Google announces new features for Android and Wear OS

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Google has announced a slew of new features for Android, Chromebook, and Wear OS designed to improve connectivity, productivity, and accessibility. The announcement coincided with the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which kicks off today in Barcelona. New features include upcoming Fast Pair support on Chromebook, Google Keep shortcuts for your phone and smartwatch, and new accessibility modes for Wear OS.

The company revealed that Fast Pair will soon be able to connect new Bluetooth headphones to a Chromebook with just one tap. If a user has already set up headphones with their Android phone, their Chromebook will automatically connect to them as well. Google did not provide specific information about a release window for this update, but noted that it will be rolled out “soon”.

Image Credits: Google

Another audio enhancement announced today is that Google Meet will soon offer noise cancellation on more Android mobile devices to filter out background noise during a meeting.

Google’s Android booth at MWC 2023 in Barcelona. Photo: Brian Heating

The company also revealed that users will soon be able to easily increase the size of content on Chrome, including text, images, and videos, by up to 300% while preserving the page layout. Users can set their preferred content size as the default so they don’t have to change it every time they launch the browser. The new update is available in Chrome Beta starting today and rolling out to all users soon.

Image Credits: Google

The company also plans to release a single-note Google Keep widget that will allow users to quickly manage their notes and check off to-do lists from their home screen. The widget displays reminders, background colors and images added to notes from the Keep app and also syncs with your smartwatch. Google Keep is also rolling out two new shortcuts to create notes and to-do lists with a simple tap on a user’s watch face.

Google’s Android booth at MWC 2023 in Barcelona. Photo: Brian Heating

Google is releasing another productivity feature that lets users use a stylus or just touch the screen to annotate PDFs in the Google Drive app for Android. You can play around with different strokes to write notes or feedback, or use the highlighter to save important text to your tablet or phone. After that, you can hide, undo, delete or save a new copy of your annotated documents. Freehand annotation in Google Drive for Android is now available.

In addition, Wear OS is getting two new sound and display modes designed to improve the accessibility of the watch. Users will soon be able to access mono audio mode to limit disorientation caused by split audio. New color correction and grayscale modes give users more choice for their watch display.

Image Credits: Google

The company is also launching new emoji combinations in Emoji Kitchen, a Gboard feature that lets users submit merged or remixed sticker versions of Google’s emoji designs. There are new basketball team and spring options for users to play and then share with others.

Another cool new feature is the upcoming rollout of new tap-to-pay animations in Google Wallet to confirm your in-store transactions. Google hinted that users will see “happy penguins” and other characters starting next week.

Learn more about MWC 2023 on AapkaDost

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