Google releases new Android features with reading mode, creative emojis, and more
Google is releasing a huge bundle of new Android features including advanced reading mode, innovative emojis, a useful pic editor, and many more. Eventually, these tweaks will offer effective and improved functioning to your device.
As per the inputs, the US tech giant is celebrating the holiday season. And to bring exclusive benefits to its users, the company has extended Android’s feature section with various goodies-like elements.
To begin with, Google has added a new reading mode to the Android features list. It counts as an accessibility feature and helps in reading and extracting text from web pages and other eligible applications.
Moreover, it provides customizing options for display, fonts, speed, and more. As a result, you can adjust the brightness, and font size, or can use the text-to-speech option (with speed control) to access the web pages more efficiently.
Being an accessibility feature, the reading mode is very useful for those with vision impairments, or low eyesight problems. You can check and install the latest reading mode app from HERE.
Google Photos – Pic Editor
Yes, the US manufacturer has added a new collage editor to the Photos application. Consequently, you can create ultimate collages and give a new look to your memories. Just pick a handful of images, select the design or templates, and arrange the snaps accordingly by the simple drag-and-drop method.
A cluster of new emojis!
To enhance the chat experience, Google has tossed several new emojis in the Gboard. Since it’s the holiday season, you will find some relatable emojis such as holiday flair, wolf stickers, snowflakes, and more.
YouTube Search Widget and Google TV features
Now you will find a new search widget on YouTube’s home screen. Ultimately, this will help you to have a quick search of your libraries, shorts, and other subscription content without puzzling between several tabs or sections.
Meanwhile, the company has made the functions of Google TV more convenient. Now you can directly cast the phone objects, and services on your Google TV as well as browse other apps with just one tap. To access the app, click HERE.
Digital Car Key
Now you can lock or turn on your car by just using your smartphone. The company has installed the digital car key feature in the Google Wallet in such a manner that within a few steps you can access your smart vehicle.
Furthermore, you can share your digital car key with your friend and family. This also allows you to keep an eye on who is accessing your car, using the Google Wallet app.
In addition to these features, Google is also performing some tick-tacks to its Wear OS. The latest information suggests that the company is making the Wear OS widgets and tiles more efficient to use. Alongside this, it is also upgrading some major apps.
So Android users, enjoy this holiday season with new and bashing features on your smart gadgets.
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First Android 14 Developer Beta announced, launch around HarmonyOS 4
Android 14 is the next software version for the Android ecosystem. On February 8, Google stepped ahead to begin the development of this major upgrade with the first developer beta.
Google has released the roadmap for the development, beta testing, platform stability, and the final release of Android 14, which reveals meet the launch of Huawei HarmonyOS 4 later in the second half of 2023.
The first developer preview is already out for the Pixel devices. However, Google could open early access to other smartphone makers such as OnePlus by April when the open beta campaign kicks off.
As mentioned by the Android company, Android 14 is projected to reach platform stability by the end of July. But there’s still a possibility of these milestone timelines to delay, similar to last year.
For your information, the Android 14 developer preview will be a very useful and early gift to the developer community. It will pave a way for the app devs to know more about the upcoming APIs and app features ahead of the final launch.
Looking into the developer preview features, Android 14 promises to improve productivity, enhances performance, improvements to security, and privacy, and bring new customizations.
Yes, there are new tweaks and changes made over Android 12, while there are more that will be visible as the development progress further. Throughout this phase, these developers (and later users) will help to fix bugs and make improvements to the Android 14 source code.
Aside from the Android 14 developer beta, Huawei is preparing for the HarmonyOS 3.1 rollout but the company is working on HarmonyOS 4 as a major release for the next generation of Huawei devices. For now, there’s no official launch date available but we are likely to hear more on this at the Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) 2023 event.
HarmonyOS 4 promises big upgrades over HarmonyOS 3 and a major restructure in the user interface (UI). Nonetheless, we’ll keep you posted.
(source – Android)
Despite being an Android babyface, Samsung failed to understand dynamic theme in 2022
2022 is the year of Android 13 and Android phone makers spotted sending this software update with improved dynamic theme options, but as a babyface, it seems like Samsung still has not learned the core concepts of the dynamic theme.
Introduced with Android 12, the Material You powered dyanamic theme brings brand new settings to tweak the user interface. Instead of being just a feature, the dynamic theme became a part of Android’s soul. With Android 13, Google further polished the dynamic theme so it could be adapted to all Android devices.
