Mobiles & Tablets

Here are six new Google updates for Android

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 24, 2021

Google has announced a range of new updates for Android devices “to make Android phones more secure and convenient for users”.

Here are six new Google updates for Android users:

Password Checkup Tool on older devices

The tech giant will bring its Password Checkup tool to older versions of Android. Devices running on Android 9 and above can now use the tool to check the passwords saved to their Google account.

“This feature lets you know if the password you used has been previously exposed and what to do about it,” Google explained in a blog post.

“Now when you enter a password into an app on your phone using Autofill with Google, we’ll check those credentials against a list of known compromised passwords — that is, passwords that have potentially already been stolen and posted on the web. If your credentials show up on one of these lists, we’ll alert you and guide you to check your password and change it,” it added.

Schedule send feature for Messages

It is also starting to roll out its schedule send feature for the Google Messages app to older versions of Android. The feature lets users type in a message and schedule it to be sent at a later date and time.

“We’re starting to roll out schedule send in Messages for phones running Android 7 and newer,” it said.

“Just write your message as you normally would, then hold and press the send button to select a date and time to deliver your message,” it explained.

All-new TalkBack

Google also introduced the latest version of TalkBack, Android’s screen reader now available for users.

“Using spoken feedback and gestures, TalkBack makes Android even more accessible and opens up a full phone experience without needing to look at your screen,” Google said.

The new version includes a range of new features such as easy-to-learn and easy-to-use multi-finger gestures available for the latest version of TalkBack on Pixel and ​Samsung Galaxy devices from One UI 3 onwards. It will also make reading and listening easier.

Other features include new voice commands, more controls and support for two new languages in TalkBack’s braille keyboard- Arabic and Spanish.

Updated Google Assistant

The latest updates to Google Assistant will make it easier for users to access the voice assistant without needing to be right next to it.

“Assistant now works better even when your phone is locked or across the room with new cards that can be read with just a glance. Just say “Hey Google, set an alarm” or “Hey Google, play pop music on Spotify.” To get the most out of Assistant when your phone is locked, simply turn on Lock Screen Personal Results in Assistant setting and say “Hey Google '' to send text messages and make calls,” it said.

Dark theme on Maps

Google is finally rolling out the Dark Theme on Google Maps for Android after it began testing it last year.

“With dark theme in Google Maps soon expanding to all Android users globally, you can give your eyes a much-needed break and save on battery life. Simply head to your Settings, tap on Theme and then on “Always in Dark Theme”,” read the blog post.

Android Auto

Lastly, the tech giant announced a range of new features for Android Auto including custom wallpapers, voice-activated games like trivia and “Jeopardy!” and new shortcuts on the launch screen.

The new shortcuts will provide convenient access to user contacts and allow them to use Assistant to complete tasks like checking the weather or remotely adjusting the thermostat.

For cars with wider screens, the app will allow users to do more with a split-screen that features a real-time view of Google Maps and media controls. Apart from this, users can now also set a privacy screen to control when Android Auto appears on their car display.

These Android Auto features will be available in the coming days on phones running Android 6.0 or above, and when connected to a compatible car, Google said.

Published on February 24, 2021

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