. It can now identify and label different speakers in a conversation, and has line breaks when the speaker changes. So if you are recording an interview, each person is labelled individually. Here too, Google leverages its machine learning prowess to deliver a clean transcription right inside the Recorder app.

As for the Pixel Watch, the wearable is getting the Fitbit Sleep Profile feature, provided you have a Fitibit Premium subscription, after the first six months. The feature offers a better picture of how you slept, including duration, consistency, disruption, and more.

The older Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones are also getting snore and cough detection while you sleep.

Furthermore, the Feature Drop includes a Digital Key that lets you lock, unlock or start cars that are compatible with Pixel phones. Additionally, Gboard gets Grammar Check in French, Live Translate gets text translation in Arabic, Persian, Swedish, Vietnamese, and Danish, while on-device search gets more powerful on the Pixel 4a.