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Got a Pixel? Don’t miss these 8 buried Android 12 treasures

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Well, my fellow Pixel pals, the time has finally arrived: After months of development, mountains of beta releases, and a weirdly empty-feeling tease of a code release, Google’s Android 12 update is finally on its way into our moist, sweaty paws.

Android 12 represents one of the most significant evolutions to the operating system in ages — arguably since all the way back with 2014’s Android 5.0 Lollipop release. And much of that comes down to how the software operates on Google’s own Pixel devices.

Many of Android 12’s most meaningful changes seem like they’ll be exclusive to Pixels, in fact, which represents a pretty substantial shift in what Android even is and what the operating system represents. That’s why I’ve been referring to this as the start of the Android Pixel era — because now more than ever, there’s the Android experience, and then there’s the Android Pixel experience. The latter is where much of Google’s most impressive new magic resides, and as a Pixel owner, that’s the experience you’ll be getting.

Now, you’ve probably heard plenty about Android 12’s most prominent features — the new Material You design, most notably, along with the many less flashy but even more important privacy-related enhancements the software delivers.

But beyond those marquee features lies a treasure trove of tucked-away time-savers, experience-enhancers, and other subtle new touches — some of which will make their way to other Android devices eventually but many of which seem likely to be exclusive to Pixels for the foreseeable future. They aren’t at all obvious, and most folks will never even realize they’re present. But believe you me: They’re well worth your while to uncover.

Here are eight shiny new gems buried on your Pixel as of the Android 12 update. Dig ’em up, try ’em out, and then come sign up for my free Pixel Academy e-course to uncover even more hidden Pixel magic.

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