Android Adds Text Message Editing, New Emoji Mashups and Better Wear OS Support

It seems like everything new coming to Google’s Android operating system is centered on AI, like the expanded Gemini assistant and the futuristic new Project Astra. But the search giant is still taking time to release regular new non-AI features and settings for Android. On Thursday, Google announced seven new Android OS features to “elevate your everyday.”

The Android additions include editing your text messages even after they’ve been sent and easily sharing hotspots between your devices, as well as a couple of new features for your smart watch powered by Wear OS. If you want to check out a preview of what’s new to Android, here’s everything you need to know.

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For more about Android, see everything announced at the Google I/O keynote earlier this month and two new Android 15 privacy tools you can use right now. And if you want to try out some new features for yourself, here’s how to download Android 15 now.

Edit your text messages after they’ve been sent

Editing a text in the Google Messages app Editing a text in the Google Messages app

The other person will know if the text message has been edited.

Google

You no longer have to fix a typo with a follow-up text message on Android. In Google Messages, you can now edit messages, even after they’ve been sent. All you have to do is tap and hold your finger down on a sent text RCS message, hit the edit icon at the top and then edit the sent message. Whether you need to fix a misspelling or add more information, you have 15 minutes to edit a message after it’s sent, so while you don’t exactly need to be quick on the draw, you can’t be too slow either or you’ll miss your chance.

Easily share hotspots and switch between devices during video calls

New cross-device services on Android New cross-device services on Android

The new cross-device services setting must be enabled on all your Android devices to work.

Google

If you’ve got several Android devices signed into the same Google account, you can enable cross-device services so that you can more seamlessly switch between them when needed. The first new feature, Instant Hotspot, allows you to connect your phone’s hotspot with your Android tablet or Chromebook with a single tap. You won’t need to enter your password on each device you want to connect to the internet.

The second new cross-device feature lets you switch between devices while you’re on a Google Meet call, in case you want to move between your Android phone, tablet and web browser. All you need to do is hit the cast icon to switch between your connected Android devices.

Read moreSome Older Phones Now Support Circle to Search. See if Yours Is One of Them

More sticker combinations are coming to Emoji Kitchen

Emoji kitchen feature on Android Emoji kitchen feature on Android

You can combine any two emoji, like poop + fire or alien + sunglasses.

Google

There are new combinations (like disco ball + headphones) rolling out soon to Emoji Kitchen on Android. Emoji Kitchen is a tool built into the default Android keyboard that lets you combine any two emoji to create an entirely new sticker. You can easily create these emoji fusions within Android’s Gboard and then toss them into your text messages or anywhere else as stickers.

Control Google Home devices from your phone’s home screen

The Google Home favorites widget on the Android home screen The Google Home favorites widget on the Android home screen

You can resize the Google Home favorites widget on your home screen.

Google

If you want to quickly check your bedroom’s room temperature or turn off your kitchen lights, you can now do so from your phone’s home screen. All you have to do is add the Google Home favorites widget to your home screen and you’ll be able to control your most-used smart devices, like the Nest Thermostat, any of the Philips LED smart bulbs and the Wyze security camera system.

You must be signed up for the public preview of the latest Google Home app update to access unreleased features, like the Google Home favorites widget. To sign up, open the Google Home app and go to Settings > Public Preview > Join Public Preview.

Read moreBest Nest and Google Assistant evices for 2024

Manage your smart devices and enjoy more ways to pay from your Wear OS watch

New Wear OS features New Wear OS features

You can now quickly manage your connected home devices (left) and make payments via PayPal (right) on your Wear OS watch.

Google

Are you sporting the Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Google Pixel Watch? Android is bringing a couple new features to your Wear OS smart watch, including the ability to manage your favorite smart devices and more ways to pay from your wrist.

You know the new Google Game favorites widget we mentioned in the preceding section? You can get a tile and complication (shortcut) on your Wear OS watch to quickly view and control any of your connected smart home devices from one place. You’ll be able to dim your lights, unlock doors and more with just a single tap on the wrist.

And when it comes to secure payments, if you’re in the US or Germany, you can now use your Wear OS watch to pay with PayPal on Google Wallet.

Digital car keys coming to more vehicles

Digital car keys on Android Digital car keys on Android

You can also pop the trunk or sound your car alarm with digital car keys on Android.

Android

And if you’re looking to use your phone as the key to your car, digital car keys are now available on select Mini models and will soon come to select Mercedes-Benz and Polestar vehicles. You can use these digital car keys to unlock your door, start your car or share your keys with family and friends — all from your phone.

For more, check out the best Android phones in 2024.




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