As widely expected, during I/O 2022, Google showed off the next versions of its Android operating system, Android 13, and new hardware. The company also gave a glimpse of its multi-device future vision, where while the phone is still the most popular form of computing, people are adding new connected technologies to their lives like TVs, cars, watches and Moreover. The company said it’s “introducing new ways to do more. Whether it’s your phone or your other devices, our updates help them work better together.” Here are some of the great features Google is bringing to your Android devices this year.
Google updates RCS with high-quality images, type flags and more
Google’s Rich Communication Standard, aka RCS, is getting an update. Now, users will be able to send high-quality images through the Google Message app without any charge. Additionally, it introduces type flags, and users will no longer need an active mobile connection to send a message as RCS will soon support “message over WiFi”.
Google says it’s working with carriers and manufacturers to bring RCS to more users. Later this year, Google will add end-to-end encryption to group chats in the open beta update to the Google Messages app.
Google Wallet is coming to Android and WearOS
Amid the pandemic, different digital wallet apps have introduced many new features including digital car keys and vaccination certificates on Android smartphones. Now, Google is bringing its own wallet app called Google Wallet app to Android and WearOS devices.
Google is partnering with several states in the United States, allowing users to save their digital IDs and driver’s license in Google Wallet. It will also add the ability to save and access hotel key cards and office badges on Google Wallet. Users will be able to save their payment cards, vaccination certificates, boarding passes and more.
The company is also improving integration between the wallet and other Google apps. Google says that Google Maps will show you the saved transit card on the screen while you search for directions so you can easily top it up if the balance is low.
Earthquake early warnings will be available in higher risk areas
Google will introduce Earthquake Early Warnings in more earthquake-prone regions to help people residing in those areas. Additionally, it will work with wearable makers to bring Emergency SOS to WearOS watches this year.
Samsung Galaxy Watch to get Google Assistant soon; More apps coming to WearOS
Google announced its unified version of WearOS with Samsung at Google I/O last year. The tie-up would be a huge success, according to Google there are now three times as many active WearOS users.
Building on the success, Google is betting big on WearOS. First, expect more WearOS-powered smartwatches to arrive this year. Second, Google Assistant is coming soon to the Galaxy Watch series, starting with the Watch 4 line. Three more native apps will be available for WearOS watches this year, including apps from SoundCloud and Deezer.
Android apps to become more tablet friendly
In the coming weeks, Google will update its applications such as youtube music, Google Maps and more to enhance the experience of tablet users. Facebook, ICT Tac and Zoom will also update their apps to take advantage of the extra space on the tablet. Finding tablet-optimized apps on Google Play Store should also become easier than before.
Chromecast built-in is coming to more partners and devices
Google is working to bring the built-in Chromecast to Chromebooks and AndroidAuto-enabled devices. Soon, users will be able to play audio or video from their smartphone to other devices, even if they are on the go.
Now, using Copy and Paste, users will be able to copy a URL or image from their phone and paste it onto their tablet. Additionally, it will become easier to set up and pair devices with Fast Pair, including Matter devices.