Google Brings More Features to Android

Posted on February 23, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 13 Comments

Android users won’t need to wait for Android 12 to get new functionality: Google announced several new features today, and they work on Android 6 and newer.

“It wasn’t all that long ago that we introduced Android users to features like Emoji Kitchen and auto-narrated audiobooks,” Google’s Hideaki Oshima writes. “But we like to stay busy, so today we’re highlighting six of the latest Google updates that will make Android phones more secure and convenient — for everyone.”

Those features are:

Password Checkup. Originally available in Chrome, Google’s Password Checkup feature is now built directly into Android too, so you can easily learn if any of your passwords has been previously exposed and what to do about it.

Scheduled send in Messages. The Android messaging app, called Messages, can now be used to send scheduled messages. Just write the message normally and then press and hold on the Send button to select a date and time for the message delivery.

TalkBack. The new version of the Android screen reader, called TalkBack, is now available, making Android more accessible. “We worked closely with the blind and low vision communities on this revamp of TalkBack to incorporate the most popularly requested features including more intuitive gestures, a unified menu, a new reading control menu, and more,” Oshima says.

Google Assistant improvements. Google Assistant has been improved to support more hands-free functionality for making calls, setting timers and alarms, and playing music.

Google Maps improvements. Google Maps finally supports a dark theme.

Android Auto improvements. Android Auto now supports custom wallpapers, new voice-activated games, contacts and Assistant shortcuts on the home screen, split-screen capabilities, and a new privacy screen feature.

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