Software Updates

Google adds some useful Android features today

Google has announced seven new useful features coming or here for your devices today. It’s more like 4 features, but whatever.

Control devices from your home screen

The feature I find the promise of the neatest, although it unfortunately is not available on my Pixel 8 Pro as of this writing, is the ability to use your favorite devices in Google Home straight from a widget on your home screen. If you’re like me you have a bunch of devices but generally only need to control a few of them not by voice. A quiet time widget would do wonders for me for when I don’t want to wake someone by yelling “set temperature to 68 degrees”.

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The post on the Google Blog indicates it’s here, my phone says it’s not. Probably will be here later as they seem to love to get to me last. I am very much looking forward to this particular widget. It’s been on my wishlist for a while now.

They also are rolling out the same ability it appears to Wear OS watches, and I could have sworn I did this already on a watch in the past.

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Edit your messages after they’re sent

RCS messages can now be edited. During a brief window of time (15 minutes) you can tap and change the text.

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This I assume will lead to kids pulling the rug out from under people in text threads by asking a simple yes/no question and then editing it, taking a screenshot, and otherwise doing what kids used to do on Facebook to make it look like everyone was supporting a hate group…

Will have to fire up an RCS thread at some point… my text message threads are so old even the RCS capable people are showing plain text.

Effortless hotspot sharing

Looks like they’re adding NFC relayed hotspot sharing so you don’t have to type in a password, just tap your hotspot phone to the device you want to share it to. Useful, but sharing hotspots has not generally been a difficult thing.

The feature was so meh, that’s interesting that they combined it with the announcement block of being able to switch Google Meet devices mid-meeting, which I guess also shows how well Google Meet must be doing at the moment.

Other stuff

More digital wallet payment options on watches (appears Paypal is an option in the US or Germany.)

More digital car key support.

[Google Blog or Explore What’s New]

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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