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Android is getting a ton of new features today for your phone, tablet, watch, more
- Google is rolling out the Android Feature Drop for Q4 2023.
- There are new features for Google Messages, Wear OS, Google TV, and more.
- You should see these features rolling out in the coming days and weeks to supported Android devices.
Each quarter, Google rolls out a feature drop for the world of Android. Today is the day for the start of the rollout for Q4 2023’s drop, and there are some exciting new additions to the platform on various types of devices.
Some of these features are so cool that we wrote about them in separate articles. Google Messages is getting a bunch of new features, which we covered in a special Messages roundup for Q4. The Android app for making phone calls is also getting a new trick that’s a lot like Samsung’s Bixby Text Call. This allows you to text replies during a phone call. To learn about these features, be sure to check the links!
Elsewhere in the Android Feature Drop for Q4 2023, we have these cool new tricks:
- More than 10 new free TV channels: Google TV now has access to new free channels. This brings the total number of free channels the service offers to well over 100. This includes a new holiday movie channel just in time for December.
- Control your home from your watch: Wear OS users can now control more of their smart home than ever before. This includes the ability to launch and dock some models of smart vacuums. You can also control mood lighting right from your watch using a color picker.
- Set home status on your watch: If your smart home’s presence sensing isn’t working as efficiently as you’d like (or if you don’t use that feature), you can now quickly tell your devices if you’re home or away on your Wear OS watch. Just flip the new toggle!
- Assistant Routines on Wear OS (coming soon): You’ll finally be able to start Routines from your Wear OS watch! Google wouldn’t say when this is coming, but this is something smart home owners have wanted for a very long time.
- Move away from passwords: If you have a FIDO2 security key, you can now set a custom PIN on it for websites and apps that request verification. This will allow you to log in without using a traditional password — and make it more difficult for someone to access your sensitive data without your consent.
- Assistant At a Glance comes to Wear OS: Inspired by the At a Glance widget that’s so popular on Pixel smartphones, this new widget will appear on Wear OS watches. Get weather alerts, reminders, travel updates, and more with just a glance at your wrist.
- Get image descriptions read to you: If you have a vision impairment, TalkBack can help. Using the power of AI, TalkBack can now create audible descriptions of images — even if that image doesn’t have an accurate text description attached to it.
- More languages for Live Caption: Rolling out over the next few weeks, the popular Live Caption tool — which creates captions for video content even if there are none embedded in the video itself — will support more languages.