Google preps customizable Material You lock screens, new AI tools for Messages

Google's new Material You customization features and AI tools for Android 14.
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google I/O 2023 showcased new Material You customizable lock screens and emoji wallpapers.
  • Lock screens (for Pixels first) can have the clock altered and shortcuts customized in Android 14.
  • Google is set to bring generative AI tools for Messages, helping users create the right text message for multiple scenarios.

Google I/O 2023 has been packed with many things; one of the topics dealt with new Material You customization options and ways to better express yourself through Android.

Material You has been Google's new design language for Android for the past couple of years now. According to a Keyword post, users will soon find new ways to customize and fine-tune Material You on Pixel devices. The best part is that Pixel owners won't even have to wait until the Android 14 update for many of these!

Your phone screen is everything, which is why Google is adding ways to customize the lock screen. Different styles of clocks for your lock screen will be present, which include different number styling and formats that show different pieces of key information.

Additionally, users can customize what shortcuts they'd like to appear on their lock screen. Google states there will be a new monochrome theme that will "be applied across your entire phone experience."

Google then gave a much more detailed look at the new emoji wallpapers we've heard about previously. Users can pick and choose from a large library of different emojis and style them how they choose with colors, patterns, and more. In light of fun, your emoji background is interactable once you've set it as your wallpaper. So, you can tap on them to see them wiggle around.

Emoji wallpapers are coming to Pixel devices in June, while other phones will have to wait until the Android 14 update.

Android 14's new emoji wallpaper and Cinematic wallpaper options.

(Image credit: Google)

Another wallpaper coming to Pixel devices in June is the Cinematic wallpaper option. Google says your Pixel will use its built-in machine-learning capabilities to turn your still image into a 3D version. Not only will your loved one look like they're jumping off the screen for a hug, but the photo will move when you tilt your device.

If you're a Google Photos user, you'll likely already be familiar with "cinematic photos" that get automatically generated from captured content. Expect cinematic wallpaper to come to non-Pixel devices when Android 14 launches.

One final wallpaper customization option will roll in via the Generative AI wallpaper feature. Users can take advantage of Google's text-to-image diffusion model, which will generate several unique wallpapers for you based on the descriptions you've given it. And, in typical Material You fashion, your device will try and pick colors from your new background to closely match it for an eye-pleasing UI experience.

Generative AI wallpaper will be coming with Android 14 and is not an early-release feature for Pixels. Although, of course, Pixel phones are always available to enroll in the Android 14 beta early.

Magic Composer and Ultra HDR

Google Messages new Magic Compose feature heading for a summer beta.

(Image credit: Google)

Google Messages is also getting in on the new AI craze. During I/O 2023, Google showed the app's new Magic Compose feature, which uses generative AI to offer suggestions based on what you'd like to say in your text message. The feature can even alter the style of your writing if you choose. Google states users can make their messages sound more professional or even poetic.

Magic Compose will have an initial beta run this summer, and users can sign up today to await the release.

Taking crisp night shots when you're out in the town, or some mouth-watering food pictures for Instagram are quite important. Google is adding support for Night Mode and 10-bit HDR videos in social media apps like Instagram. Furthermore, the company will introduce Ultra HDR with Android 14 for higher-definition of photos, brighter colors, and shadows, too.

Google I/O 2023 may have just wrapped, but the event held a lot of information regarding the company's AI efforts. The cover was taken off the new Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7a, as well.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.