In addition to the new features that come with major OS updates, Google regularly releases a series of new features for its Android operating system. ” Android is constantly adding features to better connect with the people and devices around you,” says the Mountain View company.

This week, the company is unveiling a few new features for the Gboard keyboard (to improve the Android messaging experience), accessibility features, and Google Play.

First of all, on Gboard, Google is rolling out across the Android operating system a new feature that had already been launched on its Pixel smartphones. It generates stickers from the text that is entered by the user, allowing to send this sticker instead of a simple text message. The only drawback is that for the moment, this new feature is only available to English-speaking users.

Google also strengthens Emoji Kitchen. This function allows, on the keyboard, to combine emojis. And now, according to Google’s explanations, there are more than 1,600 possible combinations. In addition, as part of “Pride Month”, Google is rolling out a new series of stickers with the rainbow flag.

Google improves its accessibility features

The Mountain View firm is updating its Sound Amplifier app. This accessibility app uses the user’s microphone and headphones to amplify and filter sound. And according to Google, the update improves the reduction of background noise, while improving the quality of amplification.

Google has also decided to update its Lookout application, which is designed for people who are blind or visually impaired. “Now, with the new Images mode, which uses Google’s latest machine learning model for image understanding, you can hear the description of an image by simply opening it from any application,” says the internet giant.

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The other modes have been improved. And now the app can work offline to help people even when they don’t have Wifi or mobile data connection.

Play Store: you will be able to use your Play points more easily

For those who don’t use the Play Store or don’t make purchases on it, Play points are a loyalty points system that Google has implemented on its app store. These are generated when the user spends on the store, then allow to collect benefits.

The firm announces that users will soon be able to spend these points to make purchases directly on the apps. It will also be possible to pay for an in-app purchase using both these points, and another payment method.

Google

Waiting for Android 13

Obviously, these are only minor improvements, but they still allow Android to improve outside the annual cycle. For major updates, we will have to wait for Android 13.

As a reminder, this new version of the operating system is already being tested by Google, and was presented at the I/O conference in May. Normally, the stable version should arrive this fall when Google launches its new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones.

In the meantime, you can install the Android 13 beta 2 to test the new features before the official release. Here is the list of compatible Google smartphones:

  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL
  • Pixel 4a
  • Pixel 4a (5G)
  • Pixel 5
  • Pixel 5a
  • Pixel 6
  • Pixel 6 Pro