Google Pixel 4XL and Nest Mini updated  

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Since these two devices were reviewed towards the end of 2019 I have been asked to tell you about changes made to them in order that should you purchase them now you have the actual updated information for instance the Pixel 4XL was one of the first to come with Android 10 as standard.

Google Pixel 4XL

My first look was published in November and apart from the obvious change with it coming with Android 10 it has significant improvements to AI.

Gestures were in the original release but now you can do much more without touching your phone. They say it can even tell if you have had an accident in a vehicle and if required it can even call the emergency services.

Hopefully a feature you will use more often is to motion sense your music so going back, moving forward and pausing all by gestures.

Feature drops means that improvement happen while you are using your phone, for example turn a photo into a portrait with the ability to blur the background after you have taken the image.

In the USA they currently have a feature that can screen ‘robocalls’ so you never even know that you had them, this feature would be nice in the UK.

Maybe ‘Duo’ is the greatest improvement with the image staying stable even when you move on a video call and should someone else move into shot it zooms out so they are included and not just so the other party hears ‘hello mum’ from an unknown voice. This can even blur the background should you wish and for those on a call with poor bandwidth it can predict so instead of jumpy images it flows through the glitch.

The latest is that the face unlock bug can be fixed so that eyes need to be open for it to work whereas previously it could work with eyes closed, meaning theoretically someone could unlock your phone while you were asleep.

Should you own a Pixel 2 or 3 you may even find some of the new features are available to you.

Google Nest Mini

This was also reviewed last year and still sits by my bed and features have changed and now several of them can be acted on without having to say ‘hey google’ first. My favourite is the alarm feature that can be stopped by simply saying ‘stop’.

I normally try to relax to my favourite music for around an hour before sleep so after telling it to sleep it asks me what time to set the alarm for and then wishes me goodnight. By default the music App is Spotify and if you do not have a Spotify account then you still get adverts around every 15 minutes some are fine others are at far too high a volume.

In Google Home you can change this and my current choice is Deezer where I do currently have an account and so you get exactly what you request for example Hey Google play ;Dave Brubeck Time In; and it plays the tunes from that exact album.

Should you not turn your phone off at night you can ‘cast’ any music currently on your phone.

This last feature can even be a playlist that you have created previously to suit the occasion.

The more you use Nest Mini the more it learns as an example it now understands ‘pause’ and ‘continue’. So the Nest Mini learns while you use it.

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