John Callaham
Android home office lighting


  • Google announced an Android feature update that will be available soon for most users.
  • They contain some features that were previously only available on Pixel phones, including the locked folder in Google Photos.
  • It also introduces new accessibility features and some ways to remotely control your Google TV-based TV from your phone.

Android 12 may be just a few weeks away from launch. However, if you don’t want your phone to get the new OS for a while, you can still count on some new Android features via updates that start rolling out today.

The new Android feature update includes ways to control phones with facial gestures, new ways to control your Google TV-based Smart TV with your phone, and some features that were previously only available on Google’s Pixel phones. Here’s a quick look at what Android features will be updated.

Android features update for autumn 2021

google accessible facial gestures
  • New features for accessibility – For people with speech impairments, Google is adding an app called Project Activate. It enables these users to use facial gestures to trigger preset actions to communicate, such as: B. Sending a text or playing an audio clip. Google is also adding another new app today called Camera Switches. This allows owners to use a phone’s front camera to navigate through a phone. The Lookout app, which reads both printed and handwritten text, is updated to do the same for Latin languages.
  • New dashboard for the driving mode of Android Auto Google Assistant – Android Auto users can expect a number of new features. This includes a new driving mode dashboard for the Google Assistant that has the ability to simply say “Hey Google, let’s drive” to launch the dashboard. Touchable maps appear on the screen to walk you through the basics like navigation, message notifications, and resuming any previously started media.
  • More new Android Auto features – You can now say “Ok Google, turn on auto-reading” to hear all the messages sent to you in Android Auto and reply with your voice. Also, Android Auto screens can show your work-related messages and upcoming meetings through your work profile. If for some reason you are waiting in your car, while waiting you can play games on Android Auto via GameSnacks. Waze for Android is also getting an update with touchpad, night mode and support for lane guidance. If you’re at one of 32,000 supported gas stations, you can now keep your credit card in your wallet while refueling. Just say “Hey Google, pay for gas” on Android Auto or from your Android phone and you can do it through Android Pay. If you have a dual SIM phone, this new update lets you choose which SIM card to use when making calls on Android Auto.
Google TV screenshot
  • Control Google TV with your phone – If you have a smart TV or a set-top box with the Google TV interface for Android TV, you can now perform several actions with your phone. This includes turning on your TV, scrolling through movies and TV shows, and even launching content from your phone. Your phone’s keypad can also be used to remotely enter search strings or passwords. The Google TV app will also be launched in 14 other countries over the next few weeks.
  • Reminder hub for the Google Assistant – Just say “Hey Google, open my reminders” to launch the new reminder hub so you can keep an eye on upcoming events.
  • Locked folder in Google Photos is now available for all Android phones – If you have an Android 6 Marshmallow phone or higher, you can now access the Locked Folder feature in Google Photos that was previously only available on Pixel phones. It allows you to securely store any photos or videos in a password protected folder so that they will not appear when you normally scroll through your media library.
  • Heads Up is coming to more phones – Here’s another Pixel-exclusive feature that is now rolling out to phones running Android 9 Pie and above. Heads Up is a digital wellbeing feature for people who use their phones while walking. It will remind them to look up from time to time and stay vigilant.
  • Share nearby improvements – With this update, you can customize the nearby sharing feature, which allows other people close to you to discover your device in order to share files. Now you can’t choose anyone, just your trusted contacts or anyone who can see your phone.
gboard features
  • Lots of new Gboard features – Lots of copywriters will soon find plenty to try out on Gboard. For example, users who copy and paste content with multiple phone numbers, email addresses, or website links will see that Gboard automatically splits them into multiple paste options. In this way, you can delete any content from the list that you do not want to forward. If you take a screenshot with the intention of sharing it right away, Gboard will now automatically display that screenshot as a suggestion to share. Android 11 and above users can also use Smart Compose in Gboard so it can guess how you could end a text message so you can just swipe to complete it. Finally, the Emoji Kitchen feature, which allows users to combine emojis for some interesting combinations, will get 1,500 additional stickers to combine over the course of this fall.

Furious! That’s quite a number of newcomers. That certainly doesn’t count all the new things that come about the Android 12 launch. It looks like Android users will have a lot to discover and access over the next few months.

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