7 New Features are Coming to Android, Your Devices: Google Messages, Home, More

Samsung Galaxy S24 - New Features

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Pixel owners know about feature drops, because they are Google’s way of continuously adding value to devices. With each big quarterly update, Google tosses out new software ideas onto Pixel phones and tablets to keep things fun and fresh. For those who don’t follow closely, Google does this for the Android platform too. We get regular Android feature drops for Samsung, OnePlus and other Android devices, just like we’re about to talk about below.

In this latest Android Feature Drop, Google is adding improvements to Google Messages (editing!), Google Home, and Wear OS, while bringing new features like digital car keys, more Emoji Kitchen combos, and the ability to instant hotspot to Chromebooks.

Google Messages - Edit Messages

GOOGLE MESSAGES EDITING: That’s right, you can now edit a message you’ve sent in Google Messages. Google is rolling this feature out and will give users a 15-minute window to edit group or one-on-one messages once they have been sent. To do so, you’ll long-press on a message and then tap the little pencil/edit button up top to adjust your words. This only works with RCS messages.

GOOGLE HOME FAVORITES WIDGET: The Google Home app is getting a fun new Favorites Widget that can be added to home screens. This widget lets you do everything from changing temperatures to viewing doorbells and adjusting lighting. The widget is also advanced enough that it can be resized to various shapes to show additional favorites if you have more than a couple.

To get access to this new Favorites widget, Google says that you need to be signed-up for the Public Preview of the Google Home app. You can sign-up here.

Google Home - Favorites Widget

INSTANT HOTSPOTS, CALL SWITCHING: Coming soon, you’ll be able to connect to an instant hotspot from your phone to your Android tablet or Chromebook. That’s cool and all, but Google is also going to let you seamlessly transfer Google Meet calls between phones and tablets by pressing the Cast button.

Google appears to be setting this feature up through a Devices & Sharing area in your phone’s settings that will have an option called “Cross-device services.” Within this area, you’ll be able to choose the devices you want to group together and can then decide if they should share call casting and internet sharing.

GOOGLE HOME ON WEAR OS: Beyond the new Favorites widget for your phone’s home screen, Google is also rolling out a Favorites Tile for Wear OS that allows you to easily adjust your smart home devices from the wrist. Like the widget, you can customize the shortcuts on this tile.

WEAR OS GETS PAYPAL: Speaking of wrists, Google Wallet on Wear OS can now make payments with PayPal in the US and Germany.

Wear OS - PayPal

EMOJI KITCHEN EXPANDS: Emoji Kitchen, which is Google’s silly emoji mash-up tool, has added new combos that involve the disco ball and headphones.

MORE DIGITAL CAR KEYS: Finally, Google is rolling out digital car key support to more vehicles, starting with select MINI models. They plan to further expand “soon” to select Mercedes and Polestar vehicles too. We’ll try to get a list of the cars for you.

Some decent stuff in there, right?

// Google



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