Google announces six new features for Android users globally

The Android Earthquake Alerts System is expanding to Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, with more countries to be added later.


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 16-06-2021 10:54 IST | Created: 16-06-2021 07:54 IST
Google announces six new features for Android users globally
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Google is rolling out six new features to Android phones to make them more useful. These include the global launch of earthquake alerts, starred messages, Emoji Kitchen stickers, Assistant shortcuts, Gaze detection and new Android Auto features.

Earthquake alerts

The Android Earthquake Alerts System is expanding to Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, with more countries to be added later.

"We are prioritizing launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks, and hope to launch in more and more countries over the coming year," Google wrote in a blog post.

With the free Android Earthquake Alerts System, people in earthquake-affected areas can get alerts seconds before it hits, giving them advance notice in case they need to seek safety.

Starred messages

Starred messages in the Messages app help you keep track of important information and memories so that you can easily find them later without scrolling through all of your conversations. All you need to do is tap and hold your message, then star it.

Starred messages will start to roll out more broadly over the coming weeks.

Emoji Kitchen sticker

When you open Emoji Kitchen after typing a message, you'll soon see contextual suggestions that will help you discover the perfect emoji combination. Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are now available in Gboard beta and will be coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.

Google Assistant shortcuts

Now you can use your voice to open or search many of your favorite apps using just your voice. For instance, say "Hey Google, pay my Capital One bill" to jump right into the app and complete the task or "Hey Google, check my miles on Strava" to quickly see your weekly progress right on the lock screen.

Improved Password Input and gaze detection on Voice Access

With gaze detection, you can get help from Voice Access only when you want it i.e. when you are looking at the screen. Whether you're talking with friends or dialed into a meeting, Voice Access won't activate unless you're looking at the screen.

In addition, Voice Access now has enhanced password input that lets you input letters, numbers and symbols.

New Android Auto features

Android Auto is releasing new updates for a customized experience. For instance, you can personalize your launcher screen directly from your phone and manually setting dark mode, among others.

Further, EV charging, parking and navigation apps are now available to use in Android Auto. You can also access your favourite messaging apps from the launcher screen. The ability to read and send new messages directly from apps like WhatsApp or Messages is now available globally.

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