For December, Google is releasing new Android feature updates for phones, watches, and Google TV. These updates come with a reader mode that is accessible, a new YouTube Search widget, shared digital car keys, new Wear OS action tiles, and a few holiday-specific features.
Here is a summary of all the new features Google is releasing.
An accessible reader mode that improves content consumption for people with dyslexia or visual impairment is included in the Android December version. Users can adjust the contrast, font type, and size in the mode to improve visibility. Additionally, it features a speed-controlling text-to-speech feature so people may listen to the articles online. Download the Reading Mode app to your phone to enable the shortcut and follow the on-screen directions.
A new YouTube home screen widget with quick access to the search bar, Home, Shorts, Subscriptions, and Library, is also being introduced by Google.
Users can cast a movie or TV show directly from the Google TV app starting next week. As a result, you may play a game while looking for other content to watch, switch to another app to check for updates, and use the phone as a remote control. The firm initially discussed this capability at its Google IO developer conference in May.
Holiday collages created by famous watercolor artist Yao Cheng Design and Australian husband-and-wife visual team DABSMYLA are now available on Google Photos. To construct a final frame, choose photographs from the Google Photos app, combine them into a collage, then choose from these new frame designs.
Gboard’s Emoji Kitech also supports the blue heart, snowman, and snowflake emojis for festive emoji mashups.
Last year, Google began to roll out support for digital auto keys that could unlock vehicles. You can now share access to your automobile with friends and family on Pixel and iPhones, thanks to this new update. According to the manufacturer, you can view and modify access to the digital auto key via the digital wallet app. The Watch Wear OS upgrade includes the introduction of new Tiles, widget-like panels to access information quickly, like preferred contacts and the time of sunrise and sunset, it added. These features will soon be available on select other devices running Android 12 and up. It already has Google Keep to create a new note or a list and Tiles for Google Maps to retrieve directions to saved locations like work and home. The business also provides an API for third-party developers to utilize Wear OS’s Tiles format.
With support for custom backgrounds, images, and drawings, Google has redesigned the Keep app for Wear OS so that notes and lists have a better format to be read on a watch. Additionally, you can see collaborators and labels for a list.
The Google Assistant now features compatibility with the Adidas running app. The upgrade will enable you to utilize the Assistant to start more than 30 exercises using a voice command on your watch, and it will be available over the course of the following week. For the app to start monitoring your run, say, “Hey, Google, start a run with Adidas Running.”
You must update such apps to the most recent version to enable new capabilities in specific apps like Google TV and Gboard.