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Google announces new Android features just in time for the holidays

There are new features for both your phone and Wear OS device.
By
December 1, 2022
Android features
Google
TL;DR
  • Google is bringing a host of new features to Android.
  • These new features are for photos, messages, Google TV, Wear OS, and more.
  • There are even some holiday-themed features to try.

The holiday season is the time for giving and Google appears to be in the mood to give its users some gifts. These gifts come in the form of a bundle of new features for Android.

Google has announced today that it is celebrating the holidays by pushing out a host of new features that will come to Google Photos, messages, Google TV, and more. There’s even something to help users get into the holiday spirit.

Adding style to photos and messages

First up is the collage editor tool found in Google Photos. It looks like the collage editor will get some new unique Style designs from two new artists. If you have yet to use it, Styles is something the company introduced back in September. It’s a feature that’s aimed at scrapbook aficionados that automatically adds graphic art to your Memories.

Another way Google is helping Android users express themselves is by adding new sticker combos. Emoji Kitchen has new emoji that can be used to create new stickers via Gboard.

Making content more accessible

Moving on to content-related features, Google says that it will improve content accessibility by introducing a new Reading mode on Android. This new mode is meant to make it easier for people who are blind, have low vision, or are dyslexic to understand what’s on the screen. The feature adds customizable display options — contrast, font type, and size — and a text-to-speech function with speed control.

Google is also making it easier to access content and cast to your TV. The Mountain View-based organization says that it has created a new YouTube home screen search widget that will allow users to access their videos, shorts, or subscriptions with one tap. Additionally, Google says it’s launching a feature next week that will enable users to cast directly from Google TV to a compatible TV.

Productivity on the go

The final set of features focuses on getting things done while on the go. The first such feature Google mentioned was a digital car key that would let users lock, unlock, or turn on a compatible car using their phone. The feature seems to also let the user share the digital key with friends and family across the Pixel and iPhone. As for people with other phones, the tech giant states the feature is expected to come to select Android phones with Android 12 and above in the near future.

The last few features involve Wear OS and include new tiles, an update to Google Keep, and Google Assistant integration with the Adidas running app. The new tiles aim to make it easier for users to get in touch with their favorite contacts and view sunrise and sunset times from their Wear OS watches. While the update to Google Keep adds visual enhancements — like photos, co-authors, and background colors — to improve the look of notes and to-dos. And Google Assistant integration with the Adidas running app will allow users to quickly jump into more than 30 types of workouts by using prompts like “Hey Google, start a run with Adidas Running.”

This announcement comes shortly after the company announced a bunch of new Google search features.