What you need to know
- Google announced tons of updates for Photos, Nearby Share, Assistant, accessibility features, and more.
- Gboard's grammar correction feature is seeing wider availability after being exclusive to Pixels.
- The Live Transcribe app has picked up an offline mode and Assistant now lets you pay for parking.
- Nearby Share is also available for sharing files with multiple users at once.
Alongside the latest updates to the Messages app (opens in new tab), Google announced (opens in new tab) today a plethora of improvements across various products and services, including Photos, Gboard, Assistant, Google TV, Nearby Share, and more.
Google Photos and Assistant
You can now apply Photos' Portrait Blur feature to more subjects other than human images, such as pets, food, and plants. The feature is available if you own one of Google's best Android phones, such as the Pixel 6, and have a Google One subscription.
It can even be used on old photos taken years ago when the feature was still non-existent.
Google is also expanding its options that allow users to pay for parking. In addition to Maps' pay-for-parking feature, Assistant is following suit. The digital assistant now lets you use your voice to pay for parking, check your status, or extend your meter.
It works with Google Pay to process your payment. However, it's not available at just any parking meter: it's rolling out to more than 400 cities in the U.S. where ParkMobile is available.
Smarter Gboard for all and new accessibility tool
Google is also making Gboard's grammar check tool available to everyone. It was initially launched as a Pixel 6-exclusive (opens in new tab) before it was rolled out to other Pixel models. Today's announcement should help every Gboard app user spot grammatical errors in their messages while typing and make the necessary corrections. The feature also works on-device to protect your privacy.
The Live Transcribe app, designed for users with hearing disabilities, has gained an offline mode. This means the speech-to-text transcription tool should now be able to support conversations that take place in areas where internet access is spotty. It also comes preloaded on Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones.
Additionally, Google is supercharging Nearby Share with a new option to share a file with multiple users simultaneously. The AirDrop clone previously limited file transfers only between two users. It's rolling out to devices running Android 6 or later.
Google has also introduced a new screen time widget that lets you view three apps you've heavily used during the day. The goal is to help you stay on top of your screen time.
Another minor update is the new “Highlights tab” on Google TV (opens in new tab). The new feature displays a "personalized feed of entertainment news, reviews, and more based on movies and shows you’re interested in."
Google Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 is one of Google's most recent smartphones, featuring a unique design, an upgraded 50MP camera, and a powerful Tensor chip. You'll be among the first to try out new Android features with the Pixel 6, and Google will provide you with years of support.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.
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