Android 14 has a new feature that lets you mute and unmute audio quickly. You just need to tap the speaker icon on the left of the volume bar in the media player. This works with different output devices, such as speakers, headphones, or Cast targets (Nest Hub and more).
Before, you had to slide the volume bar all the way down or try to tap the very left of it, which was not easy. Now, you can mute and unmute with one tap. However, when you unmute, it does not go back to the previous volume level. Currently, the option is available in Beta 5.x.
The media player also has some other changes in Android 14. It has a new heading for “Speakers & Displays” in the output switcher. It also has some animations when you play or pause the audio. Google likes to change the media player often, so maybe we will see more updates next year.
Google app on Android adds Sports widget to track your favorite teams
Google app has added a new Sports widget for Android users, which lets you follow the teams and games that interest you. The Sports widget is currently available in the beta version of the Google app 126.96.36.199.
The Sports widget is similar to the Finance Watchlist widget that Google introduced earlier this year. It shows the upcoming, live, or past matches of the teams you follow in cards with the date, time, score, and league. You can tap on any card to open the full details of the game in Google Search.
The widget has two views: “Your games” and “Trending games”. The first shows the games of the teams you selected, while the other shows the popular or relevant games based on your search activity.
The widget also supports Dynamic Color, which adapts the widget’s background color to your wallpaper. You can resize the widget to fit your home screen and refresh it manually from the top-right corner.
Google Messages introduces new text field with shortcuts bar and voice effects
Google Messages app is testing a new design for the compose text field. The new design has a shortcuts bar that lets users access emoji, Magic Compose, gallery, and more options while typing a message.
The old design is used to hide the buttons for attachments, gallery, and Magic Compose as the user types more text. The new design is left-aligned and keeps the buttons visible. The voice memo button is now outside the text field and has a new look.
Aside from this, the voice recorder also has a new feature called Moods, which lets users change their voice effects. Some users have pointed out that the text field alignment does not match the message bubbles, which are right-aligned for the sender.
The new design is not widely available yet, as Google is rolling it out to users in the beta program.
Google Play System December 2023 update improves Adaptive Connectivity Services
The Play System December 2023 update includes improvements to stability, bug fixes, and performance optimizations for Android smartphone users.
Adaptive Connectivity Services can help users save battery life, data usage, and network congestion by choosing the most suitable connection for each app or task. The company is making this service more useful with the new update.
Adaptive Connectivity Services p.2023.48 (2023-12-01)
- [Phone] Improvements to stability, bug fixes and performance optimizations
Users can check for the update by going to Settings >> Security >> Google Play System Update. The update will be downloaded and installed automatically, without requiring a device restart.
However, no new features or changes have been noted yet but the company will update the changelog on the official page soon.