As the Christmas holiday continues to draw closer daily, packed with so much excitement in view, Google is about to make the season even more exciting with a number of new value-added features to Android phones all around the world. New features the global tech giant is introducing include the Family Bell – new visually appealing widgets, new memories on the Google Photos app, and the Car Key feature via Android Auto to more phones.
The tech giant says the new feature called the Family Bell is a special delivery on Android devices for the festive season expected to make creating, capturing, and sharing holiday memories more joyful— all while strengthening security and personalization. Family Bell has been built to help users and their loved ones stay on track with their daily schedules, irrespective of location. When Family Bell is set up on an Android phone, it will be integrated into all allied devices such as a home speaker or smart display, and bells, notifications, everyone within your Family Bell gets a notification when it’s time for important moments throughout the day. Whether it’s getting out the door in the morning, picking up your kids from sports practice, or getting to bed on schedule the Family Bell features have been proven to notify you and the rest of the family. Family members also come with the ability to set bells on their own devices in other to stay on top of their individual goals. For the Christmas holidays, Family Bells comes with suggestions of bells for new activities that include watering a tree, a family movie night, or volunteering to support a local cause. Family Bell basically comes as easy to edit, manage and customize from your most preferred device.
Google is also rolling out new Memories in Google Photos, this feature has been developed to help users do a quick throwback on the moments they celebrate. These Memories have been programmed to appear in the photo grid and will feature a curated selection of photos and videos selected from holidays like New Year’s Eve or Halloween. Also important milestones like birthdays and graduations. This feature comes with the ability that allows users to flex controls like rename, personalize, correct, or even opt for removing these Memories from your photo grid.
Another way Google is using to boast excitement for all her users this festive season is the introduction of Widgets. Widgets that have been reported will make it easier for users to view the content available in all their favorite Google apps right from the Home screen. Google has developed three new widgets with the guarantee to ultimately bring users to enjoy this holiday season:
- Gain access to your full library of books with ease as you go through the holiday. Keep track of your audiobook progress with the new Google Play Books widget.
- The new YouTube Music widget guarantees users the ability to enjoy their favorite holiday tunes. Comes with the ability to flex playback controls and recently played tracks right from your Home screen.
- Starting to roll out next week, Google will help family, friends, loved ones, and favorite furballs feel and stay closer with the new Google Photos People & Pets widget. This widget puts your family right on your Home screen. Simply select a few faces and an appropriate frame and voila the widget will do the rest, you get a decorated Home screen with your nearest and dearest.
Google has again proved how helpful Android can be on the road, so whether you’re driving home for the Christmas holidays or simply going for a last-minute grocery shopping at a store nearby, a suite of updates enhances just made the experience better. Google now allows you to stay connected on every drive, your Android Auto can now launch automatically when you connect your Android phone to your compatible car. As soon as you hit the road, Android Auto helps you stay focused on the road while getting things done. With smart reply options rolling out shortly, responding to a text message can be carried out more easily with Google Assistant available on Android Auto. Users would need to simply tap to respond or create a custom message. With a single tap of the new always-on play button, Users can listen to their music right from the comfort of the Home screen. Another feature for this that would be rolling pretty soon is the ability to use the voice to search for music faster in your media apps on Android Auto. With a tap on the new search icon, your favorite artist or song is playing.
Google also introduces a new way to bring your phone and car closer together. The use will be able to use their Android phones to carry out certain functions like locking, unlocking, and even starting your compatible car. Digital car key is now available in select countries on Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S21 for compatible BMW cars.
You thought that was the end, well there is more. Do you recall that mobile game you recently downloaded? Probably not. With permissions auto-reset on Android, your device will automatically turn off runtime permissions—which allow apps to access data or take actions on your behalf—for downloaded apps you haven’t used in a while. Users can always have this permission turned back on anytime, either through the settings menu or by reopening the app again. This wonderful feature will come with expanded support to billions more devices with Google Play services that run Android 6.0 or higher and is expected to launch next month.
Finally, Google says sometimes due to the unlimited excitements associated with the time of the year, those end-of-year messages you want to be sent to your loved ones can have you lost for words—and really one emoji may not adequately tell the full story. Google introduces the Emoji Kitchen that allows you to combine emojis into stickers so you can tell the full story as you share it with your friends, family, and loved ones. Celebrate the Christmas holidays by sharing your most preferred emoji in a beautifully wrapped gift box. Or maybe you’re more of a dog person, let people know it with an all-new collection of furry friends’ in emojis. With thousands of new additions, Emoji Kitchen is the gift that keeps on giving and a great way to spread a little holiday cheer. The latest stickers are rolling out to Gboard Beta users starting today and will be available to all Gboard users in the coming weeks.