Google announced some new features for Android 13 at Google IO 2022. The new Android update brings a number of new features while making your smartphone experience more secure and private. Android 13 is scheduled to roll out later this year and ahead of its release, here are some of the new features announced at Google IO 2022.
Android 13 announced
Google explained that Android 13 is primarily focused on updating the privacy and security and personalization of devices, including those with large screens. The Android 13 Beta 1 and Developer Preview showed some such features where apps had to get the user’s permissions before notifications could be sent.
Google is also offering more ways to keep conversations private and secure, store your digital identity, and engage you in helping out in the physical world. The company said it was working with carriers and phone manufacturers around the world to upgrade SMS text messaging to a new standard called Rich Communication Services (RCS). RCS provides a secure way of messaging with end-to-end encryption while users can share high-quality photos, see typing indicators, and even interact in a group.
The Mountain View-based company also announced that its Messages app has half a billion monthly active users with RCS and is growing rapidly. Messages already offers end-to-end encryption for one-to-one conversations. Later this year, Google will bring encryption of group conversations into open beta.
Google Wallet is also getting some major upgrades with Android 13. It will soon allow users to store and access hotel keys and office ID cards from their Android smartphones. The company also works with international partners to store digital driver’s licenses and IDs in Google Wallet. In India, the government already allows users to store their documents in apps like DigiLocker and mParivahan.
Google wants to go one step further and integrate Wallet’s features with other apps. For example, if you add a transit card to your wallet, your card and balance will automatically appear on Google Maps when you search for directions. If you’re running low on credit, you can quickly tap and add a fare before you arrive at the station.
security and emergency
Android 13 also introduces new features that can come in handy in emergency situations. The new Android update includes critical infrastructure like Emergency Location Services (ELS) so first responders can find you when you call for help. The feature was recently launched in Bulgaria, Paraguay, Spain and Saudi Arabia and is now available to more than a billion people worldwide.
The company went on to say that earthquake early warnings are already in effect in 25 countries, and Google will roll them out to many of the remaining high-risk regions around the world this year. The company is also working with partners to bring Emergency SOS to Wear OS, so you can instantly contact a trusted friend or family member or call emergency services from your watch.
WearOS is getting some new updates
Google said that with the launch of a unified platform with Samsung in 2021, there are now more than three times the number of active Wear OS devices compared to last year. The company is now working with other partners such as Fossil Group, Montblanc, Mobvoi, etc. who will launch their smartwatches with WearOS.
Google Assistant is coming to Samsung Galaxy watches, starting with the Watch4 series. The Google Assistant experience for Wear OS has been enhanced with faster, more natural voice interactions. Users can access useful features such as voice-controlled navigation or setting reminders.
Updates for large screen devices
Google said it optimized Android 13 for large-screen devices like tablets. The new update will also introduce new features. For example, tap the toolbar to show the app bar, and drag and drop apps to view them side-by-side. 20+ Google apps will be optimized to take advantage of the extra storage, including YouTube Music, Google Maps, Messages, and more.
The company also works with popular third-party apps like TikTok, Zoom, Facebook, etc.
Experience with multiple devices
As the number of connected devices increases, Google wants to offer users a smooth and seamless experience. The company has also unveiled features like Fast Pair, which allows users to quickly connect Bluetooth devices to their smartphones. And with built-in support for Matter on Android, Fast Pair lets you quickly connect new Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network, Google Home, and other companion apps with just a few taps.
There’s also a feature called Phone Hub that gives Chromebook users access to their Android phone’s messaging apps. Streaming from their phone to laptop allows users to send and reply to messages, view conversation history and launch messaging apps from their laptop.