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New features roll out to Messages, Gboard, and other Google apps and services



Google is rolling out new features to a number of its Android apps and services. Apps such as Messages, Gboard, and the accessibility app, Voice Access are on the list alongside Android Auto and the Android Earthquake Alerts System.

New features roll out to Messages, Gboard, and other Google apps and services

Google Messages – Starred Messages

The ability to star messages is a feature that people use a lot on WhatsApp, and I’m sure a lot of our readers do too. Now the feature is coming to Google Messages, so users can star important messages in their inbox.

The feature will begin rolling out in a few weeks and once available, all you have to do is long-press on a message you wish to star.

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Gboard – Emoji Kitchen Suggestions

Keyboard apps have become much smarter since their first iteration. They can not only predict texts but also suggest emojis and stickers. Gboard which is Google’s own keyboard app will now be able to suggest stickers in the Emoji Kitchen based on the context of your message.


For those who don’t know what Emoji Kitchen is, it is a feature that lets you combine two emojis into one creative sticker. For example, you can combine the clown emoji with a kiss emoji to get a clown blowing a kiss. With the suggestion, you will get sticker suggestions from the emoji kitchen.

The feature which will work with messages in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, will be available for beta users today and will come to the stable version later this summer.

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Hey Google

You can use the Hey Google command to control a number of apps and we don’t mean just launching them. Google is expanding the feature to more apps including Strava. Users will be able to ask Google Assistant to check a metric on Strava.


New features roll out to Messages, Gboard, and other Google apps and services

Voice Acess – Gaze Detection and Enhanced Password Dictation

Voice Access is an accessibility app that allows those with motor impairment to control their device. With Gaze Detection, the app will be able to tell if the user is looking at the phone which is when it will work. Another feature Google has added is enhanced password dictation which allows the user to not only dictate passwords but also ask the app to capitalize an alphabet and also say the name of a symbol such as saying ‘ampersand’ for the ‘&’ symbol.

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Android Auto – New customizations and features

Android Auto owners will be able to choose a dark mode, customize the launcher from their phone, and has added an A to Z button to the scroll bar that makes it easier to jump to an app.

Android Earthquake Alerts System – Support for more countries 

The Android Earthquake Alerts System which uses sensors on Android devices to detect earthquakes is now rolling out to more countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, The Philippines, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

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