Author Archives: Angana Ghosh

Explore, communicate and customize with Android

Android is constantly adding features to better connect with the people and devices around you. Today, we’re introducing a set of updates to help your phone stand out as much as you do. From more expressive ways to message your friends, to subtle but smart upgrades to entertainment and accessibility, we ensure that every interaction with your Android device is more helpful than the last.

Add a personal touch to messaging with Gboard

Animated demonstration of a message turning into a decorative sticker at the touch of a button.

Caption: Add some flair to your messages with custom text stickers.

A picture is worth a thousand words — but Gboard can now turn your words into pictures, too. Previously available on Pixel phones, custom text stickers will soon be available to all Android Gboard users typing in English-U.S., allowing you to type what you want to say, select a design and share your message with your nearest and dearest.

Celebrate summer and Pride with new Emoji Kitchen stickers

Animation of a hand opening Messages, creating a watermelon soccer ball emoji and sending it to a contact.

Caption: Enjoy more celebratory emoji mashups to share with your friends.

New emoji mashups have arrived just in time for summer (for those of you in the Southern hemisphere, we got you covered too) with Emoji Kitchen. There are more than 1600 new combinations to help you express your excitement — like when you want to show how much you’re looking forward to your upcoming summer vacation ?️?️ or add a little hot summer twist to your usual go-to emoji (watermelon soccer ball, anyone?). We also have lots of rainbow-based stickers to help you embrace Pride Month in many unique ways. ?️‍?

Better conversations and connections with new accessibility features

Animated demonstration of how Sound Amplifier settings can boost audio and reduce background noise levels.

Caption: Amplify the sounds you want to hear, and filter out the sounds you don't.

Designed for and with people with hearing loss, Sound Amplifier uses your phone to amplify and filter important sounds around you. Today’s update brings improved background noise reduction, faster and more accurate sound and a revamped user interface that is easier to see.

Animated demonstration of Lookout generating a detailed description of an image sent via Gmail.

Caption: Hear a detailed description of images from just about any browser or app with Lookout Images mode.

Designed with and for people with low vision or blindness, Lookout uses your Android device’s camera to provide information about the world around you with a variety of modes. Now with the new Images mode, which uses Google’s latest machine learning model for image understanding, you can hear a description of an image by simply opening it from just about any app. In addition, enhancements to Text mode, Documents mode, Food Label mode and Explore mode are making Lookout more accurate. Lookout now also works offline without the need for Wi-Fi or data service. Download or updateLookout in Google Play to get the new features.

Use your Google Play Points for items in your apps and games at checkout

Video demonstration of using Play Points to get an in-app item without ever leaving the app.

Caption: Use your Play Points for in-app items at checkout without ever leaving the app.

Google Play Points is a rewards program that lets you earn points and rewards for the ways you already use Google Play. You can soon use your Play Points for in-app items at checkout, without leaving your favorite apps and games. Cover the entire item withPlay Points or split between Play Points and another form of payment. This is rolling out over the coming weeks in countries where Play Points is available.

These updates add to countless ways Android already helps you connect with others and the world around you. Visit to learn more about these features and more.

New Android features coming this season

With Android, you can look forward to your device getting better and better throughout the year. From accessibility to Android Auto to features that make your life just a little easier, like Assistant and Gboard, we’re rolling out new features that help you do more, stay secure and have more fun with your Android phone.

Animation of Camera Switches and Project Activate in use

Camera Switches [left] and Project Activate [right]

Control your phone with your facial gestures

Inspired by people with motor and speech disabilities, Camera Switches and Project Activate are two new accessibility features that let you use your phone by making facial gestures. Beginning to roll out this week, Camera Switches is a feature within Android Accessibility Suite that turns your front-facing camera into a switch (an adaptive tool that replaces a keyboard, mouse, or touching the phone screen) so that you can navigate your phone. Project Activate is a new app that makes it easier to communicate and express yourself in the moment. You can use facial gestures and eye movements to activate preset actions like speaking a phrase (like "Wait!"), playing audio (like a laugh) or sending a text message (like "Please come here"). 

Also new in accessibility, we’re bringing handwriting recognition to Lookout, an app that uses your phone’s camera to assist people with low vision or blindness get things done faster and more easily. In Documents mode, Lookout will now read out both handwritten and printed text for Latin-based languages. Also, in response to Lookout’s growing global audience, we are adding Euro and Indian Rupee recognition within Currency mode, with more on the way.

Control your TV with your phone

Starting today, you can find something great to watch on your Google TV even when the couch has eaten your remote. We’ve built remote-control features directly into your Android phone so you can power on your TV, navigate through your recommendations or even start up your favorite show right from your phone. And you can use your phone’s keyboard to quickly type complicated passwords, movie names or search terms. Try it on your Google TV or other Android TV OS devices by adding the remote tile to quick settings on your Android phone, or by visiting the Google TV app — coming to 14 more countries over the next few weeks.

