This post was originally published on 26 July and updated on 28 July. Update below.
In about a month, Google will send an important update to its Pixel Buds. This is not just a run-of-the-mill firmware update to fix problems (although it will do so), but rather it is the company’s first “feature drop” for recently released headphones.
Update 28/07: We won’t have to wait long to see what Samsung and Apple are doing to challenge the Pixel Buds. Samsung’s “Unpacked” event is scheduled for August 5 and is released by the Korean company in an effort to build some publicity Teaser video yesterday.
Nothing is as clearly revealed as you expected, but there are clear silhouettes of Samsung’s devices to unveil, including a questionable Galaxy Note 20, a new smartwatch and, of course, the Galaxy Buds “Beans” Is planning – rumor of which you can see shaped like beans.
As my colleague david felon Told yesterday, The new buds show an unusual bean-like shape that fits perfectly inside the ear. A rut Demonstration video Shows how they fit, but little is known about what new ‘smart’ features will come with the buds. However they are rumored to have active noise cancellation.
Elsewhere, it seems likely that Apple will host its AirPods to measure better health data with new biometric sensors. As reported by Phelan, “It is thought that the next AirPods Pro may be loaded with additional sensors to make them more attractive as a health and fitness device. The patent, as seen by Apple in the past, first appeared in the last few years. Has been provided to Apple, so it could mean the 2021 release of AirPods Pro time to include the new sensor.
“These may include heart-rate sensors, VO2 sensors, galvanic skin response sensors, ECG sensors, temperature sensors and more.”
The idea, it seems, is that AirPods, when paired with your phone or Apple Watch, can measure many activities outside of steps and heart rate, which may include Yoga is done And temperature checking (especially useful at this time). Apple likely has Google’s monopoly on AI-based smart features and, in response, relies on its strengths: health and fitness monitoring. In fact all of these sensors will be fielded in a pair of small AirPods, and how useful they really are has yet to be seen, but an interesting battle is taking shape between the two devices.
Feature drops are functionality updates for Pixel Buds and Pixel phones (where the concept originated) that add new software features to some extent regularly. The idea is that users experience new features that cannot wait for major software launches – which in the case of the Pixel phones, means an annual Android update.
We don’t know what’s going to happen in the first Pixel Bud feature drop, but the very idea of constantly improving – and adding – new functionality to the products through major software enhancements coming from Google’s AI factory – and will continue to – There is a problem for the competition.
Some of these features can be artificial and take away from the main functionality of headphones, which is to play music. But don’t really wireless earphone users now regularly enjoy ‘smart’ features such as automatically pausing music while ejecting an earbud? Or a track, or in-depth tapping to skip / stop EQ settings? All TWS are included as standard with earbuds. It may well be that unusual features such as noise detection or battery alerts become a new norm in some places even in the near future.
So what features can Google add to make its Pixel Buds a more enticing prospect with the first feature drop? After upsetting some Pixel Bud’s owners, two ideas surfaced to me: touch sensitivity and more granular sound settings.
Let’s start with touch sensitivity. If you are familiar with the original 2016 Pixel Buds, you will know that they were prone to accidental touches due to the large capacitive area.
The music you inadvertently paused and paused whenever you tried to adjust your earbuds was annoying. I’ve been using the new Pixel Buds for a couple of weeks, and they still have this issue until they make a significant improvement over the original headphones. More so than my Galaxy Buds Plus, which are saved by a smaller housing-to-capacitive-area ratio. Solution? A feature that lets users temporarily turn off the control – both or on an earbud – so that you can like your headphones without fear.
The other requested feature is an equalizer, which has the ability to save presets. It would be very welcome to have a choice of tinker bass and treble to suit your general tastes, especially if you can quickly switch depending on your environment. In general, more customizable settings, such as adjusting gesture control or muting calls with taps, would also be a welcome move by Google.
It does not end here
This is a possibility, and promise, of improvements that differentiate pixel buds. Although Google is not officially committed to regular functionality updates, the feature drop program itself is based on regularity – so expect more after the August update.
Other companies definitely update their products with soulful new features. Apple has announced a fleet of new features, including an impressive spatial audio feature, for its AirPods and AirPods Pro, but there is no suggestion that this will be something that happens often.
The regularity of these feature drops for pixel buds is the second most interesting unknown piece of the puzzle (after the actual features).
Pixel phone updates come out almost every three months (although Google is not officially committed to this schedule), which I imagine is a permanent goal that the nearby features will continue to pump up their support team Huh. Phones can do a lot more than earbuds, so there’s more to work with.
For Pixel Buds, Google has to be creative if it wants to be on a regular schedule. Perhaps my imagination is limited, but there are only so many things a pair of headphones can do without delving into the world of pointless gimmick.
But that’s why Pixel Buds has an edge over the competition, there’s Will More likely to come from earbuds Will be surprised. After a few updates, Pixel Buds launched in May 2020 will look and behave differently than Pixel Buds of May 2021 – at no additional cost. If the next update resolves serious audio cut-out issues, Pixel Buds will remain a threat to the competition with every update.
More on Forbes
Google Confirm Pixels Buds Will Get First Important Update Very Soon
Samsung picks up the Galaxy Buds game to fight Apple’s AirPods Pro