Google has released a major update that brings tons of new features to its Android mobile operating system. The latest update not only brings upgrades to Apple’s Airdrop competitor i.e. Google’s Nearby Sharing feature, but it also brings a refreshed look for Google Drive and features of smarter accessibility for users. It also brings a new accessibility feature to Android TV and bitmojis to Wear OS. Also Read – Twitter Brings Instagram, Snapchat Sharing to Android App, Starts Testing WhatsApp Sharing in India
As Google begins rolling out this update to supported devices, here’s a look at everything the company has announced: Also Read – How to Use Gmail Without an Internet Connection: A Step-by-Step Guide
Nearby Share gets an update
First, Google is updating its Nearby Sharing feature. The company said Android users will soon be able to use its Nearby Sharing feature to transfer files to their own devices. “Simply select Android devices connected to your Google account from the sharing menu to quickly share files between them. And once you sign up, transfers between devices you own are automatically accepted, even if your screen is off,” Google wrote in a blog post. Also Read – Google Maps will now show fuel-efficient routes based on your car’s engine type
Google will roll out this feature to all supported Android devices in a few weeks.
Google Drive, Google Keep get a makeover
Google also said it is redesigning the Google Drive and Google Keep widgets to optimize the experience for tablets. The company said it updated the Google Drive widget to include three home screen buttons that provide direct access to Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets files. It also added a larger widget and font size in Google Keep to make it easier to perform tasks like taking notes, creating to-do lists, and setting reminders.
Gboard gets smarter emoji integration
Google has updated Gboard so that it now allows users to add emojis based on text they’ve typed in their messages. “Just type your phrase, tap the Emojify button to select your favorite layout, and hit send to add the right emoji magic to share with your friends,” Google added. This feature is available in the English Gboard Beta app, and Google will roll out this feature to all English Gboard users in the coming weeks.
Along with the ability to emojiify their posts, Google has also added tons of new Emoji Kitchen mashups as stickers in the Gboard.
Google Meet is getting smarter
Google is also adding new shared experiences to Google Meet. It brings a new live sharing feature to Meet that will allow users to instantly co-watch YouTube videos and play classic games with up to 100 friends and family members at once. The company said it has started rolling out the feature to Android phones and tablets.
Google also said that Google Meet users can now use multi-pinning to adjust their screens and stay focused on the people they choose.
Accessibility tools for sound alerts and audio descriptions
On the accessibility front, the company releases custom sounds that allow users to add their own sounds, such as devices, to their alert library. Users just need to record the sound on their smartphone, after which their smartphone or watch will alert them the next time the sound is detected.
Google TV gets an accessibility update
Google is also giving Google TV an accessibility update. The company is bringing audio descriptions to Google TV. This feature will narrate live visual information as it happens in TV shows and movies.
“Now you can find a curated library of movies with audio descriptions on Google TV — just tap the Google Assistant button and say ‘Search audio description movies’ to start exploring,” Google wrote.
Wear OS gets Keep Tile
Additionally, Google is bringing a new Keep Tile feature to Wear OS. This feature will allow users to quickly dictate a note or checklist directly from their wrist and manage those written on all devices, without ever having to take out their smartphone or tablet.
Bitmoji is coming to Wear OS
Finally, the company is bringing Bitmojis to the Wear OS watch face. The company, in its blog post, explained that once users have designed their personal avatars on Snapchat, Bitmoji.com or the Bitmoji mobile app and installed the Bitmoji watch face, they can send their personal Bitmojis to their Wear OS-powered smartwatches where he’ll change his expression depending on the time of day, weather and his physical activity.