Android today released details about six improvements this summer. Some of these are merely enhancements to the quality of life, such as text messages, which are readily found later, or contextual suggestions from the Emoji Kitchen, depending on what you type. However, other parts of the upgrade stress safety, security and accessibility.
Google launched an Android feature this summer that effectively uses your phone as a seismometer to build the “largest earthquake detection network in the world.”The system is free and has also been released in New Zealand and Greece after testing has taken place in California. In Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Google will now provide this function. This year, the company stated that it would continue to prioritize the features with the highest seismic risk for countries.
Google also expanded on a feature first introduced last year, making the Google Assistant compatible with all Android apps.Apps such as Spotify, Snapchat, Twitter, Walmart, Discord, Etsy, MyFitnessPal, Mint, Nike Adapt, Nike Run Club, eBay, Kroger, Postmates and Wayfair were supported with this first upgrade. Currently, the update includes apps such as eBay, Yahoo! Finance, Strava and Capital One. These capabilities are analogous to Siri assistance from Apple for iOS applications, where apps are opened, tasks are performed and a personalized control is recorded.
On accessibility, Google is increasing the gaze detection feature, now beta-based. Gaze detection allows individuals to request Voice Access to reply solely to a screen view, so that people may naturally shift between chatting with friends and using their phone. Now, voice access has improved password entry – if it detects a password field, you may enter letters, numbers, and symbols using the term “capital P,” for example, “dollar sign,” which makes entering this sensitive information simpler for the user.
In October, Google’s Assistant was available on visualization devices and, in the same month, Google researchers unveiled a demo to identify the “active speaker” in video conversations for sign language users. Although SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), an eye tracking company, was purchased in 2017, Apple has no similar gaze detection function yet that is widely available. Therefore, I expect that the work on Apple will have comparable accessibility features, particularly since Google is continuing its development.
The Android upgrade today will also allow Android Auto users to personalize their experience more closely. Now you can customize your phone’s launcher screen, change the dark mode manually, and explore content using the A-z scroll bar and the “back to top” button on media applications effortlessly. Messaging applications like WhatsApp and messages are now compatible on the start screen — warning and distraction — and EV charging, parking and navigation applications will now be readily available.