Google is updating Android with new features, including family alerts, digital support for car keys

Google has announced a list of new features for Android users that are being launched to make your phones more useful. One of the most notable features is the Family Bell, which can help you and your family keep track of your daily schedule by receiving their alerts on phones as well as home devices such as a smart speaker or display. . The other important update comes from Google Photos, where you will receive new Memories to look back on the memories you had with your loved ones. Google is also introducing a digital car key feature to allow you to use your Android phone as a car key.

In the list of new features that Google has detailed in a blog post, Family Bell is what you’ll find most useful if you’re planning to spend some time with your family. Allows you to send alerts not only to your phone, but also to your family members’ phones and devices, including home speakers and smart ringtones and notifications when you want to connect for a common purpose. This could be calling your family for breakfast in the morning, watering a tree for a vacation, or going out to a family movie night.

Family Bell arrives on Android to allow you to set alerts and reminders for you and your family
Photo credit: Google

Family Bell can be edited, managed, and customized from the selected device. Each member of your family can also set bells on their own devices for individual purposes.

In addition to Family Bell, Google applications, including Google Play Books and YouTube Music, receive widgets. Google Play Books gets a new widget that lets you access your entire book library and track the progress of your audio book directly from your Home screen.

With the new YouTube Music widget, you can access recently played playback commands and songs from the home screen to easily control and enjoy your favorite music.

A new Google Photos widget for people and pets will be launched next week to allow you to put a family photo frame on your home screen. You can select a few faces and a suitable frame to decorate your home screen with your loved ones.

Google Photos also gets the new Memories feature, which aims to remind you of the memories you had with your family and friends. These Memories will appear in your photo grid and feature a clean selection of holiday photos and videos such as New Year’s Eve or Halloween and landmarks such as birthdays and graduations, Google said.

Google Photos memories update Google Photos

Google Photos gets a new Memories feature to show precious moments in your photo grid
Photo credit: Google

Users will also receive controls to rename, customize, correct, and even remove Memories from their photo grid for a personalized experience.

Google also brings the key digital feature of the machine to allow Android users to lock, unlock, and even start a compatible machine using their phones. It is initially launched in some countries on Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 for compatible BMW cars.

In particular, Apple introduced a similar digital car key feature for iPhone users last year, which began launching for newer iPhone models earlier this year. It is also limited to a few luxury cars at the moment.

In addition to the car’s digital key, Google is updating Android Auto to allow users to set their compatible car systems to launch automatically when connected to an Android phone. This is quite useful, as you won’t have to manually connect your phone to the Android Auto system when you leave.

Google is also bringing smart answer options to Android Auto soon, to allow you to reply to a text message using the Google Assistant while driving – by simply tapping to reply or creating a personalized message. You can also listen to your favorite song with a single tap of the new permanent play button available on the home screen when you sign in to Android Auto.

In the near future, Google also gives you the ability to use your voice to search for music faster in your Android Auto media apps. This will be done through a new search icon that will allow you to tell your favorite artist or song to play in your car.

Gboard on Android also gets an update with a feature called Kitchen Emoji, where you can combine emoji into stickers to express your feelings without entering text. You can celebrate the holidays in the western world by sharing your favorite emoji in a gift box or using a collection of furry friends to share your dog’s love with friends and family.

gboard kitchen emoji kitchen Gboard Google

Gboard receives Emoji Kitchen to allow you to combine emoji into stickers
Photo credit: Google

Google has said that it is currently releasing the latest Emoji Kitchen stickers for Gboard Beta users, although all Gboard users will receive them in the coming weeks.

The last major change Google makes to Android users is the automatic reset of permissions. This will allow the device to automatically disable running permissions for downloaded applications that you haven’t used in a while. Driving permissions allow applications to access restricted data, including location and contact information, or take action such as using the camera and microphone on your behalf.

You can, of course, reactivate the permissions whenever you want, either by reopening the app or through the settings menu.

Google has said that the new automatic permission reset feature will extend support to “billions of devices with Google Play services” running on Android 6.0 or later starting next month.


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