5 new features coming soon to Google’s Android
The new sound notifications feature was designed to help users in the hearing impairment community.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your Android experience, then you’re in luck. Google announced on Friday (Sep 9) several new features that will be introduced soon for Android users.
Here are five of the upcoming features you can look forward to:
1. Nearby Share
Similar to Apple’s AirDrop, Android’s Nearby Share feature will enable users to share photos, videos, or entire folders between nearby Android devices.
The feature is set to roll out In the next few weeks for devices running Android 6 and above, allowing users to effortlessly transfer files across their Android devices logged into their Google account.
Users will be able to access the feature even without any access to an Internet service as the Nearby Share feature relies on a variety of connection technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, UWB and WebRTC.
The update also allows users to transfer files from one device to another automatically, even when their screen displays are switched off.
2. Upgrades to emojis via Gboard
Having trouble finding emojis for text messages? Google’s keyboard app Gboard will soon intelligently suggest emojis based on your text.
After typing out a sentence, users can click the Emojify button to select their preferred layout before sending the emojis to their friends.
3. Improved accessibility across Google Workspace
Google will also be introducing redesigned widgets for Google Drive and Keep to make multi-tasking easier for users.
With an updated Google Drive widget, three home screen buttons will provide one-touch access to Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets files.
As for Google Keep, a bigger widget makes it easier for users to take notes, create lists and set reminders for upcoming events.
4. Live sharing features
Besides the Emojify button via Gboard which can be used for text messaging, Google will also be adding new shared experiences on Google Meet.
The live sharing feature, which will be rolled out to Android phones and tablets, allows users to co-watch YouTube videos and play classic games such as UNO! Mobile, Kahoot! or Heads Up! with up to 100 people at a time.
Besides the live sharing feature, a multi-pinning feature will also be introduced on Google Meet, allowing users to multi-pin during calls and stay focused on a specific group of people in larger group settings.
5. Improved accessibility tools for sound alerts and audio descriptions
With Android’s new sound notifications, you’ll receive alerts on your Android device when sounds such as fire alarms, running water, or door knocks are detected.
While the feature was originally designed to help individuals suffering from hearing impairment, it can also be useful for those who are unable to hear temporarily as a result of an injury, or wearing earplugs and headphones.
To use this feature, users must record their washing machine’s jingle after a cycle is complete, and the Android device can then alert you if that sound is heard by its device.
Other devices, such as Wear OS by Google smartwatches, can receive sound notifications too. Users can receive alerts through text message notifications with vibrations on their wrist whenever an important sound is detected by their phone, so they can stay informed even while asleep.
In addition, Google TV will also offer audio descriptions to help make television shows and movies more accessible for blind or low-vision individuals.