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Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro get Clear Calling and VPN

If you’ve been eager to try Clear Calling on the Pixel 7 but unwilling to download beta software to use it, then today’s your day — Google is taking it and a couple of other features promised for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro public in today’s feature drop. That includes new speaker labels for transcriptions in the Recorder app and access to Google One’s VPN feature at no cost — it’s otherwise reserved for subscribers on Google’s $9.99 / month 2TB plan.

Clear Calling attempts to reduce background sounds when the person you’re talking to is in a noisy environment. It’s only coming to the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro and won’t be added to Pixel 6 phones in the future. The Pixel 6 series uses the first-gen custom Tensor chipset and apparently lacks some secret sauce that’s in the second generation. Google spokesperson Matthew Flegal told The Verge that “Clear Calling requires the capabilities of the Google Tensor G2 processor, so it will not roll back to Pixel 6 models.”

They won’t get Clear Calling, but there are a few other items in this feature drop for older Pixel phones. This update enables spatial audio with head tracking with Pixel Buds Pro, but the feature itself won’t be available until January. Security and privacy settings are organized into a single hub now, and new wallpapers arrive to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities.

Pixel Watch owners are getting some promised updates, too. You’ll get Fitbit Premium’s Sleep Profiles, including a monthly sleep animal (!), plus new weather and contacts Tiles. Sleep Profiles require 14 nights’ worth of data, so if you’ve been wearing your Pixel Watch to bed for the past two weeks, rest easy: you’ll be able to take advantage of that feature right away.

Update December 5th, 5:15PM ET: This article was updated to include a statement from Google PR indicating that the Pixel 6 series won’t get Clear Calling in a future update.

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