The holiday season has arrived, and we're celebrating with a bundle of new features from Android. Some of them even can help you get in the spirit, too. Here’s what’s new.
Add holiday cheer to your photos and messages
Google Photos recently brought Styles to collage editor so you can create shareable collages of your favorite snaps to share with friends and family. Heading into the holiday season (and many photo-worthy moments), you’ll find unique designs from two new artists — Australian husband-and-wife visual duo DABSMYLA and renowned watercolor artist Yao Cheng Design. Just pick your photos, select your design and rearrange the layout with simple drag-and-drop controls.
Have fun and express yourself with new artist-designed styles in the Google Photos collage editor.
Emoji Kitchen also has new emoji you can mash up into creative sticker combos via Gboard. Add some extra 💙 holiday ⛄️flair ❄️to your messages with compatible emoji.
Use Emoji Kitchen to share some holiday magic with friends and family.
Easily access your favorite content
Catch up on your favorite content, your way. The new Reading mode on Android creates an accessible reading experience that can be helpful for people who are blind, low vision or dyslexic. Once installed to your settings, it adds customizable display options — including contrast, font type and size — and a text-to-speech function with speed control.
Reading mode helps create a more accessible and customizable screen reading experience.
You can also easily access content with YouTube’s new Home screen Search widget. With a quick tap from your Home screen, you can dive right into your library of videos, Shorts or subscriptions.
With YouTube’s Search widget, you can find entertainment faster from your Home screen.
Sometimes it’s easier to look for something to watch on your phone than on your TV. The Google TV app already makes it easy to use your phone to discover movies and shows from across your streaming services. And starting next week, you can cast directly from the Google TV app to your compatible TV with a single tap. You can keep browsing other options while you're watching and use your device as a remote control, too.
Connect and cast to your TV, and control entertainment from your phone with a single tap.
Get more done on the go
With digital car key, you can lock, unlock and turn on a compatible car using just your phone. And now, you can share your compatible digital car key with friends and family across Pixel and iPhones (coming soon to select phones with Android versions 12 and up). You can view and change who has access to your car in your phone’s digital wallet app.
Send a digital car key to securely share access to your car with friends and family.
As we use our smartwatches to get more done, Wear OS tiles make it easy to see important information at a glance. You can already use the Google Maps tile to start navigating to your home or office from anywhere. And now, we’re adding new tiles to help you get more things done from your watch — like getting in touch with your favorite contacts and viewing sunrise and sunset times to plan your day.
We've also updated the Google Keep app on Wear OS so your notes and to-dos written on your phone will look just as good on your watch. View labels and collaborators to stay organized. Custom backgrounds, photos and drawings make it easy to see what's important to you, whether you're checking your notes on your phone or your watch.
And something I’ve been particularly waiting for – over the next week, you can use Google Assistant to quickly jump into more than 30 types of exercises with the adidas Running app. Just say "Hey Google, start a run with adidas Running" and the app will open and start tracking your workout, noting your speed, distance and heart rate via the built-in sensor on your smartwatch.