Home Tech All the new features coming to Android phones, watches and TVs this year

All the new features coming to Android phones, watches and TVs this year

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All the new features coming to Android phones, watches and TVs this year

The second day of Google of its I/O developer conference focuses on updates to its Android ecosystem. The company recently consolidated all of its hardware equipment (Pixel devices) with its Android platforms, including nothing and everything powered by Android (plus Chrome OS). Naturally, today’s announcements address every part of that ecosystem, from Android 15 to Wear OS 5.

These are the key new features you should know about.

Top new Android features

There are a mix of new Android features that are exclusive to Android 15, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system, but many of these features will be rolled out to existing devices through the Play Store and app updates without the need for a wireless installation. Air operating system update. (I’ll indicate which ones are exclusive to Android 15.) My colleague Simon Hill has rounded up all the major features of Android 15 in this story with details on how to download the beta, but here are a few highlights.

Private space

Courtesy of Google

Several Android manufacturers have long offered a way to lock and hide certain apps behind biometric authentication, but Google is now integrating this into Android with a feature called Private Space. This is a specific feature of Android 15 because Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering on Android, says there were many ways to filter an app’s information through the operating system. The team had to do “surgery on Android 15” to get it working, but this means these apps are now completely hidden and private. everywhere on Android.

Private Space is visually separated from your apps in the app drawer. You can even set a password to access private apps that’s different than the one you use to unlock your phone. Once you add an app to Private Space, its notifications will be hidden and it will not be accessible even if someone dug into your phone settings. You can also delete your private space immediately.

Theft detection lock

Courtesy of Google

This feature is No Specific to Android 15 and will arrive later this year. Google says it uses “Google AI” to identify when someone steals your phone while you’re using it, and yes, it knows the difference between going for a run with your smartphone and someone swiping it and running, cycling, or driving away . he. Once Android detects a theft, it will make sure the phone is locked to prevent anyone from accessing your apps and private information.

It will even be locked once the device is disconnected, meaning that someone trying to factory reset your phone will need the passcode to reactivate the device, which could deprive you of the ability to resell the phone. And there is an additional feature called “Remote Lock” that allows you to lock your phone screen remotely. If you add your phone number, you can call the phone from any other device (such as a friend’s phone) and enter a security challenge to authenticate the action.

Speaking of theft protection, Google says that later this year Google Play Protect will be able to use on-device artificial intelligence to detect apps that engage in fraud or phishing. Play Protect already does this in the cloud, but some malware can hide its activities there. Having this running on the device allows the service to detect how the app is using sensitive permissions and detect suspicious behavior, without collecting any personal data.

Google Wallet becomes less restrictive

Courtesy of Google

Google Wallet doesn’t just handle payments. Right now, you can add loyalty cards, gym memberships, transit cards, concert tickets, and boarding passes, in addition to credit cards. However, an update coming later this year will soon allow you to create a digital version of the passes simply by taking a photo of it. Upload the image to Google Wallet (think parking passes, library cards, car insurance cards) and Google will create a digital version for quick access. Now, if these digital versions will be accepted It’s a different matter.

Google previews its next mixed reality headsets

You may not remember, but Samsung and Google are working on a mixed reality headset with Qualcomm. The partnership was announced last year along with the expectation that it would debut later in 2024. Google confirmed to me that it had nothing to share at I/O about the development of the headphones, but the company did shows an augmented reality experience with Google Maps that could be something you can experience on the device when it arrives.

On Google Maps, you’ll soon be able to access AR content when you search for specific locations. Tap the “AR Experience” button and pick up your phone to see augmented content appear in the real world. This even works remotely via Street View, so you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to try it out.

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