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Google Announces 6 New Features: Earthquake Alerts, Voice Access for Favorite Apps and more

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The search giant Google has announced new features for Android to improve user experience. The company is adding seven new features to Android with an update. The new updates are focused on safety as well. Some of the features include end-to-end encryption, easy access to emojis, voice access, updates to the Android Auto app which will make it easier for Android Auto users to personalise their launcher screen directly from their phone and lots more.

The new features for Android were announced through a post on the Google Keyword blog. These are a part of an update for Android smartphones that Google started rolling out on June 15, and all eligible devices should receive it soon. Let’s dive in…

  1. Android Earthquake Alerts System: The search giant has built an earthquake detection network for Android. With this free system, people in affected areas can get alerts seconds before an earthquake hits, giving you advance notice in case you need to seek safety. The feature piloted in Greece and New Zealand but it will now be available Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “We are prioritising launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks, and hope to launch in more and more countries over the coming year,” Google said.
  2. Starred messages in Google Messages: For people trying to keep better tabs on their chats, Google is adding the ability to star individual messages in the Google Messages app. This feature is something you have already seen before in WhatsApp. Once you star a message (which you can do by tapping and holding on a specific text), the message will show up in its own section (sorted by category) so you don’t need to scroll through long chat logs just to find a specific photo or an address you wanted to save.
  3. Find the perfect Emoji Kitchen sticker at the perfect time: Google introduced a new section in Emoji Kitchen stickers that lets you access the stickers that you have used recently. Soon users will see contextual suggestions in Emoji Kitchen after they have typed a message. Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are available in Gboard beta today and are coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.
  4. Voice Access: Voice Access gives you quick and efficient phone and app navigation with just your voice. Simply put, you can now ask Google to open or search your favourite apps using your voice.
  5. Improved Password Input and Gaze Detection on Voice Access: Voice Access also got enhanced password input. When it recognizes a password field, it lets you input letters, numbers, and symbols. With gaze detection, now in beta, you can ask Voice Access to work only when you are looking at the screen — so you can naturally move between talking to friends and using your phone.
  6. More customization and new app experiences on Android Auto: Users can now personalise the launcher screen directly from the smartphone and also manually adjust for dark mode. Google says browsing also becomes easier with a new ‘back to top’ option and an A to Z button while scrolling. Google has also added new app experiences to help enhance your drive such as EV charging, parking and navigation apps.

Further, the company has improved the messaging experience, so you can access your favorite messaging apps from the launcher screen. You can easily read and send new messages directly from apps like WhatsApp or Messages. This feature will be available to all users globally. The Android Auto features are available on phones with Android 6 and newer, when connected to a compatible car.

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