car key, custom widgets, emojis, here’s what’s new

To end the year on a high note, Google has some surprises in store for Android users. Which will soon benefit from very significant new features. Confused, Android Auto and Family Bell will be given a facelift, new widgets and emojis will be introduced and it will be possible to use certain smartphones as car keys. We take stock!

All eyes are on Android 12. If Pixel smartphones can already benefit from it, the new OS is about to land (or is in the process of being deployed) on the overlays of other eligible brands. Still, not all models will have the privilege of being able to accommodate Android 12. But to end the year in the best possible way, Google has just teased the arrival of a myriad of new features provided for all users. We will detail all this point by point.

Brand new widgets

New widgets are emerging to take advantage of your favorite apps. In particular, it will be possible to quickly access your audio books thanks to the widget Google Play Book. But also to have easier management of your songs YouTube Music via integrated playback controls on your home screen. Also note the arrival next week of a new widget Google Photos People & Pets which integrates your loved ones and your animals in a photo frame enthroned on your interface.

Family Bell rings bells on every smartphone in the household

The daily life of a family is dotted with various and varied events: breakfast, judo competition, delivery of ballots, watering of plants… It is often difficult to navigate. To remedy this, Google deployed the Family Bell feature in Google Assistant in August. This allows bells to be ringing via the domestic speakers so as not to forget the notable events planned for the day. From now on, the functionality arrives on Android. Notifications will be sent to each smartphone and smart screen to notify the whole tribe of the tasks to be accomplished.

Android Auto

Customization of the launcher, dark mode, new tabs… Android Auto had already had a makeover last June. And the application is about to receive news well-felt features. In particular, it will be possible to configure Android Auto so that it opens automatically each time you connect your smartphone to your car. What’s more, you will be able to reply to a text message more easily via smart suggestions of the Google Assistant.

A brand new play button will also appear on the home screen. This will allow you to launch a song with a simple touch. Soon, it will even be possible to search with your voice for a song or an artist in your music applications.

Digital car key

It had been in the pipeline for some time: Google was planning to turn its Pixel smartphones into car keys. A highly anticipated feature that is now hot in some regions on the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21. This allows close, open and even start your vehicle with your smartphone. At the moment, this digital car key works exclusively with compatible BMWs.

New combinations of emojis

For Christmas, you can share your favorite emojis in a carefully wrapped gift box. In addition, a myriad of dog emojis are now in the game. We especially remember the new feature allowing to merge two emojis to create a personalized sticker. What to allow you to find the right combination which will express more precisely what you are feeling.

New emojis on Android

Automatically deactivate permissions after a certain time

To use certain applications, we sometimes have to authorize them to have access to files, contacts, but also to our camera, our microphone or our location. And when an app hasn’t been used for a long time, permissions are automatically disabled. This feature was already topical on smartphones running at least Android 11. From next month, it will land on all phones with at least Android 6. Note that it will always be possible to reactivate the permissions directly on the application or through the settings.

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