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Quarterly Android Feature Drop lands, bringing plenty of additions
- Google has announced a quarterly Android Feature Drop.
- This brings several improvements and features to Android devices.
Update: September 5, 2023 (3:30 PM ET): We originally said that this was the first Android Feature Drop, but Android Feature Drops have been a thing for a while now. We’ve amended the article below to reflect this fact.
Original article: September 5, 2023 (1:00 PM ET): Google has long offered quarterly Feature Drops for Pixel phones as well as regular Feature Drops for non-Pixel devices. Now, the company has announced a new quarterly Android Feature Drop.
For starters, a redesigned At A Glance widget is now coming to all Android phones. This overhauled widget brings to mind the standard Google search bar widget but still offers the same At A Glance functionality we’ve seen on Android phones before. So you’ll still need to buy a Pixel phone if you want features like package deliveries and Nest doorbell support.
The Lookout app for people with vision impairments has also received some love as part of this initial Feature Drop. More specifically, Google says the app now offers AI-generated audio descriptions of what you’re looking at. In a neat touch, you can also ask or type follow-up questions about the image in question. Otherwise, Lookout is getting support for 11 new languages as well, bringing the total to 34.
What else to expect in the Android Feature Drop?
Google Wallet is also getting some attention in this Feature Drop, as the company announced that you can now upload pass images (with barcodes or QR codes) to the app for safekeeping as digitized versions. These images include gym membership cards and library cards.
On the fitness front, Google is now bringing Fitbit and Google Fit activity and sleep data into your personal Routines. The company says you can get a recap of your sleep stats in the mornings by saying “Hey Google, good morning.”
Finally, Google has confirmed that Zoom and Webex by Cisco are now supported on Android Auto. This integration allows you to take audio calls in your car via these apps, as well as letting you view meeting schedules via the car screen.