Google will be releasing a number of new Android app features to some of its existing applications among which are the TalkBack screen reader, Android Auto, Google Maps, Message app and so on. The updates will bring some useful features such as the ability to schedule when a text message will be sent in the Message app.
The ability to schedule a message via the message app is a feature I’ve always longed for since I’ve started using an Android smartphone. This feature is even present in a tiny Nokia feature phones and that makes me wonder why a powerful operating system as Android couldn’t have such feature.
There is also an update coming to the Google Maps application allowing it to have a real dark mode feature throughout the app’s user interface.
The report also added that Google will be updating the password autofill tool which is a great way of knowing whether your password have been compromised or not just as it is with the Password Manager on the Chrome browser.
Keep in mind, these are rolling updates. That means you may not have access to them right away. The best advice I have is to keep checking the Play Store for app updates. Below I’ll walk you through the new features and how to use them.
Password Checkup now works across Android apps
The Google’s Password Manager is a lifesaver considering the fact that it does the heavy lifting of ever having to cram password and username combinations ever again. The tool autofills your username and password combination in both your Chrome browser and or Android apps depending on where its been used.
The update will now allow your password to be checked against compromises in case your credentials have been seen or leaked in a hack and it it finds your information among those, it will prompt that you change the password.
So if you’re running the Android 9 or higher version, then you can use this roll-out. To check if you’re using Google’s autofill service by opening the Settings app, then go to System > Languages & Input > Advanced and tap Autofill Service. If that path doesn’t take you to the right place, since every Android phone is a little bit different, you can use the search tool in the Settings app to look for Autofill. (For example, on the Galaxy S21 Ultra the setting is under General Management in the settings app.)
Once you navigate to the Autofill section, you’ll want to make sure Google is selected.
While the Google Password Manager tool might not be able to auto-generate a password for you in a situation where you’ve had your credentials compromised, then you can opt for these LastPass alternatives which are 100% free.
Google Maps now have Dark Mode too
Dark Mode is universal and so it will be making its way to the Google Maps entire user interface. While the current update have the dark mode present only on the navigation mode, the presence of this feature throughout the entire app’s UI is a good news for those who just ant a cool-looking interface when they’re looking for the next restaurant
Once Google Maps updates on your Android phone or tablet, you can turn dark mode on all the time by going to Settings > Theme and then select Always in Dark Theme.
Schedule a text message
Ah finally! This is a feature I’ve been longing for. With this, you probably won’t need to wake up at exactly 12:00 AM to wish your girlfriend or those that matter most to you a happy birthday because your device can do it for you based on schedule.
When the new update is rolled out, composing messages will be the same just that to schedule, you just have to long-press the send button and then wait for a pop up which will ask you when you want the message sent just like that!
TalkBack for the visually impaired
The Google’s TalkBack feature will also be updated to help people who are visually impaired or blind to navigate and use their Android devices with ease. With that, there will be new gestures, navigation options as well as spoken feedback and menus all developed to serve this purpose.
Google’s TalkBack accessibility feature is getting a big update to help blind or low vision users navigate and use their Android devices. There are new gestures, navigation options, spoken feedback and menus.
There is an in-depth information about the TalkBack update on CNET. If you want to check it out for yourself, make sure to check for app and service updates in the Play Store.
Other interesting updates
Other updates includes the Android Auto as well as the Google Assistant which will receive some minor tweaks to their core functionality and possibly a slight tweak on the user interface as well.
On the Android Auto for example, you’ll be able to set custom wallpaper which can be displayed on your car’s screen and there is also voice-activated games which your passengers can play during a long road trip.
One of the games Google mentions is Jeopardy, which is always a hit. Finally, Google is adding shortcuts to the Android Auto launch screen that will make it easy to check the weather or quick access to contacts for messaging and calls.
And as for the Google Assistant, there will be improvements when you use voice commands to interact with the AI Assistant in situations when our device’s screen is turned off.
Google says that the cards that show information are now bigger, making it easier to read responses from across the room. To ensure the feature is working as expected turn on Lock Screen Personal Results in your Google Assistant settings page.
New feature releases are usually done every quarters so you can expect even more tweaks at a later period.