Google announces end-to-end encryption for Messages, earthquake alerts and more for Android users

Google announces end-to-end encryption for Messages, earthquake alerts and more for Android users

Google on Tuesday announced a slew of new features for Android users. The search giant has added a host of features to its instant messaging app called Messages. Some of the features include end-to-end encryption, easy access to emojis, voice access, updates to the Android Auto app which will make it easier for Android Auto users to personalise their launcher screen directly from their phone and lots more.

Announcing the feature, Fiona Lee, Program Manager, Android said in a blog, “From keeping your account password safe to scheduling text messages to send at the right moment, we’re constantly rolling out new updates to the 3 billion active Android devices around the world. Today, we’re welcoming summer with six updates for your Android that focus on safety — so you’re protected at every turn.’

So let us have a look at the features Google has announced

End-to-end encryption for Messages: Google announced that Messages will now be end-to-end encrypted. Google had earlier rolled out the beta mode of the feature in November but now the feature will be rolled out to everyone. It is important to note that end-to-end encryption will be available in one-on-one conversations between Messages users with chat features enabled.

Android earthquake alerts: Google said that it will be rolling out the earthquake alert system in more countries. The feature piloted in Greece and New Zealand but it will now be available Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Google said that it is prioritising launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks but will expand to other countries over the coming years.

Star messages you want to save: This feature is something you have already seen before in WhatsApp. You can now “star” any important message you want to save. The messages you have starred will appear in the separate section that hosts all the star messages. The feature will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Easy access to stickers: Google introduced a new section in Emoji Kitchen stickers that lets you access the stickers that you have used recently. Soon users will see contextual suggestions in Emoji Kitchen after they have typed a message. As per the blog, “Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are available in Gboard beta today and are coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.

Access apps with voice: Now you can ask your Google Assistant to open any app on your phone using your voice. You can give commands like, “Hey Google, pay my Capital One bill” to jump right into the app and complete the task”.

Voice access gets gaze detection: Google’s Voice Access app will only take commands from you if you are looking into the screen. The feature is currently in beta and will be rolled out soon. Voice access will also make it simpler for people to enter their passwords. They can say stuff like a dollar sign and Google will translate it into a symbol.