Google Is Rolling Out Two Features iPhone Users Wish They Could Get [Opinion]

Google Pixel 3
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Back when Google introduced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, they presented two new features that are worth noting. Unfortunately, the phones shipped without those features, leaving Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL owners with a pocket full of potential, but a bunch of real and present bugs and glitches.

Now, Google is making good on its earlier promises by rolling out the features that were initially missing. The needle is moving back from disappointment to excitement, as what is hailed as the best cameraphone is taking a huge leap forward with Night Sight. Also, the solid digital assistant is getting a boost with a new call screening feature.

Engadget put it most enthusiastically when they said, “The Pixel’s Night Sight camera mode performs imaging miracles.”

“When Google showed off its Night Sight feature at the Pixel 3 event last month, we were impressed but skeptical. Sample photos from the keynote looked drastically better when shot with the low-light mode, but since the feature wasn’t live, we couldn’t vouch for its effectiveness. Now Google is finally releasing Night Sight to the masses — meaning you won’t have to resort to installing a camera port to test out this mode. After some time testing the software out, I have to say, I’m blown away.”

Night Sight is best thought of as a way of doing flash photography without the flash. All cameras can do reasonably good night shots as long as you use the flash. Apple has put a lot of work into its True Tone flash, making colors look more natural.

But many situations are not flash friendly, and even the best camera flash creates unnatural bright spots that many would rather avoid. Night Sight gives Pixel 3 owners the best of what flash photography has to offer without the flash, or any of the downsides.

Even more exciting to some is the new call screening feature that is a part of the Google Assistant. You no longer have to waste time answering calls you suspect are spam. You can let the assistant screen the call for you, follow the real-time transcription, and pick up at any point in the call if you so desire.

Currently, Apple has nothing like either of these features, and they are both extremely desirable. That said, some have raised concerns about both groundbreaking features.

With regard to Night Sight, purists complain that the images taken at night are so good, they look like they were taken during a brighter time of the day. So if you want to capture the integrity of the moment, Night Sight prevents you from doing so. That objection is defeated by the fact that you have to select the feature if you want to use it. Otherwise, the integrity of the moment is maintained.

As for the call screening feature, some object to the idea of computers taking over what is an intrinsically human task of talking to the people who call you. But with robocalling on the rise, there is an increasing chance you would not be talking to a person, so there is some sense in allowing the computer to talk to unwanted computer callers.