Even now and then (typically quarterly), Google announces a suite of new features for Android. Earlier this year, we got an Android Feature Drop that brought us custom stickers in Gboard, improvements for Sound Amplifier, plus much more. This week, Google has made a similar announcement, but it’s very much not exclusive to just Android. Let’s go over what’s new for the company’s various platforms.
In an upcoming change, users will be able to use Nearby Share to transfer files across owned devices. Once live, you’ll be able to simply select Android devices that are logged into your Google account from the sharing menu, then quickly share files between them. This can take place even when screens are off. This will make Nearby Share quite useful moving forward.
Updated Google Drive, Google Keep Widgets
More fresh widgets for your homescreen. According to Google, three home screen buttons now on the updated Drive widget offer one-touch access to Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets files. And for Google Keep, a bigger widget and enlarged font size makes taking notes, to-do lists, and reminders easier to access.
I’ll let Google explain this one. It’s cute and silly and I can’t wait to try it out.
Say you want to add the right emphasis to what you’re saying without the added effort of selecting emoji one at a time. Gboard now lets you “emojify” your messages. Just type your sentence, hit the Emojify button to select your preferred layout and press send to add the right emoji magic to share with your friends. This feature is now available in the Gboard Beta app in English, and is coming to all Gboard English typers over the next weeks.
If you’d like to try to join the Gboard beta, you can do so here. In addition, Google announced that new Emoji Kitchen mashups are rolling out to Gboard users.
Google is adding new shared experiences to Google Meet, such as games like Uno, Kahoot, and Heads Up. You’ll also now be able to watch YouTube videos, plus much more with up to 100+ at the same time. This feature is now rolling out. Also for Meet, multi-pinning is rolling out, allowing users to pin feeds that they want to keep an eye on during a call. This is useful when there’s a call with lots and lots of people.
Google Keep Tile for Wear OS
Over on Wear OS, there’s a new Google Keep tile inbound, making note dictation and checklist checking a breeze from the wrist. And lastly, Bitmoji is headed to Wear OS. According to Google, you’ll need to design your own Bitmoji in Snapchat (or in the Bitmoji app), have the Bitmoji Watch face installed on the watch, and then you’ll be able to set your lovely mug as the watch face. The face will then show different expressions based on factors such as weather, time of day, and physical activity.
Be on the lookout for all of these things starting this month. For full details, check out Google’s blog by following the link below.