Google has announced a big feature drop for all Android smartphone users. The latest feature drop brings updates to Google Messages, Photos, Google Assistant, Live Transcribe, Google TV and Gboard functionality that improves your grammar among other things. In addition to that, the feature drop also brings updates to Android’s Nearby Share feature and screen-time widgets. Also Read - Chromebooks get new features: Support for handwritten notes, wrong USB-C cable detection and more
Here are all the new features coming to Android smartphones. Also Read - Window 11 update: Microsoft to roll out Android apps to 5 new countries
Google’s Messages feature is getting a major update as a part of the company’s March feature drop. The company said that reactions from iPhone users will now appear as emoji on text messages. In addition to this, Android users will soon be able to see videos and photos in the same resolution you do when they send them as Google Photos links right inside the conversation. The list doesn’t end there. The company also announced that Messages will now automatically sort users’ messages into Personal and Business tabs with an organised inbox. In addition to this, the company said that it will automatically delete messages containing one-time passwords or OTP after 24 hours. Lastly, Messages will also provide nudges or gentle reminders for messages that users may have missed or need to follow up on. It will also remind users about the birthdays of their friends and family. Also Read - Google in talks to join India's open e-commerce network
Google is also updating its Gboard with a grammar correction feature. Google says that this new feature works on-device to detect grammatical errors and offer suggestions to help users while typing messages. The company has also updated the emoji kitchen such that it now has more than 2,000 new emoji mashups available as stickers. The company also announced that for Pixel users, Gboard will convert their words into colourful stickers built with their exact texts when typing in messaging apps in English.
The company also said that it is rolling out an update to its Live Transcribe feature, which comes pre-installed on Pixel and Samsung smartphones and is available as a free-to-download app to all other Android devices. The company said that the Live Transcribe app now offers an offline mode for when Wi-Fi and data aren’t available or in areas without consistent internet access.
For Photos, the company is bringing Photo Blur mode to more subjects such as pets, food and plants. This feature will work even if portrait mode wasn’t available on the device earlier.
Additionally, the company said that it is adding a new Highlights tab on Google TV to offer a personalised feed of entertainment news and reviews. “And if you discover something new that you’re interested in, one tap will take you straight to the movie, TV series or video the article is based on, so you can play, rate or Watchlist it for later,” Google wrote in a blog post.
Apart from the mentioned features, Google is also making it easy for people to pay for their parking using Google Assistant. The company said that the Google Assistant will now help Android users to pay for parking using Google Pay, check their parking status and extend their parking using voice commands. The only caveat is that this feature is available only in ParkMobile street parking zones in over 400 cities in the US.
Google is also rolling out a new screen time widget that will offer users a glimpse of the three apps that they used the most that day. The same widget will also give users daily timers for their apps, focus mode, and bedtime mode.
Lastly, the company has rolled out an update to its Nearby Share feature that makes it easy for Android users to share with multiple people rather than just one person at a time. This feature is being rolled out on all devices running on Android 6 or later.
As far as availability is concerned, Google hasn’t detailed when it will roll out these features to Android devices. However, it is safe to assume that it will arrive soon.