Your Android phone is getting lots of fun new features this …

Android 14 logo on Google Pixel 8 Pro.
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It’s a big day for Android updates, as Google has announced more than a dozen new features spanning multiple devices and apps — including a way to make Google Messages more visually exciting and a significant milestone in its use Including lots of fun new ways to mark.

Are you ready to see everything that’s new? Let’s dig in.

google messages

Promotional image from Google, showing the November 2023 updates to the Google Messages app.

Google says there are now one billion monthly RCS messaging users worldwide, and to celebrate, it’s released seven new features that will make the messages you send that much more engaging (or a lot more distracting). Well, it depends on how you look at it. , If you love emojis and reactions and you’re only bothered by the color of a bubble, you’ll love this.

This wouldn’t be a 2023 Google software release if AI wasn’t mentioned somewhere, and of course, it’s inside your RCS messages with Photomoji. Choose a photo to send as part of a conversation and the AI ​​will convert it into a response. Each Photomoji is stored for repeated use, and anyone can reuse it in a group chat. A useful new group chat feature is the chance to personalize the name and photo that comes with your phone number.

A simple thumbs-up emoji will no longer appear when you add it to a message, as the new Reaction Effects feature gives it a “dynamic twist,” according to Google, and multiple different hands and thumbs will dance across the screen. – Making sure the recipient knows you are acknowledged. It works with the 10 most popular emojis, including a heart, an angry face and – of course – the poop emoji.

Additionally, emotions can be added to voice messages to add some visual excitement to your spoken words, while Google has also increased the bitrate and sampling rate for voice messages to improve quality. Emoji will be animated throughout the message when added and the screen will even respond when you say certain phrases. For example, when you type that it’s snowing, expect to see appropriate animations and visual effects.

Finally, the bubble color and chat background can be changed, helping you distinguish between chats and giving them a unique look. A fitting new feature considering the recent attention the Nothing Chats app has brought to the green and blue message bubbles and Apple’s announcement it will adopt RCS messaging in 2024. All of these features are available starting November 30, provided you use the Google Messages app, but Google warns that some may be region and device-specific.

Gboard, Android TV and Wear OS

Google's promotional image showing the November 2023 updates for Android devices.

what else is new? Google is also working on updates for other apps and devices. In addition to voice message updates and multiple reaction features to messages, Gboard has also been introduced as an emoji overhaul, with new combinations available to create unique stickers. Google has also added 10 new free channels to Google TV, joining the 100 channels already available.

Most of the other updates focus on Wear OS, the software installed on smartwatches like the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. There’s a new Assistant shortcut at a glance that shows important information about your day, the ability to set the status of Google Home. Set up and control smart lighting groups, at home or away, from your wrist, and directly control and dock devices like robot vacuums. In the near future, Assistant Routines will also come to Wear OS.

Eventually, some new accessibility features will reach Android. TalkBack has been updated to include AI-generated descriptions of images and new languages ​​will be added to Live Caption, where your typed responses can be read aloud to the other party. Keep an eye out for these updates soon.

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