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Next week’s big Pixel update could include two highly anticipated features

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Next Monday it’s June 6. For many, that may be an ordinary day in early June. But for those with the Pixel 4, 4 XL, Pixel 4a, 4a (5G), Pixel 5, 5a, Pixel 6, and 6 Pro, it’s like Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4, and their birthdays all rolled into one. That’s because Google is expected to drop the June Quarterly Pixel Feature Drop next Monday.

Users of the Google Pixel 4 and above should receive the June Quarterly Pixel update next Monday

Four times a year (every three months), Google refreshes the Pixel line by adding new features and capabilities through an update to Pixel units that still receive support from Google. And for June there is some excitement over the possibility of Google adding Face unlock to the Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 6 line has suffered from a notoriously laggy optical fingerprint sensor and users would love the option to use face unlock.

The latest information on the matter revealed that Google originally planned to include Face unlock on the Pro model at launch, but it was withdrawn by the manufacturer at the last minute. Perhaps there wouldn’t have been such a call to add the facial recognition system to the Pixel 6 Pro with the June Feature Drop if Google had included a better biometric sensor with the phone at launch.
Without the hardware used on devices like the iPhone X and later, and the Pixel 4 line for Face ID and Face unlock respectively, it seems there’s no way Google can.

add a secure facial recognition system to the Pixel 6 Pro. After all, without the right camera system, how could the Pixel 6 Pro create a 3D depth map of the user’s face? And with 2D facial recognition, simply posting a photo of a phone’s user in front of the camera can trick the face unlock into giving a hacker access to a Pixel 6 Pro.

Buy the Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro

But in April, we passed on some exciting news. One report stated that the Sony IMX 663 image sensor (used on the Pixel 6 Pro, but not on the Pixel 6) could create a depth map. In a blog post written in 2017, Google explained how to create a portrait mode depth map using just one camera. “To calculate depth, we can use a stereo algorithm. The Pixel 2 doesn’t have dual cameras, but it does have a technology called Phase-Detect Auto-Focus (PDAF) pixels, also known as dual-pixel autofocus (DPAF).”

Google says: “If you imagine splitting the (small) lens of the camera on the back of the phone into two halves, the view of the world as seen through the left side of the lens and the view through the right side is slightly different. These two viewpoints are less than 1mm apart (approximately the diameter of the lens), but they are different enough to compute stereo and produce a depth map.”

After Face Unlock, it’s the most requested feature that Pixel 6 series users will want from next week’s feature drop

One problem that cannot be solved is the lack of a spotlight on the Pixel 6 Pro. The latter emits infrared light to ensure that a person’s face can be seen by the facial recognition system in use, even in low-light conditions. The Google Pixel 6 Pro may tell users to use the proven in-display fingerprint scanner in low-light conditions.

Google usually releases monthly Android and Pixel updates on the first Monday of each month and in June, that is, June 6. There is no guarantee that June’s Quarterly Pixel Feature Drop will include face unlock. This year, Google is allowing compatible Pixel models to participate in a beta program that will allow them to test some of its upcoming features.

The Pixel Feature Drop for June could also fix some of the thorny issues that have plagued users of the 2021 Pixel 6 models, most notably connectivity issues. And some users got excited when the vibrate icon returned to the status bar with the latest beta version for the Feature Drop. A toggle switch allows users to set their phone to “always show icon in vibrate mode”.

The vibrate icon is important because it allows users to know whether their phone will ring loudly or vibrate softly when an incoming call comes in. For example, if the Pixel user is attending a meeting, they don’t want a loud and obnoxious ring to disrupt the conference.

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