Google keeps rolling out new updates to its apps and services. The company is at it again. It is rolling out six updates for your Android that focus on safety. These new features are coming to Gboard, Google Messages, Assistant, Android Auto, and more.
First of all, the Android earthquake alert system is expanding to new countries. These include Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition, Google says it is prioritizing launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks. Further, it hopes to launch the service in more and more countries in the future.
You can now star a message on your Messages app to keep track of what’s important and easily find it later without scrolling through all of your conversations. With so many spam messages, texts from family and friends, important messages could get lost, but not now. Just tap and hold your message, then star it. And when you want to revisit a message, like your friend’s address or the photo from your family reunion, tap on the starred category. Starred messages will start to roll out more broadly over the coming weeks.
Google introduced Emoji Kitchen stickers in May. You’ll now soon start to see contextual suggestions in Emoji Kitchen once you’ve typed a message. Google says that these will help you discover the perfect emoji combination at the exact moment you need it. Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are available in Gboard beta today and are coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.
You can now 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. The voice assistant is getting smarter.
Google is introducing a feature for people with motor disabilities. Voice Access gives you quick and efficient phone and app navigation with just your voice. In addition, voice Access now only works when you’re looking at your phone, allowing you to seamlessly switch between using your phone and talking to people.
Google is also adding more customization options to Android Auto. For example, you can personalize the launcher screen directly from the phone, manually set up dark mode, and browse content more easily with new tabs in media apps and a new A to Z button in the scroll bar. Now, it also supports EV charging, parking, and navigation apps.