From accessibility to Auto version to features that make hybrid work a little easier, Google is releasing new features that help you do more with your Android smartphone.
For people with mobility and speech disabilities, Camera Switches and Project Activate are two new accessibility features that allow you to use your phone with facial gestures.
Accessibility: facial gestures and recognition of writing
Camera Switches is a function of the Android Accessibility Suite that turns the front camera into an adaptive tool that replaces a keyboard, mouse or touch screen of your phone, so you can navigate in your phone.
Project Activate is a new app that makes it easier to communicate and express yourself, using facial gestures and eye movements to activate preset actions such as saying a sentence, playing audio (such as a laugh) or sending a text message.
Always with regard to accessibility, Google is also bringing recognition of handwriting into Lookout, an app that uses the phone camera to help visually impaired people do things faster and easier.
Productivity: photos, reminders, Gboards and other news
The Folder locked in Google Photo, previously only available on Pixel and soon distributed on Android, provides a passcode protected space to save photos and sensitive videos separately, so that they are not displayed while the user scrolls photos
Gboard will help you communicate faster and more fluidly with new features.
First, when copying a text that includes more information, such as phone numbers, email addresses and URLs, Gboard automatically extracts them and separates them into multiple options, so you can choose the information that is most important.
Then, when you open a messaging app right after you have made a screenshot, Gboard will now show that screenshot as a suggestion to share. Finally, for devices with Android 11 or more recent, machine learning power allows you to quickly complete sentences with only one swipe, with Smart Compose.
With improved visibility settings in Sharing Nearby, you can have full control over who can discover your device and send files. You can choose from all, your contacts or none, and you can easily change your preferences at any time.
In the area of productivity, you can now manage your daily tasks more easily and effectively using reminders from Google Assistant.
You can continue using the item to create and automate to-dos. And now you can manage all reminders in one place, asking the Assistant to open Reminders.
Android Auto: new features for hybrid work
For those who often move in the car in hybrid work situations, Android Auto can help you stay behind business meetings and important messages, with the new support for the work profile.
In addition, users of an Android dual-SIM phone can now choose which SIM card they use when making calls through Android Auto.
An update is also coming for Waze on Android Auto, for a more streamlined browsing experience. The new design includes support for touchpad, night mode and support for lane guidance, and puts the map and directions in the foreground so that other elements are not in the way.
These Android Auto features will soon be available on Android phones if connected to a compatible car.
As for entertainment features, with Android Auto users can listen to their favorite music, news and podcasts with Google Assistant’s personalized tips. Also Featured Google Plus Play a variety of games from GameSnacks while they are stopped and parked.
Finally, for when you move on foot instead of in the car, with the Heads Up feature you can receive reminders to look up and be careful when you walk and use the phone. Launched for the first time on Pixel earlier this year, Heads Up is now available through the Digital Wellness setting on devices with Android 9 and more recent.
Smart home: check Android TV with your smartphone
Moving on to the theme of home entertainment, Google has incorporated remote control functions directly into the Android phone to turn on the TV, navigate between suggestions or even start your favorite program directly from your smartphone.
And you can use your phone’s keyboard to quickly type complicated passwords, movie names or search terms. These features can be used on Google TV or other Android TV OS devices, with the Google TV app coming in 14 other countries in the coming weeks.
In practice, the new version of the Google TV app will turn your smartphone into a remote for smart TVs based on the Android operating system.