Android update includes Password Checkup, scheduled Messages, and more
Google recently unveiled Android 12, the search giant’s next big mobile update coming later this year. Until that’s rolled out, Google has unveiled new features coming to Android that will be available in the coming days and weeks.
Password Checkup comes to Android
Up first is Password Checkup, which Google is integrating into Android 9 and above. The feature will let users know if the password they’ve used has been previously exposed. If it has, Password Checkup will provide users with steps on what to do about it.
The feature works by checking passwords that are entered using Autofill with Google. If your credentials match what’s on a list of known compromised passwords, Google will alert you. To use the feature, open your phone’s Settings > System > Languages & input > Advanced. Tap Autofill service and tap Google to make sure the setting is enabled.
Google said that Password Checkup on Android uses the same privacy-preserving API that powers the feature in Chrome, so users can rest assured their info remains safe.
Schedule your messages
We can schedule emails. Why not messages? On Android 7 and newer, users will be able to schedule a message in the Google Messages app before it’s sent. Google said the feature, which we previously spotted in testing, might come in handy when sending a message to a loved one in a different time zone.
“With schedule send, you can compose a message ahead of time when it’s convenient for you, and schedule it to send at the right moment,” Google said in a blog post. “Just write your message as your normally would, then hold and press the send button to select a date and time to deliver your message.”
TalkBack gets an update
Google is also updating TalkBack, an accessibility feature for users who are blind or have trouble seeing their phone’s display. According to Google, it worked closely with the blind and low vision communities to incorporate some of the most requested features in TalkBack, including: intuitive gestures, a unified menu, a new reading control menu, and more.
Google said it has added a dozen easy-to-learn and easy-to-use multi-finger measures that are available with the latest version of TalkBack on Pixel and Galaxy devices running One UI 3 and later. One example is the ability to start and stop a podcast simply by double tapping the screen with two fingers.
To get users acquainted with the latest version of TalkBack, Google said it created a new tutorial. There’s event a pad to practice the new gestures. The newest version of TalkBack is available now.
Google Assistant while your phone is locked
Google Assistant makes it easy to control your device with simple voice commands. The latest update makes the assistant even more powerful without needing to be right next to it.
Google said Assistant now works better even when your device is locked or you’re across the room. To use the new feature, Google said to turn on Lock Screen Personal Results in Assistant settings. Then say, “Hey Google, set an alarm.”
Dark theme comes to Google Maps
Google said dark theme in Google Maps will soon expand to all Android users globally. The feature was previously in testing.
The newest feature is available by going into the app’s Settings > Theme > Always in Dark Theme. The new mode is meant to help with screen fatigue and also save on battery life.
Speaking of Google Maps, the search giant said it’s also adding a few new features to Android Auto, including voice-activated games like Jeopardy. These features arrive on the heels of Android Auto’s wallpapers feature, which allows users to choose from a handful of wallpapers to add some style to their experience. As we previously explained, Android Auto will also let you add shortcuts to Google Assistant commands, which you can launch right from your car’s dashboard.