Google introduces new Android features!
September 26, 2022
Google is always working in order to improve the user experience. That’s why it has introduced new Android features to help you stay productive while communicating with loved ones and enjoying entertainment across all your devices. Also, in this opportunity, the team has bet on redesigned apps and watches that allow you to explore new ways like easier sharing or hosting game nights.
Get more done across your devices
The first improved app is Nearby Share, which lets you easily and securely share files between nearby Android phones, tablets, and Chromebooks, whether they’re photos, videos, or even entire folders.
Furthermore, in coming weeks, you’ll be able to use Nearby Share to transfer your files across your own devices by selecting Android devices logged into your Google account from the sharing menu to quickly share folders between them. Once you’ve opted in, transfers between devices you own are automatically accepted, even if your screen is off.
Another remarkable aspect is the currently introduced new look and updated Google Workspace apps for bigger screens. If you didn’t know about those changes, you can check them out here.
Is the app you need not available within Workspace updates? Don’t worry, Google is constantly expanding their apps’ catalog on tablets to make multi-tasking a breeze, starting with redesigned widgets for Google Drive and Keep.
Additionally, the company has already released some amazing widgets for applications such as Google Drive (with three home screen buttons that now offer one-touch access to your Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets files), or Google Keep (with a bigger font size that makes note taking, to-do lists, and reminders easy to access right from your home screen).
Connect and express yourself fully
This is a very useful update if you want to express yourself easily and with emojis instead of text. Google’s team has developed more options for you to explore in the Gboard app. Hence, you can now add some emojis to whatever you’re saying without selecting an emoji one at a time.
To do so, just type your sentence, hit the ✨Emojify✨ button to select your preferred layout, and press send to add the right 🔥 emoji 🎩 magic 🌈 to share with your friends. At the moment, this feature is available in the Gboard Beta app in English, but it is coming to all Gboard English typers over the next few weeks.
On the other hand, they’ve added a bunch of new Emoji Kitchen mashups, available as stickers via Gboard. This seasonal update combines your favorite emoji with the best parts of fall to share with your Northern Hemisphere friends. 🎃☕
Plus, as video calling has become an essential tool these days, it has presented new shared experiences in Google Meet, including live sharing features. You can instantly co-watch YouTube videos and play classic games (like UNO! Mobile, Kahoot! or Heads Up!) with up to 100 friends and family members at a time.
In this way, it will be almost impossible for you to feel distanced from your family, even if they are physically far away, because you can maintain traditions like movie and game nights. By the way, keep in mind that this feature is rolling out to Android phones and tablets as well. Lastly, in Google Meet you can now use multi-pinning to adjust your screen and stay focused on the folks you choose.
Accessibility tools for sound alerts and audio descriptions
As a result of the partnership with the Deaf and hard of hearing community, we have Sound Notification within Live Transcribe and Notifications, a function that allows you to detect critical household sounds like fire alarms, running water, and door knocks and alert you on your phone or watch when they occur.
Moreover, it gives you a heads up on these sounds through notifications on your phone and watch, vibrations on your devices, or flashing a light on your phone. So, as you see, Google’s team has always cared about user experience and, of course, about their wellbeing.
Actually, we think that this could be very useful for those new generations that are always connected (using headphones) and even for those who have hearing loss. Also, with custom sounds, you can now add your own sounds, like appliances, to your alert library. Just record it and your phone or watch will alert you the next time it sounds.
But that is not all! In fact, in the last few years, the company has started to develop more inclusive tools in order to expand the range of users that can use your apps. For instance, to make TV shows and movies more accessible to people who are blind or low-vision, Audio Descriptions on Google TV narrate live visual information as it happens, so you never miss that crucial cliffhanger.
Then, you can find a curated library of movies with audio descriptions on Google TV by pressing the Google Assistant button and saying, “Search audio description movies” to start exploring.
Make your Wear OS watch more personal for you
It should be noted that not all the updates were made for devices such as phones or tablets. You probably know that tiles on Wear OS let you pick essential information you need throughout your day, in just a swipe, right? Well, now with the new Keep tile you can quickly dictate a note or checklist right from your wrist, and manage the ones made across devices, without ever having to pull out your phone or tablet.
However, that’s not the end of it as Bitmoji is coming soon to Made by Google watches to give your mood a boost throughout the day and once you’ve designed your own personal avatar on Snapchat, Bitmoji.com or the Bitmoji mobile app and installed the Bitmoji watch face, you can send your personal Bitmoji to your watch, where it will change expressions depending on the time of day, the weather and your physical activity.
At the moment, these are the latest updates announced by Google, but knowing the company, they will probably bring out another variety of features with the presumed release of Android 14. Didn’t you know? Find out here!