Your Android cell phone is updated with these fun functions

The Android 14 logo on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Messages

Google says it has 1 billion monthly RCS messaging users worldwide, and to celebrate, it’s releasing seven new features that will make the messages you send more stylish (or more annoying, depending on how you use it). you see). If you like emojis and reactions and are tired of having only one color bubble, you will love this.

This is not a software version of Google in 2023 if AI It doesn’t mention where and, actually, it’s inside your RCS messages with Photomoji. Choose a photo to send as part of a conversation and the AI ​​will convert it into a reaction. Each Photomoji is saved to be used again and again, and can also be reused by anyone in a group chat. A useful new feature in group chat is the ability to customize the name and photo that goes with your phone number.

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A simple thumbs-up emoji will no longer appear when you add it to a message, as the new Reaction Effects feature gives it a “dynamic spin,” according to Google, and a host of disembodied hands and thumbs dance across the screen, making sure the recipient knows you agree. It works with 10 of the most popular emojis, including a heart, an angry face, and of course, the poop emoji.

In addition, emotions can be added to voice messages to add some visual excitement to your spoken words, while Google has also increased the bitrate and sample rate of voice messages to improve quality. Emojis will also animate entire messages when added, and the screen will also react when you say certain phrases. For example, expect to see the right animations and visual effects appear when you type while it’s snowing.

Finally, the color of the chat bubble and background can be changed, helping you differentiate between chats and giving them a unique look. A fitting new feature, given the recent attention given to the green and blue message bubbles in the Nothing Chats app and Apple’s announcement that it will adopt RCS messaging in 2024. All of this Those features will be available starting November 30, as long as you use the Google Messages app, but Google warns that some may be region and device specific.

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Gboard, Android TV and Wear OS

What else is new? Google is also working on updates for other apps and devices. In addition to updating voice messaging and more reaction features for Messages, Gboard has also undergone an emoji overhaul, with new combinations available to create unique stickers. Google also added 10 new free channels to Google TV which joins the 100 that already exist.

Most of the other updates are focused on Wear OS, the software installed on smartwatches such as Google Pixel Watch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. There is a new At-a-Glance Assistant shortcut that shows important information about in your day, the ability to set the Google Home status to Home or Away on your wrist, configure and control groups of smart lights, and also directly control and pair devices such as robot vacuum cleaners. In the near future, assistant routines will also come to Wear OS.

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Finally, some new accessibility features are coming to Android. TalkBack has been updated to include AI-generated image descriptions and new languages ​​will be added to Live Caption, where typed responses can be read aloud to the other party. Watch for these updates soon.