Google to Adjust Vibrations on Pixel Phones Based on Surroundings

We've all had those moments when we missed an important text or phone call because our phone was on vibrate and we just didn't feel it. Google may have a solution: an adaptive vibration setting that's designed to adjust the strength of a phone's buzzing depending on the environment.

The new feature reportedly appeared unannounced in Google's most recent Android 15 beta for its latest Pixel smartphones, and it uses the phone's microphone and other sensors to determine the surroundings. Screenshots posted by 9to5Google and Android Authority show a note that assures users that while the phone's microphones and sensors are listening, "no data is ever recorded."

Google representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the company's plans for the feature or whether it'll be made available beyond Pixel phones.

Phones are changing

Google makes a series of annual refinements to its Android software, responding to everyday annoyances that come with owning a smartphone. These types of updates don't usually generate a lot of buzz beyond the tech world, but they do often make the devices easier to use.

Read more: Best Android phone for 2024

This year in particular, Google has added features like Circle to Search, which lets people pull up Google while using any app and have the service search for anything they've highlighted on the screen. In its upcoming Android 15 software, due later this year, the company has also reportedly added more ways to control the volume of remotely connected speakers, headphones or TVs. And Google has been building Android 15 to include attention-grabbing goodies like new privacy tools and improvements to satellite connectivity, a feature that's gotten attention for Apple's iPhones but hasn't yet caught on with other companies.

Speaking of Apple, the iPhone maker will also likely include smaller refinements to its upcoming iOS 18 mobile operating system when it's announced in June. The software, which powers the iPhone and iPad, is rumored to be making it easier to connect to-do items between the Calendar and Reminders apps. That's of course on top of bigger moves the company is expected to make around AI -- revamping Siri in response to the explosive popularity of chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google's Gemini and others.

(For hands-on CNET reviews of generative AI products including Gemini, Claude, ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot, along with AI news, tips and explainers, see our new AI Atlas resource page.)

Don't miss: Google Releases Second Android 15 Developer Preview. How to Get the OS on Your Phone Right Now

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