Google is preparing a spate of improvements for Android, the web, and WearOS in anticipation of the next summer. The company is already adding new features to its apps and services across all kinds of devices, even if we still need to wait for the June Feature Drop to arrive on Pixel devices as a system upgrade.
Google is continuously working on new widgets, and this feature removal makes that very obvious. New Google Finance, Google TV, and Google News widgets are now available for smartphones and tablets.
The former gadget, which is a component of the Google app, is reportedly already going out broadly. If you want to feel more anxious every time your phone’s screen comes on, you can track your most significant investments straight from your home screen.
The Google News home screen feature will put the most recent and significant headlines at your fingertips, while the Google TV widget aims to make it simpler to locate personalized watch suggestions quickly.
While none of these widgets are wholly original ideas, they all adhere to the same Material You design aesthetic, which makes them compatible with Pixel phones. The widgets are accessible worldwide on Android 6 and newer-powered handsets.
Emoji Kitchen, Google’s emoji-merging function for Gboard, was a huge success when it was initially introduced, and it continues to get better every month. Google is introducing new summer-themed emoji combinations as part of the June Feature Drop, though the firm is remaining mum on the specifics. But, the image below from the business indicates that some of the new combinations will contain sharks.
Spotify, Wallet, and Keep on WearOS
Although Google is introducing a few new capabilities to its wristwatch operating system in the interim, there are still many aspects we’d like to see rectified in the upcoming release of WearOS.
One example is the announcement made by Google and Spotify that the AI DJ from the music streaming service is now accessible on the watch platform. This enables you to listen to the unique radio host right from your wrist.
The business claims that in addition to the DJ, Spotify has included several additional tiles and watch display features. Nevertheless, only Premium subscribers in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland get access to The DJ.
You can now import your SmarTrip and Clipper cards to Google Wallet and use them right on your wrist if you take public transportation and live in the San Francisco Bay Area or Washington, DC.
Google also reaffirmed that it recently added new complexities to the Keep watch app so you could access personal to-do lists or notes right from the watch face.
Dark web reports for Gmail
Google last year disclosed dark web monitoring for Gmail users at Google I/O. The function is now accessible to anyone with a Google account, as opposed to only Google One subscribers in the past. To utilize this, you must still go to the Google One website or app, but there is no fee.
You may use the function to perform a one-time scan to see if your Gmail ID has been exposed on the dark web. It also includes instructions on how to stay safe online. The opportunity to look for further stolen data, such as the social security number, and recurrent automatic scanning are still available to Google One subscribers.
As of June 1, the rollout for these dark web reports should now be complete in the US. In the coming months, the company will roll the option out to 20 more countries.
Google is back with a new Reading Practice service as part of Google Play Books after shuttering its Rivet reading practice apps in 2020. You may access a unique portion of the program where you and your child can practice reading together. Google claims that thousands of children’s books, including those that are free, have the option. With reading practice, your child reads underlined words aloud while getting any necessary pronunciation help.
Rolling out over the coming weeks
The most recent updates, which are a part of Android 13’s third and final Quarterly Platform Update, will be accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they own a Pixel phone or not, even though we’re still eagerly for the Pixel Feature Drop to happen. The new features and releases are currently being implemented, and everyone should have access to them over the next few weeks.