9 new features for Android smartphones in December

9 new features for Android smartphones in December

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Google is celebratory at Christmas time and is giving Android users a number of new functions.

In recent years, Google has increasingly moved to not only playing out new functions with major Android updates. Instead, the company regularly releases so-called feature drops. The December drop contains a total of 11 new features, some of which are also inspired by the holiday season.

New photo features and reading mode app

Google has released a completely new app for people with limited vision. The “Reading mode” app is now available for download in the Play Store. Not only can text in apps or websites be enlarged and displayed with contrasting colors. The app can also read the text at any speed. Unfortunately, for the time being, the app only supports English voice output.

The Google Photos app recently got a new collage editor. New, unique designs from artists DABSMYLA and Yao Cheng Design are coming for the holiday season. Users can simply select photos for a collage, set the desired design and arrange the images as they wish.

Digital car key and adidas workouts

Since Android 12, certain smartphones such as Pixel 6 and newer and Galaxy S21 and newer have supported the digital car key. This allows compatible cars to be unlocked and started via smartphone. New in December is the ability to share car keys with family or friends. In the Wallet app, car owners can view and manage access to the digital car key. So far, Google’s own Pixel smartphones and iPhone support the function. Other devices with Android 12 or newer will follow soon.

If you want to get in shape again before Christmas, you can now start workouts directly via the Google Assistant on a smartwatch with Wear OS. The assistant gets access to more than 30 training exercises from the Adidas running app. With the command “Hey Google, start a run with Adidas Running” the app opens and starts a workout with tracking via the smartwatch sensors.

More new features for Android smartphones

  • Emoji Kitchen: It has been possible for some time to merge different emojis using the Google Gboard keyboard. There are now a couple of new, Christmas-themed combinations available.
  • YouTube: The YouTube app gets a search widget for Android. This allows users to access videos directly from the home screen.
  • google tv: Starting next week, you can stream content from the Google TV app on your smartphone directly to Chromecast or compatible smart TVs.
  • WearOS: Google’s operating system for smartwatches gets two new tiles. One of them shows sunrise and sunset to better plan the day. The other gives direct access to favorite contacts.
  • Google Keep: The Google Keep app for Wear OS gets more features. As on the smartphone, the app now also shows labels, contributors, individual background colors, photos and drawings on the smartwatch.

Google Blog: Special delivery! New Android features this holiday season (accessed 2 December 2022)

9 new features for Android smartphones in December

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