Android users are ready to receive almost a dozen new features in the latest release of the mobile operating system, including updates designed for smartphones, tablets, Wear OS smartwatches and even Google TV device. Along with the launch, Google celebrated a new RCS milestone of over 1 billion monthly active users of the SMS replacement technology – which Apple, facing regulatory pressure, is now refusing to support.
That number is up from 800 million monthly active users in May 2023, Google also said.
Among the highlights from the new Android version are several improvements to messaging, including a beta feature called “Voice Moods” that adds a colorful background and emoji theme to your messages. voice message so that the recipients can better understand your emotions, be it surprise, laughter, feeling loved and so on.
Google Messages will also gain “Reaction Effects,” another beta feature that will create full-screen animated emoji — somewhat similar to about the effects of the message of Apple’s iMessage, but designed to respond to an individual message instead of a simple thumbs up, for example.
In addition, Google’s Emoji Kitchen – the feature that allows users to remix emojis into new combinations – will include new sticker combinations that can be shared as stickers via the Gboard keyboard. app.
On other Android platforms, smartwatch users can now control their smart home devices and light groups from the small screen of their watch. This includes smart appliances such as robot vacuums and mops. Users can also set the mood by adjusting their light groups for different themes – such as focus time, reading, dinner, etc. Additionally, users can set their Google Home status to “Home” or “Away” from their smartwatch, turn off lights, turn on cameras, and lock doors and more. when leaving, and the reverse when they return.
While not yet available at launch, another smart home feature to be seen will allow Wear OS users to start their Assistant Routines from their watch using voice commands. That way, they can say things like “commuting to work” that launch navigation, check the weather, and read their day’s agenda from their calendar, for example.
The watch will also get a new “Assistant At a Glance” shortcut that will show you important information such as weather and travel alerts, event reminders, etc., similar to Siri’s watch face on the Apple Watch.
The update also brings accessibility and security fixes, including an AI-powered TalkBack feature that will use AI to create a description of images without proper descriptions. of text and read it aloud for blind and low vision users. In the next few weeks, the Live Captions calling feature, which adds captions to phone calls, will support more languages and users will be able to respond during a call by texting a response.
On the security side, users can set a custom PIN to their FIDO2 security keys for websites or apps that require user verification, allowing passwordless authentication. login.
Meanwhile, Google TV powered by Android will gain more than 10 new free channels to complete the lineup that now includes more than 100 free channels featuring movies, sports, sports , and so on.