GOOGLE has just released a blockbuster Android upgrade but millions face disappointment as it’s only available on a limited number of devices.
Some Android users are in for a real treat today with Google releasing a big update to its popular operating system. The upgrade brings a swathe of new features to devices including improvements to the Google Assistant and updates to the camera plus you’ll find faster calls via Duo.
There’s a huge list of changes in this latest release but millions are set to miss out on all that’s new.
That’s because the update, which has been announced today, is only available on Google’s own-branded Pixel phones.
If you happen to own a new Pixel 4 then you will be getting the most out of the changes with the US firm saying that it is Introducing the new Google Assistant, exclusive to Pixel 4 users from today, Friday 13th December.
There’s no word on whether any other devices will be getting any of the updates in the future but if you do have a Pixel in your pocket here’s what is new.
Thanks to a deeper integration into Pixel 4, the Google Assistant is now a faster way to get more things done. Breakthroughs in speech processing mean that more requests can happen right on your phone, without always sending your request to the cloud.
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Google says it has redesigned the Assistant so it doesn’t take up too much room on your screen, letting you better multitask across other apps.
It can quickly open apps, search your phone, share what’s on your screen, and more.
It also considers the context of your query to do a better job answering. For example, you can ask the Assistant to “show my photos from New York” and then say “the ones in Central Park.”
Then, you can share a picture by saying “send it to Mum.”
Open your favourite apps without having to search for them on your phone
Simply say: “Open YouTube” or “Open Google” or “Open Spotify”
Search within the app using just your voice
“Hey Google, open Google Photos”
“Show me the ones on the beach”
“Hey Google, show me Lady Gaga on Instagram”
“Show me Beyonce”
“Now show me Jay Z”
“Hey Google, what’s the weather like tomorrow?”
“What’s it like on the next day?”
“Hey Google open Youtube”
“Show me yoga classes”
“Show me how to bake banana bread”
Speak to Google Assistant without having to say “Hey Google” every time
If you’re already asking Assistant a series of questions, stay in the swing of things by only saying “Hey Google” the first time
Make in-app contextual commands to make sharing things like photos, URLs, and screenshots a lot easier
If you’re looking through your photos and one reminds you of a friend, simply say:
“Hey Google, send this to John”
Or, if you’re looking at a gig ticket page, share the URL with friends by saying:
“Hey Google, share this with Lucy”
If you’re chatting with friends in Android Messages or WhatsApp, just say “Hey Google, reply” to start dictating your response
Multitask efficiently and activate the new Google Assistant to find the information you need without losing focus or exiting the app
If you’re speaking to a friend about an upcoming holiday and they need to book a taxi from the airport, simply ask “what time does my flight arrive” without needing to exit the chat.
Or, if you’re talking to a friend about weekend plans and they suggest going to the cinema, search for the movie times whilst staying in the conversation by saying “What’s on at the Everyman Cinema this weekend”
As well as new Google Assistant, Pixel users will be able to unlock a range of handy new features and apps – called feature drops. The first of the Pixel feature drops will include: simplified portrait photos, Duo call updates and improved Google Maps.
All Pixel owners will now be able to use Dual Exposure controls and new and improved Night Sight to give that extra helping hand when snapping a great photo. And when it comes to old pics, users will be able to turn any photo into a beautiful portrait by blurring the background post-snap. Portrait Blur is already rolling out to Pixel 2, 3, 3a and 4 users – and will hit all Pixels in the coming weeks. To get the new feature drop, update to the latest version of Android and go to the PlayStore to start the download.
Pixel 4 owners will also enjoy faster, better calls via Duo as part of the feature drop. The new on-device AI built into Pixel 4 keeps audio consistent and the advanced display reduces choppy video chatting, automatically adjusting to keep the caller in the frame.