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February 2024 Android Feature Drop Announced: 9 new features for all Android devices

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February 2024 Android Feature Drop

Google has announced the February 2024 Android Feature Drop, which brings a range of new features and improvements to help you get more done on your Android devices. Whether you use your phone, tablet, smartwatch, or car, the new Android features are developed to make your life easier.

February 2024 Android Feature Drop comes with 9 new Android features to help you stay productive. You can check them below.

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9 New Android and Wear OS Features

1.) Stay in touch while focusing on the road

Android Auto now uses AI to summarize long texts and group chats while you drive and suggests smart replies and actions. You can easily send a message, share your ETA, or start a call with a single tap.

2.) Hear AI-generated captions for images

Lookout on Android now offers image captions, which let you listen to AI-generated descriptions of photos, online images, and pictures in messages. This feature is especially useful for blind and low-vision users and is available globally in English.

3.) Explore around you with more accessible

Lens in Maps now has enhanced screen reader support, which helps you explore nearby places and identify them with your phone’s camera. TalkBack will read out the place’s information, such as business hours, rating or directions.

4.) Give Feedback with handwritten markups in Docs

Google Docs now supports handwritten markups, which allow you to add annotations to documents using your finger or stylus. You can choose from different markup tools, such as pen colors and highlighters, to review documents and provide feedback quickly and easily.

5.) Listen uninterrupted on Spotify with new casting controls

Spotify now integrates with the output switcher on Android’s home screen, which lets you switch between your devices when playing music. You can now use Spotify Connect to change the audio output from your phone to your smart speaker, TV or other devices.

6.) View your health, wellness and fitness date in one place

Fitbit app has been redesigned to show you a complete picture of your health, wellness and fitness data. You can now see data from your connected wearables and apps, such as AllTrails, Oura Ring and MyFitnessPal, in the You tab of the Fitbit app.

7.) Access tickets, membership passes, and more

Google Wallet passes are now available on Wear OS watches, which enable you to access your tickets, passes, memberships and cards from your wrist. You can choose which passes to display or hide, and use them when you need them.

8.) Get transit directions with a quick game at your wrist

Google Maps for Wear OS now offers public transit directions, which help you catch your bus, train or ferry with a glance at your wrist. You can look up departure times, get compass-guided navigation and mirror directions to your phone if you prefer.

9.) Chat with Gemini right in Messages

Gemini is a new chatbot that you can access right in Google Messages on your Android phone. You can chat with Gemini to draft messages, brainstorm ideas, plan events or simply have a fun conversation.

Hey, Camila is here! From the very beginning, I love using Samsung phones like a die-hard fan. Apart from detailing One UI features for readers, I love exploring different apps of the Samsung ecosystem with a cup of tea!

Google

Google Maps for Android Auto gets enhanced icons and search bar

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Google Maps Android Auto

Google Maps has introduced some impactful design changes to its Android Auto app to enhance visibility and user experience.

Now, when you look at the map, the places you go often, like your home and work, stand out with bigger, bolder icons. This change is particularly noticeable in dark mode, where the contrast is more prominent.

In addition to icon updates, the search bar at the top looks cleaner. The previous surrounding bar has been removed from the search bar, adding to the clean and contrasted appearance of the UI.

Furthermore, if you like seeing buildings pop up in 3D when you’re looking at the map on your phone, you’ll be happy to know that now the same setting will work in your car too. They added this cool 3D view earlier, but it didn’t work in the car until now.

These updates not only improve functionality but also ensure a seamless change between mobile and car navigation.

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Google

Google Messages introduces 3-second ‘Selfie GIF’ feature

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Google Messages Selfie GIF feature

Google Messages is enhancing its messaging service by introducing a new feature that allows users to create a Selfie GIF. This feature enables users to record animated GIFs of up to three seconds directly within the messaging app.

The search giant also integrated a quick-access prompt within chats for creating these GIFs, similar to other interactive prompts for sharing photos or initiating video calls.

To use this feature, one must long-press the camera icon in a message thread, which will bring up the camera viewfinder and gallery. The Selfie GIF option is separate from the app’s custom camera.

The recording process of Selfie GIF is very intuitive with a countdown to guide users in Google Messages. Although there are no editing options, users can manually start and restart recording. The completed GIFs are automatically saved to the user’s camera roll, making sharing easy.

The support documentation for the Selfie GIF feature is already available, but the feature itself has not been widely released on either the beta or stable versions of the app. Hopefully, Google will soon make it available for Android users.

Google Messages Selfie GIF feature

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Google Photos bringing ‘Hide Clutter’ feature for organized view

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Google Photos Hide-Clutter feature

Google is set to release a new feature named ‘hide clutter’ to the Photos app for a simplified user interface. The function will allow users to maintain a cleaner main photo feed by hiding screenshots, memes, and more

The Hide Clutter feature was discovered in strings of the latest version (6.79.0.624777117) of Google Photos by PiunikaWeb. Once activated, it will automatically hide backed-up photos that fall under the clutter category.

The new feature will not delete these images but will hide them from the main view. Although they will remain accessible in their specific folders.

In addition, the Memories section is being redesigned to offer a better experience. For users in the United States, the Photos app offers AI-generated title suggestions for their memories, adding a touch of personalization and creativity.

With the introduction of ‘hide clutter’ and the existing Photo Stacks feature, Google Photos users now have two powerful tools to keep their photo collections organized and appealing.

Google Photos Hide-Clutter feature

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