Google rolls out a lot of new features for Android devices every quarter. And as we’re slowly approaching the end of the year, Google has rolled out the Q4 2023 Android Feature Drop.
Like the previous Android Feature Drops, this one brings exciting new additions to the platform. And a lot of different devices have cool new features that will enhance your experience with them.
New Features of Gboard and Android 14
With this Android Feature Drop, Google is adding new Emoji Kitchen combinations to Gboard’s ever-growing list of emoji mashups. At the current stage, you can play with more emojis to create a mashup that’s fun and portrays your current mood perfectly.
The security department of Android 14 also saw an upgrade with this feature drop. It’s now possible to use a custom PIN for FIDO2 security keys. With this, it will be possible to safely get into apps and websites that are passwordless but require physical keys. It will also help to ensure that bad actors can’t use the hardware key if it gets stolen.
Smart Home, Wear OS, and Android TV Updates
This Android Feature Drop aims to make it easier for you to control the smart home. It brings controls right to your wrist. That is, Wear OS can now control light groups on the Home Wear OS app.
The Feature Drop is also adding more supported device types, which include mops and vacuums. Also, the app now allows the users to set the status to home and away right from the watch. These will make it easier to trigger different routines.
Additionally, Wear OS is about to get support for Assistant Routines. This feature will enable users to trigger complex actions using voice. For example, you can say, “commuting to work.” This will make the watch let you know about the route. Also, it will offer you insight into the day’s agenda. There are many other complex prompts such as this one.
Google has also announced the At a Glance feature for Wear OS. After this Android Feature Drop fully rolls out, the assistant will allow users to catch up on things quickly.
Android TV also got some love. With this Feature Drop, Google TV is getting 10 new free channels. However, Google didn’t say which channels these are. All the company says is that users can “explore movies, sports, and game show channels.” That means there’s a good mix of everything.
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These new channels introduced with this Android Feature Drop are joining the 100+ list of free channels that Google TV offers.
Improvements With AI-powered Accessibility
Google wants to make it easier for users who rely on screen readers to get better image descriptions. With this Android Feature Drop, Google is updating to the TalkBack feature. It is now capable of generating image descriptions instantaneously. And it can read them out loud as well.
The updated TalkBack feature works across all the images on Android. That includes the ones you took by yourself. Also, Google said that Live Caption will be available in more languages. But the company is yet to reveal which languages are about to get the support.
Besides, Live Caption can work as a tool to take phone calls without needing to talk by yourself. The Android Feature Drop has also made it capable of handling conversation better. You don’t even need to hear the other side. But the feature will enable you to input text that Live Caption will read aloud for the person on the other end.
Android Feature Drop Brings Many Updates to Google Messages
Google has brought a good number of updates to Google Messages. As a matter of fact, with these new changes in the app, Google is celebrating one billion monthly active users for RCS. Nonetheless, the new things that Android Feature Drop brings include Voice Moods, Photomoji, Screen Effects, and Custom Bubbles.
Here, Voice Moods gives you visual effects for your voice messages. Photomoji lets you turn photos into reactions using AI. Screen effects allow you to add animations to the messages that you send. And lastly, Custom Bubbles lets you choose preferred colors and sizes of the message bubbles. You can learn about these new features that Google Messages received on this link.
When Will You Receive the New Features?
Like the previous Android Feature Drops, Google will be slowly rolling out these features to Android users. Google prefers to announce all the things at once to give you a bigger picture of what’s coming your way. Once it gets all the features ready, the updates will start to roll out slowly. But as always, Pixel users will get to enjoy them first.
But do note that this Android Feature Drop is for Android 14 devices. So, if you’re not running a smartphone with Android 14, you won’t get them.