Google Pixel 8 Pro gets major software upgrade and new features next week

New body temperature reading, Circle to Search, and more feature drops are coming to Google Pixel 8 series next week

Google Pixel 8 Pro in Minty green
(Image credit: Google)

When it comes to the best Android phones, Google's Pixel series has really impressed in recent years – the Google Pixel 8 Pro, in particular, has brought some great features to the fore. Well, it's about to get even more upgrades: from 31 January an over-the-air update will deliver its first feature drop of 2024. 

So what's on the update list? The Pixel 8 Pro's temperature sensor will be put to good use with a "new medical-grade feature in the Thermometer app" which will enable you to "scan your forehead to get an accurate body temperature measurement". It wasn't totally certain when the temperature sensor would be put to more practical use when the phone launched, but this is a clear first step. 

There's much more too. Hot on the heels of Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event, which revealed the Galaxy S24 Ultra and other S24 handsets, the newly announced Circle To Search is also coming to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. This new search feature enables you to search, scribble, highlight or tap any object/subject on page for immediate search, without needing to jump between apps. So it's not only a benefit reserved for the Samsung series. 

Benefitting earlier Pixel handsets (from Pixel 6 and onwards) there's a new Magic Compose option to rewrite drafted messages in different styles – whether more professional, more verse, more concise and so forth. On Pixel 8 Pro specifically this happens on-device.

Next up is Photomoji on Google Messages, which "allows you to transform your favourite photos into reactions" – again using the help of Google's on-device AI power from its Tensor chipset. This feature allows you to select a subject/object, which can then be saved into a special tab for future use.

Beyond just new Pixel software features dropping, however, 31 January will also be the date when the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro arrive in a new finish: Mint, as the minty green colour is called (as pictured above), is the fresh new look for either device – an ideal alternative if the Bay Blue, Porcelain or Obsidian of the original larger Google phone aren't to your taste.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.