Google recently announced that it is rolling out updates for six different Android apps, from theto . Updates add useful new features, such as the ability to schedule when a text message will be sent in the Messages app. Google Maps is also getting an update of its own that adds a true dark mode throughout the app, not just when you use navigation.
There is also an update to Google’s password auto-fill tool that will tell you if your passwords have been leaked and inform you that it is time to change them.
Please note that these are continuous updates. That means you may not have access to them right away. The best advice I have is to keep checking the Play Store for app updates.
Below I will walk you through the new features and how to use them.
Password verification now works on all Android apps
If you use Google’s Password Manager to auto-fill your usernames and passwords in Chrome or Android apps, this update is for you. Google will now check all your login credentials to see if they have been leaked or exposed in an attack. If it finds your information, a message will inform you that you need to change your password.
The new password verification tool is rolling out to Android devices running Android 9 or higher. You can check if you are using Google’s autocomplete service by opening the Settings application, then go to System > Languages and input > Advanced and touch Autocomplete service. If that path doesn’t get you to the right place, as every Android phone is a little different, you can use the search tool in the Settings app to search Autocomplete. (For example, on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the settings are below General Administration in the settings app.)
Once you navigate to the AutoComplete section, you’ll want to make sure Google is selected.
If you haven’t been using Google’s auto-complete tool, start saving your credentials when prompted. If you have been using it, continue using it as you have been. The tool will notify you when it finds that your information has been leaked; you don’t have to do anything special to activate it.
Dark mode comes to Google Maps
For fans of dark mode on Android apps, you’ll want to keep checking the Play Store for a Google Maps update.
Google is finally adding a true dark mode throughout the app. Hurrah! Before the latest update, Google Maps only offered a dark mode when you were actively using navigation mode. It was better than nothing, sure, but it wasn’t ideal.
Once Google Maps updates on your Android phone or tablet, you can turn on dark mode all the time by going to Settings > Topic and then select Always in dark theme.
Schedule a text message
If you’re not already using Google Messages as your default text messaging app, this might finally get you to make the switch. Google is rolling out an update that adds the option to schedule when a message is sent. Scheduling messages is especially useful if you don’t want to annoy someone at the wrong time because they are in a different time zone or if you know you are busy at work. Or you can use it to schedule a cancellation message for plans that you regret even having done.
Once your Messages app receives the latest update, you can start composing a message like you always do, but instead of tapping the Send button, press and hold it. A menu will appear asking you when you want it to ship. It’s as easy as that.
TalkBack is getting easier to use
Google’s TalkBack accessibility feature is getting a big update to help blind or low vision users navigate and use their Android devices. There are new gestures, navigation options, voice feedback, and menus.
We have more information about the. If you want to check it out for yourself, be sure to check for app and service updates on the Play Store.
But wait, there is more
Google is also adding new features to Android Auto and Google Assistant. They are relatively minor updates, but they are worth taking note of.
Android Auto users have the ability todisplayed on your vehicle’s screen. Google is also adding voice-activated games that its passengers can play during long road trips. One of the games Google mentions is Jeopardy, which is always a hit. Finally, Google is adding shortcuts to the Android Auto home screen that will make it easy to check the weather or quick access to contacts for messages and calls.
The Google Assistant gets improvements when you use voice commands to interact with the digital assistant when the screen is off and the device is locked. Google says the cards displaying information are now larger, making it easier to read responses from across the room. To make sure the function works as expected, turn on Personal lock screen results on the Google Assistant settings page.
Google releases great features like this every quarter or so. For example,last year. If you are someone who prefers to look ahead, check out the . We also have an up-to-date list of .