Google's new approach to updating its Pixel phones is similar, though not identical. Monthly security patches are still the norm, but now Google withholds certain upgrades for inclusion in quarterly Pixel feature updates. Or as Google explains it, "Your Pixel automatically updates regularly with fixes and improvements. Now, your Pixel will also get bigger updates in new Pixel feature drops."
What's New in Google's First Pixel Feature Update
The very first Pixel feature update is now available to Pixel 4 series smartphone owners. One of the features it brings with it is a change to Face Unlock. Before this update, Pixel 4 owners would scan their mug, and that data would be used to unlock their phones with their face. That still applies, though with this latest update, the feature constantly improves. Instead of relying solely on the initial scan, Pixel 4 devices now improve over time, as it uses recent images when unlocking the phone to stay up to date. So, no worries if you decided to grow a beard or get a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo.
Pixel 4 owners will also benefit from improved GPS tracking. This comes by way of support for dual frequency GNSS, which allows the phone to track from more than one signal from a satellite using two different frequencies. Specifically, the L1 and L5 frequencies are now used for GPS (and E1 and E5a for Galileo satellites).
According to Google, this results in "amazingly fast accuracy in Google Maps with improved on-device computing for much better location quality." So, yay for that.