The first developer preview of Android 12 could not have informed us so much about what to anticipate from the subsequent model of Google’s cellular OS, however we’re getting new options before we anticipated. The corporate is announcing a set of six updates immediately that would tide us over as we watch for Android 12 to formally arrive. The modifications embody a password checkup instrument, darkish mode for Google Maps, Assistant lock display playing cards, revamped TalkBack display reader and scheduled Messages. Android Auto can be getting customized wallpapers, voice-activated video games and a privateness display.
For most individuals, probably the most instantly helpful replace is the power to schedule Messages. Android customers can set a textual content to ship after a sure time (say after your companion has posted your engagement announcement to Instagram, for instance). This may be useful in a wide range of situations, like while you’re speaking to somebody in a unique timezone and do not wish to trouble them whereas they’re asleep, or for those who merely do not wish to seem too keen when chatting up a possible new lover. Scheduled ship in Messages is beginning to roll out and shall be out there to these utilizing Android 7 or newer.
We have heard for months that a dark mode may be coming to Google Maps, and immediately the characteristic is lastly official. You may go to the app’s Settings, choose Theme and faucet At all times in Darkish Theme to modify to the brand new scheme while you’re utilizing Maps. One other replace that is been a very long time coming is the power to make use of Assistant when your telephone is locked. Should you activate the Lock Display screen Private Leads to Assistant settings, you’ll be able to ask the helper to make calls, set timers or play music and a card will seem onscreen to execute your command. This could make your gadget simpler for hands-free use, which ought to profit these with mobility impairments too.
Google can be updating one of its biggest accessibility features — the TalkBack display reader. It is including a dozen new multi-finger gestures and voice instructions to make it simpler to work together together with your telephone if you cannot see your show. The brand new gestures can be found on the most recent model of TalkBack on Pixel gadgets and Samsung’s One UI three onwards. There may also be new studying controls that allow you to swipe with three fingers to vary between studying simply the headlines, each phrase and even each single character.
The corporate additionally acquired suggestions that TalkBack’s menu construction was complicated, so the replace integrates them in an effort to make navigation easier. Google’s additionally including extra customization choices and help for Arabic and Spanish in its braille keyboard to cater to extra individuals’s wants. This model of TalkBack was co-developed with Samsung, and it is now the default display reader on all Galaxy gadgets operating One UI three and later.
One of many new options in immediately’s announcement could sound acquainted — password checkup. It has been mentioned since 2019, and was initially available on Chrome to provide you with a warning in case your password has been compromised and posted on the net. With immediately’s replace, Google will verify your passwords while you enter them into an app utilizing Autofill and stroll you thru altering it. This may work on gadgets operating Android 9 and later.
Lastly, Android Auto will quickly get shortcuts on the launch display to make it simpler to achieve your contacts or activate the Assistant. Voice-activated video games like Jeopardy! and trivia are additionally coming, as is a privateness display that permits you to determine when Android Auto seems in your automotive’s show. You will additionally be capable of choose from a number of “car-inspired backgrounds” to personalize your dashboard, and people with wider screens can cut up it to characteristic Google Maps on one facet and media controls on the opposite.
It isn’t clear when all of those updates will begin rolling out, although those for Android Auto shall be out there “within the coming days” on telephones with Android 6.zero or later. Google has been releasing new options for its OS extra often all year long recently, as an alternative of saving them for one massive launch with every main model of Android. Whereas it’d result in each era of the software program feeling like much less of an improve, it is good to get these options as they turn into prepared as an alternative of getting to attend until later within the yr.