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Google is bringing 6 new features to Android: password checkup tool, dark mode in Maps and more

On: February 25, 2021
Highlights

  • Google said that the six new features will be rolling out to Android devices soon
  • Some features will be available on devices running on older Android 6.0 and above
  • The new features can be accessed by updating the apps (once released) from the Play Store

Recently Google released a Developer Preview of the upcoming Android 12. Now the search engine giant has introduced six new features. Google says that these new updates will make Android phones more secure and convenient to use. 

Also Read: Android 12 Developer Preview released: here are the top features

The new features are rolled out as updates to six apps including a password tool in Chrome, scheduled text messages and more. In a blog post, Google added that some of these features will be available for older phones running Android 7.0. Read on to know about the newly introduced features.

Password checkup tool

Google has added the password checkup feature on devices running Android 9 and above. It automatically looks up if the password you use has been previously exposed. If the user opts for Autofill with Google for saving or filing login credentials, the password checkup tool will search for compromised passwords and then recommend changes to safeguard the account. 

Send scheduled text messages

Google Messages

Google Messages users can now schedule send text messages

Google’s Messaging app now supports the ability to send scheduled text messages. The feature is available for Android 7 and up. To send a scheduled message, users need to press and hold the send button after which a pop-up will appear for choosing the date and time. Google Messages will also show suggested timings for sending the message. 

Dark theme on Google Maps 

Google Maps dark mode

Dark mode finally arrives on Google Maps

Almost every Google app supports Dark mode and now it has finally arrived on Google Maps. Users can now activate the dark theme on Maps by heading into the app’s Settings, look for Theme and then toggling the ‘Always in Dark Theme’ option. It will be available to all Android users globally in the coming days. Users can also switch back to a lighter theme by selecting ‘Always in Light Theme’. 

Use Google Assistant without unlocking the phone

Hands-free voice commands on Google Assistant have been around for some time now. However, users had to unlock their phone to access the feature. With the new update, users can now give commands like setting timers/alarms, making calls etc even if their phone is locked. The Assistant also shows new cards with basic info at a glance on the lock screen. 

New Android Auto customizations

To use Android Auto, a user needs to have a compatible car with a touch screen. Google is adding support for custom wallpapers and voice-activated games to Android Auto. There are shortcuts for quick access to Contacts and users can also ask Assistant about weather updates and adjusting the thermostat. Cars with wider screens also get a split-screen feature that can display Google Maps and music control playback. 

The new Android Auto features will be available on devices running Android 6.0 and above. 

Updated Google Talkback

The Google Talkback feature is aimed at people who are visually impaired or have low vision. The search engine giant says that it worked with blind and low vision communities to develop more intuitive gestures, a unified menu and a new reading control option. 

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Viraj Gawde

Viraj loves being in the creative field. Being a tech guy and resident tech advisor for his friends and family, his interest lies in smartphones, laptops and cameras. Passionate about creating art, his forte lies in photography. In his downtime, he loves gaming on his self-built rig and supporting FC Barcelona.