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Latest Google Features: Android Auto Widgets, Tips
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(Pocket-lint) – Google has announced a feature cut – or a set of new features – rolled out across its various Android-based products and services.
In a blog post published on December 1, the company revealed new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos. It also details new Android Auto features and updates for Google Assistant and Google Photos. Many of these upgrades are available now or being deployed.
Starting with the new widgets, Google said you can expect the YouTube Music widget to offer playback controls and quick access to recently played songs. The Google Play Books widget will offer shortcuts to what you read or listen to, and the Google Photos widget, which rolls out next week, will be able to show the images you selected from your photo library.
Speaking of Google Photos, its Memories feature will start showing photos and videos organized in the standard grid view.
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Next, Google said owners of the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Galaxy S21 can now use their phones as a car key with compatible BMW vehicles in select countries. Google said it will be available “on all vehicles of the BMW 2020 and 2022 model years”, and that it is working to add more cars in the future.
As for these new Android Auto features, you can now set the car friendly interface option to launch whenever your Android phone connects to a vehicle. It will also add smart replies soon, so that you can reply to a text message with the help of Google Assistant.
There will also be a new permanent play button right on the home screen, and “coming soon” you can use your voice to search for music.
Finally, Google’s “Family Bell” alarm-type feature that can be played from smart speakers and monitors now works on mobile devices.
Google also said that its new permission reset feature, which automatically disables permissions for apps that you haven’t used in a while, extends from devices running Android 11 and later to devices running Android 6 and later “through from next month ”(or approximately January 2021).
Written by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on .