Google has announced on June 15 that it will add six new features for its Android software. Google stated that these new features will help improve accessibility and it will make Assistant Shortcuts more useful, among other things.
Google Android New Features
The first feature is the expansion of Android's earthquake alerts. The alerts will be launched in more countries. Google stated that its phone-based earthquake detection and alert system will be coming to Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
The system uses Android phones to create an earthquake detection network that will warn users if they are in a potentially affected area.
The feature was originally launched in California, and it was made available in Greece and New Zealand in April, according to Android Central.
Google says that it hopes to bring the feature to more regions over the next year, but that focuses on first making it available to countries with a high risk of earthquakes.
The second feature is starred messages. If a user gets sent a text with the important info and wants to find it quickly, they will be able to star it. This means that it will place it in the starred category so users won't have to scroll back through a conversation to find it.
The third feature is the emoji kitchen recommendations. Starting this summer, Gboard will suggest stickers that are created in Emoji kitchen, which is Google's tool that lets users create mashups of two different emojis.
The suggestions will pop up in the Emoji menu for users who are writing in Spanish, Portuguese, or English.
The fourth feature is the upgrade of Google Assistant Shortcuts. Google's Assistant Shortcuts lets users jump to a specific part of an app, but developers will now be able to show users information in widget form right in Assistant, according to The Verge.
The fifth feature is an update to voice access. Google's Voice Access app, which allows users to navigate their phones using their voice, is getting gaze detection so it can tell whether someone is talking to their phone or talking to other people. The feature, which is in beta, will stop taking commands if it detects that you are not looking at your phone.
Voice Access is also getting improvements when it comes to entering passwords, so users will be able to say words like a dollar sign, and they will be translated into the symbol instead of being written out literally.
Lastly, the Android Auto users will be able to use their phone to personalize the app launcher, and users can manually manage dark mode on their phone.
Google is also reportedly adding the ability to scroll to the top of a list, and the scroll bar is set to get an A to Z button.
Google also stated that the messaging experience for apps like Messages and WhatsApp has improved, making it easier to send and read messages.
Other Google Update
The Financial Times reported that Google's changes were made to counter Apple's image as a better protector of personal data. Apple recently announced new privacy tools that give its users control over apps tracking their movements.
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Written by Sophie Webster