Dynamic Theme (Simple version): Once you apply a new wallpaper, the phone generates a range of colors based on that wallpaper. The set of colors is called a color palette and it is then applied throughout the user interface.
Following the decline of Huawei, Samsung is enjoying unlimited Android prowess. It’s projected as a major Android promoter and a babyface. And why not? After all, the South Korean phone maker keeps on posting new mobile shipment records.
However, the handling of the dynamic theme in One UI 5 (which is based on Android 13) shows that Samsung wasn’t serious about being an Android babyface in 2022.
You may want to know, how I reached this conclusion and why Samsung is a failure when it comes to precise work. Let’s find out together.
The user interface is all about appearance, and so does the dynamic theme. Using the dynamic theme on Samsung One UI 5 is different from stock Android 13.
Note: I’ve used the same pixel wallpaper on both Samsung and Pixel devices. So, we can keep the comparison on the same level.
Below is the home screen, which looks as usual on both One UI 5 and stock Android 13.
Both of the quick settings are using Material You in elements, such as quick access icons and sliders. However, the background on stock Android 13 is solid and remains black. On the other hand, Samsung uses a translucent background in the quick settings, which has not changed even with the Android 13. It is Samsung’s way of implementing features. While in some scenarios, this way obstructs the viewing experience.
For example, the translucent background is now reflecting the colors of the app opened in the background. It also compromises the look and feel of the quick settings icons and the whole quick settings UI. But it becomes subtle when used on top of the Settings menu.
Below you can check the example of the quick settings opened over the following screens.
(Left – on top of home screen wallpaper, on top of Play Store, on top of Settings menu).
The setting is an important part of UI, which we access at least once a day. The layout, font, and elements are different in these two softwares. But Samsung used a slight proportion of the color palette in the Settings’ background and remain neutral for applying to the rest of the user interface.
I love themed icons because it brings a new look to the app icons. However, Samsung’s way of doing things is a little more disappointing than what it actually looks.
Below you can check Samsung One UI icons painted with color pallets alongside stock android icons. The use and management of contrast in the background and tint on the shape (size too) are super lazy on One UI app icons.
On the flip side, stock Android gets these things done in the best way possible.
There’s further inspection on this available, apply Dark Mode and see the change.
We don’t need to explain the results. But It is certainly not nice to implement the dynamic theme for the Android babyface Samsung in 2022.
What could’ve happened?
If possible, Samsung should’ve to blend more into the material rather than bleed into the material. Improve icons, and check visibility levels of the UI elements and the current issues may resolve to an extent.
MagicOS 7/Android 13 beta rolling out for Honor phones
Last month, Honor announced Android 13 based MagicOS 7 and its beta is now rolling out for several models. The rollout is confirmed on various models mentioned in the official roadmap.
According to the information, Honor MagicOS 7 is released for closed beta testers and selected participants will move to public beta in the next phase. After completing the beta test, Honor will send stable MagicOS 7.
Let’s look into the models and their corresponding Honor MagicOS 7/Android 13 beta versions:
Honor Magic V:
The phone is receiving MagicOS 220.127.116.11 upgrading from Magic UI 18.104.22.168.
Honor Magic 3 Series:
Honor Magic 3, Magic 3 Pro, and Magic 3 Supreme Edition are receiving MagicOS 22.214.171.124 upgrading from Magic UI 126.96.36.199.
Honor Magic 4 Series:
Honor Magic 4, Magic 4 Pro, and Magic 4 Supreme Edition getting MagicOS 7 version 188.8.131.52 version upgrading from Magic UI 184.108.40.206.
Honor V40 series is also eligible to download MagicOS 7 closed beta with version 220.127.116.11 users will have to download Magic UI 18.104.22.168 and 205 to participate in the beta activity.
Honor MagicOS 7.0 is a people-centered intelligent interconnection ecosystem, it continues to improve AI Services. The software is also released with a personalized OS, protects privacy and security proactively, and updated the accessibility operation.
It’s noted that the active rollout is spreading as Log and Nolog software packages.
Currently, Honor is conducting these beta activities in China and it may soon open for global users of these devices.
- All of the eligible Honor smartphone owners must have to download the required firmware version before upgrading to MagicOS 7 closed beta.
- During the closed beta testing, users are recommended to join the software user experience improvement program. You can report or suggest features to support closed beta testing environments.
- This software update won’t erase your data but it’s recommended for you to make a backup of important files.
- Users are suggested to update system apps to meet the compatibility.