Manage day-to-day tasks using Reminders from Assistant

Keeping track of everyday to-dos is even easier with Reminders. You can now manage all your reminders in one place by saying, “Hey Google, open my reminders" where you'll also see helpful suggestions for recurring reminders that you can activate with a tap. And of course, you can continue to use your voice to create and automate your to-dos. Just say, “Hey Google, remind me to water the plants every morning.” Once set, Google will notify you at the perfect moment across your devices, whether you’re at home or on the go.

Stay entertained, connected and on track during your drive

With Android Auto, you can stay entertained by quickly launching and listening to your favorite music, news and podcasts with personalized recommendations from Google Assistant. You can also play a variety of games from GameSnacks while you’re parked waiting for a to-go order or charging your car. 

And for commuters, ​​Android Auto can help you stay on top of important work meetings and messages with new support for your work profile. Plus, if you’re a dual-SIM Android phone user, you can now choose which SIM card to use when making calls through Android Auto. 

To help you stay on track, Waze on Android Auto is also getting a refresh to create a more streamlined navigation experience. The new design includes touchpad support, night mode and lane guidance support, and puts the map and directions at the forefront so other elements aren’t in the way. With Waze, Google Maps and many more navigation apps, Android Auto makes it easy to get to where you need to be.   

These Android Auto features will be available soon on Android phones when connected to a compatible car. If you don’t have a compatible car, you can check out other ways Google can help on your drive including new updates to Google Assistant driving mode and more on your Android phone.

Add photos and videos to a passcode-protected space

Previously on Pixel only and rolling out soon to Android, Locked Folder in Google Photos gives you a passcode-protected space to save photos and videos separately, so they won’t show up as you scroll through Google Photos or any other apps on your device.

Animation of the crying laughing emoji and the owl emoji being combined into a laughing owl sticker

Express yourself with Gboard

Express how you really feel with new additions to Emoji Kitchen on Gboard. With over 1,500 stickers coming this fall, you’ll be able to create even more combinations of your favorite emoji like ????. 

In addition to making your messages more fun, Gboard is also helping you communicate faster and more fluidly with new features.

gif of Smart Compose being used to auto-complete a message someone is sending

First, when you copy text that includes multiple information like phone numbers, email addresses and URLs, Gboard will automatically extract and separate them into multiple pasting options, so you can choose the information that is most important to you. Second, when you open a messaging app right after taking a screenshot, Gboard will now show that screenshot as a suggestion to share. And finally, for devices running Android 11 or newer, the power of machine learning lets you quickly complete your sentences with just a swipe with Smart Compose.

Control who shares with you

With improved visibility settings in Nearby Share, you can take full control of who can discover your device and send files. Choose between everyone, your contacts, or no one, and you can easily change your preference through your phone’s Quick Settings space anytime.

And wait, there’s more

With the Heads Up feature, you can get reminders to look up and stay alert when you’re walking and using your phone. Launched first on Pixel earlier this year, Heads Up is now available through the Digital Wellbeing setting on devices running Android 9 and newer. 

We can’t wait for you to try out all these features. Learn more about each at

Bringing new languages from around the world to Gboard for Android

From the busy city streets of India to the remote islands of Samoa, Gboard helps people all over the world get their point across—whether that's through a spot-on GIF, a cute emoji or a regular text. We’re always working to improve Gboard for people wherever they are, no matter which language they’re typing in.

Today, we’re bringing Chinese (both traditional and simplified Chinese) and Korean—plus twenty additional languages—to Gboard for Android. We heard from our users that these were the top two languages we needed to add to the keyboard, and now, Gboard for Android supports over 300 language varieties (covering 74% of the world’s population). You can see the full list of supported languages here, and the new ones will be rolling out worldwide over the next few days.

Gboard Chinese

Though today’s update includes some of the world’s most widely-spoken languages, we’re equally focused on making sure lesser-known languages, like Manx and Maori, are represented in the keyboard. Often, incorporating new languages leads us to meet people we might have never known—like brothers Abdoulaye and Ibrahima Barry, who we recently worked with to bring the Fulani alphabet, Adlam, to Gboard. Though Fulani has been spoken in Africa for hundreds of years, the language didn’t have its own written alphabet until these brothers invented one twenty-six years ago in Guinea. Because Adlam wasn’t on Gboard, it was difficult for native speakers to represent the true sounds of their language when they were typing. To fix this, we worked alongside Abdoulaye and Ibrahima to design and test an Adlam layout in the keyboard. We ultimately settled upon the layout that is live on Gboard today. (To learn more about the story behind the Barry brothers’ inspiring work, check out their Talk at Google, a talk from Google’s speaker series.)


Each new language helps more people express themselves with their keyboard, and we’re thankful to the thousands of linguists and native speakers around the globe who help us bring new languages to Gboard. We’ve been lucky to meet new people—like Abdoulaye and Ibrahima—along the way. There are still many people to meet and languages to discover, so our work won’t end here.

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