The business is adding new features to its apps, but Pixel phones must still wait for the monthly system update.
Summer is quickly approaching, and Google is preparing for it with a flurry of improvements for Android, the web, and WearOS. While we wait for the June Feature Drop to arrive as a system update on Pixel smartphones, the firm is already adding new capabilities to its apps and services on a variety of devices.
Google is still in the process of developing new widgets, as evidenced by this feature drop. New widgets for Google Finance, Google TV, and Google News are coming to phones and tablets. The old widget is supposedly already widely available, and it is included in the Google app. It allows you to track your most critical investments directly from your home screen, if you want a little more anxiety every time you switch on your phone’s screen. Meanwhile, Google TV’s widget aims to make it easier to get personalised viewing recommendations at a glance, and the Google News home screen update will put the most recent and significant headlines at your fingertips.
While none of these widgets are really novel, they all use the same Material You design language and hence look quite at home on Pixel phones. The widgets are accessible globally on Android 6 and later smartphones.
Google’s emoji-merging function for Gboard was an instant success, and Emoji Kitchen is just getting better with each passing month. Google is adding new summer-themed emoji combinations to the mix as part of the June Feature Drop, though the firm is remaining mum on the details. However, the image provided by the company below hints that some of the new combinations will contain sharks.
Spotify, Wallet, and Keep on WearOS
While there are many things we’d like to see fixed in the next release of WearOS, Google is adding a few new functions to its smartwatch operating system in the meanwhile. For example, Google collaborated with Spotify to announce that the music streaming service’s AI DJ is now available on the watch platform, allowing you to listen to the special radio host from the comfort of your own wrist. Aside from the DJ, the business claims that Spotify has some new tiles and watch face complications to appreciate. However, the DJ is only available to Premium users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland.
If you use Google Wallet and live in the San Francisco Bay Area or Washington, DC, and utilise public transportation, you can now import your SmarTrip and Clipper cards and use them right on your wrist. Google also emphasised that it developed new Keep watch complications a while ago to provide rapid access to particular to-do lists or notes right from the watch face.
Gmail Dark Web Reports
This year at Google I/O, Google announced dark web surveillance for Gmail users. Previously available solely to Google One customers, the tool is now available to anybody with a Google account. You’ll still need to go to the Google One website or app to use this, but it’s free. The function allows you to perform a one-time scan to see if your Gmail ID has been disclosed on the dark web, along with advice on how to protect yourself online. Google One users will continue to receive benefits such as the ability to search for further leaked information such as the social security number and automated repeating scanning.
As of June 1, the implementation of these dark web reports in the United States should be complete. The company plans to expand the option to 20 more nations in the following months.
Google is back with a new Reading Practise service as part of Google Play Books after closing down its Rivet reading practise apps in 2020. You may access a special part within the programme that allows you to practise reading with your child. According to Google, the option is available for thousands of children’s books, including some that are free. Reading practise requires your child to read highlighted words aloud, with coaching on how to pronounce them if necessary.
It will be available in the following weeks.
While we wait for the Pixel Feature Drop to arrive with the latest updates as part of Android 13’s third and final Quarterly Platform Release, these new additions will be available to everyone, regardless of whether they own a Pixel phone or not. The new capabilities and releases are currently being rolled out and should be available to everyone in the next weeks.