Digital car key for Android Auto, Emoji Kitchen, and Widgets – Google just announced a slew of new Android 12 features. For the users of Google’s mobile operating system, it’s a bit like an early Christmas.
“As we enter the busiest time of the year, Android 12 becomes even more useful with new features that make creating, capturing and sharing your vacation memories even more enjoyable while improving security and personalization,” reads the introduction to the blog post by Google released on Thursday December 2nd.
“Family Bell” brings everyone together at the table
Ah, the voice of my father, who with his German accent wholeheartedly said “À TAAAAAAAAAABLEEEEE !!!!!!!!” screamed when he felt like cooking (so only about three times a year) burned into my memory forever. And I plan to continue this tradition with my descendants, if I should ever have any.
But apparently Google minds it. The Family Bell function in Android 12 enables us to set up a certain number of reminders and warnings that are broadcast via the connected displays or speakers and now also via the smartphones of a household. Google’s goal is to help you and your family stick to your daily schedule, no matter where you are.
“Ringtones and notifications will alert you and your family when it’s time for important parts of the day – so you can go out in the morning, pick up your kids from exercise, or go to bed at the scheduled time. Your family members will also have ringtones on theirs be able to set up their own devices so that they too can achieve their personal goals, “explains Google.
Google announced new bells, or “bells,” suggested for new activities. This includes watering your plants, but also a movie evening with the family or volunteering to support a good cause.
Widgets, even more widgets, always MORE WIDGETS!
Google is as passionate about widgets as I am about note-taking apps and are announcing a number of new official widgets:
- Google Play Books widget: This allows you to access your library and even track your progress on audio books.
- Youtube Music Widget: Displays the playback controls and recently played tracks on the home screen.
- Google Photos People & Pets widget: Decorate your home screen with photos of human and animal relatives.
New memories in Google Photos
Souvenirs in Google Photos is a function that allows you to display certain photo and video highlights in your gallery. With this update, Souvenirs will be an opportunity to look back on the moments you are celebrating. These memories appear in your photo grid and show a selection of photos and videos from holidays such as New Year’s Eve or Halloween or from important events such as birthdays and graduation parties.
And since everyone has their own traditions, there are special commands with which you can rename, adjust, correct or even remove these memories from the photo grid. Perfect for reminding yourself of a crazy, boozy party that you wiped out of your mind.
Android Auto: The car key function is finally available
Users of a Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S21 can use their smartphone as a car key. If you own a compatible BMW (i.e. the 2020 and 2022 models), according to Google, you can even give your car key to friends or family members remotely if they need it.
Another innovation from Android Auto: You can set the service to start automatically when you connect your Android phone to your compatible car, so that the connection is maintained every time you drive. Google also mentioned Smart Actions, intelligent message reply options that make it easier for you to reply to a text message using the Google Assistant.
Just tap on the text to reply or create a personal message. You can also listen to your favorite music by simply tapping the new, always active play button directly on the start screen. Later it will even be possible to search for music faster in your apps using your voice.
Authorizations are automatically reset
Do you remember the mobile game you downloaded six months ago? Probably not. But it still remembers the system permissions you gave it.
To give you more control over your privacy, Google will give you the option of automatically resetting permissions in Android 12. The device will then automatically deactivate the execute permissions (which allow apps to access data or perform actions on your behalf) for downloaded apps that you have not used for a long time.
You can reactivate the authorizations at any time – either by opening the app again or via the settings menu. From next month this function will be supported by billions of other devices that are equipped with Google Play services and run on Android 6.0 or higher.
You are already familiar with this new function if you use the Gboard keyboard. Specifically, you can combine emojis with each other to share them with your loved ones. In a few weeks, Emoji Kitchen will be rolled out to all Gboard users worldwide.
You can z. B. Wrap emojis in a gift package or merge a smiley with an animal emoji. create an emoji with a very sad or happy dog. In short, it’s clearly THE killer feature everyone has been waiting for in 2021.
What do you think of the new features that Google has announced for Android 12? Has your smartphone already received the update to Google’s new operating system?