The holidays are here, and to make it more enjoyable, Google is adding some cool (and useful) features to Android that will make your overall experience that much better. From new features in Google Photos to a new reading mode to new widgets, Android is getting some pretty useful stuff. Here are all the new Android features Google is rolling out in time for the holidays:
Put a festive spin on your photos
Google Photos recently added the ability to create shareable collages. It only takes a few clicks to create a collage – choose your favorite photos, select the desired layout, and arrange the collage as you like. With the holidays on the horizon, Google is introducing new designs so you can create holiday-themed collages. The new designs have been created by Australian visual duo DABSMYLA and renowned watercolor artist Yao Cheng Design.
Emoji Kitchen is getting a holiday makeover
Like Google Photos, Gboard’s Emoji Kitchen is also getting a Christmas makeover. You can now add a holiday favorite to your messages with custom emojis. You can now use and combine new emojis in Gboard’s Emoji Kitchen to create festive and customized messages. “Add some extra 💙 holiday ⛄️flair ❄️ to your messages with compatible emoji,” Google says in the press release.
Android reading mode
This is one of the big new features that Android is getting. Google has added a brand new reading mode directly to Android that makes the reading experience useful for people who are blind, visually impaired or dyslexic. You can install it directly via the Google Play Store. In addition to text-to-speech functionality, the new reading mode offers customizable display options such as custom background, font style, contrast, size and more.
Once you’ve installed the app via the Play Store, the reading mode shortcut can be turned on by going into your Android settings and turning on the feature. Then you need to enable it on a per-app basis by going into the in-app settings for all apps. You can then choose whether to use a button, a gesture or the volume keys to start reading mode. The selected shortcut then activates reading mode when reading apps or websites.
The home screen YouTube widget also gets some exciting new features. Now, in addition to shortcuts to Home, Subscriptions, Library, and Shorts, YouTube Home Screen Widgets let you quickly jump to the search page. If you don’t see this on your device yet, refresh the YouTube app and then re-add the widget to your home screen.
Casting from the Google TV app just got easier
Google recently overhauled the Google TV app, so you can get personalized recommendations for new movies, control an Android TV, and even check for news related to your favorite actors and TV shows. And now the company is adding the ability to cast content to a compatible TV directly in the Google TV app.
Starting next week, you’ll see a “cast” button at the bottom right of the Google TV app, telling you how many devices you can cast to. In addition, you will be able to use your phone as a remote control for Android TV while watching and browsing other features on the device.
Divisible digital car keys
Currently, with a digital car key, you can lock, unlock and start a compatible car with just your Android smartphone. With the new update, you’ll be able to share your digital car keys with friends and family members (even those using an iPhone). You will be able to manage who has access to your car through the digital wallet app on your phone.
New Wear OS features
In addition to Android, Wear OS also gets some new useful features. The company has added new tiles to Wear OS that let you quickly connect with your favorite contacts and even see sunrise and sunset times to plan your day. Also, the Google Keep app has been updated and now syncs (correctly) with your device and will now look just as good on your watch. You can even add custom backgrounds, photos, and drawings to your Google Keep notes on your Wear OS smartwatch.
Now you can simply say “Hey Google, start a run with adidas Running” and it will open the app and start recording your workout. Using the sensors already available on the smartwatch, it will track speed, distance, heart rate and provide you with key information related to your workout.
Check out these amazing Google smartphones!
Google Pixel 7
The new Google Pixel 7 is powered by the all-new Google Tensor G2 chipset. The device is paired with 8GB of memory and it has 128/256GB storage tiers. The phone comes with a significantly improved camera system and is more portable than the previous generation. Pixel 7 is available in Obsidian, Lemongrass and Snow colors.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
The Google Pixel 7 Pro will be powered by the new Google Pixel Tensor sensor, providing even more powerful graphics and computing power to let you play all your favorite games. The device will also have a powerful new camera setup and it will be available in Obsidian, Hazel and Snow colors.
Google Pixel 6a
If you don’t care about a high refresh rate, wireless charging, a glass back and a few other goodies, this should be your phone. It’s a Pixel, but more affordable. Check out all the deals on the device using the links below.