Google just announced the rollout of updates to six different Android apps, starting fromat . The updates add useful new features, like the ability to schedule when a text message will be sent in the Messages app. Google Maps is also getting an update that adds true dark mode throughout the app, not just when using navigation.
There’s also an update for Google’s AutoComplete Password Tool that will tell you if your passwords have been leaked and let you know it’s time to change them.
Keep in mind that these are gradual updates. This means that you may not have access to it right away. The best advice I have is to keep checking the play store for app updates.
Below, I’ll walk you through the new features and how to use them.
Password verification now works in Android apps
If you’re using Google’s Password Manager to auto-populate your usernames and passwords in Chrome or Android apps, then this update is for you. Google will now check all of your login information to see if it was leaked or exposed during a hack. If it finds your information, a prompt will tell you that you need to change your password.
The new password verification tool is being rolled out to Android devices running Android 9 or later. You can check if you are using Google’s autofill service by opening the Settings app, then go to System > Languages and entry > Advanced and touch Auto-fill service. If this path doesn’t take you to the right place, since every Android phone is a little different, you can use the search tool in the Settings app to search Automatic filling. (For example, on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the setting is under Executive management in the settings app.)
Once you get to the autofill section, you’ll want to make sure Google is selected.
If you haven’t used Google’s autofill tool, start recording your credentials when prompted. If you have used it, continue to use it as you did. The tool will notify you when it finds out that your information has been leaked – you don’t have to do anything special to trigger it.
Dark Mode is coming to Google Maps
For fans of the dark mode in Android apps, you’ll want to keep checking the Play Store for a Google Maps update.
Google is finally adding a real dark mode throughout the app. Huzzah! Prior to the last update, Google Maps only offered dark mode when you were actively using navigation mode. It was better than nothing, of course, but it wasn’t ideal.
Once Google Maps is updated on your Android phone or tablet, you can turn on dark mode permanently by going to Settings > Theme then select Still in the dark theme.
Schedule an SMS
If you aren’t already using Google Messages as your default text messaging app, that might finally prompt you to make the switch. Google is rolling out an update that adds the ability to schedule a message to be sent. Message scheduling is especially useful if you don’t want to bother someone at the wrong time because they’re in a different time zone, or if you know they’re busy at work. Or you can use it to schedule a message canceling plans you even regret making.
Once your Messages app receives the latest update, you can start composing a message like you always do, but instead of hitting the send button, long press it. A menu will appear, asking you when you want it sent. It’s that simple.
TalkBack is getting easier to use
Google’s TalkBack accessibility feature is getting a major update to help blind and visually impaired users navigate and use their Android devices. There are new gestures, navigation options, voice comments, and menus.
We have more information about the. If you want to check it out for yourself, be sure to check for updates for apps and services in the Play Store.
But wait, there is more
Google is also adding new features to Android Auto and Google Assistant. These are relatively minor updates, but worth noting.
Android Auto users have the option ofthat are displayed on their vehicle’s screen. Google is also adding voice-activated games that your passengers can play on long car trips. One of the games mentioned by Google is Jeopardy, which is still a hit. Finally, Google is adding shortcuts to the Android Auto launch screen that will make it easier to check the weather or quick access to contacts for messaging and calls.
Google Assistant receives improvements when you use voice commands to interact with the digital assistant when your screen is off and the device is locked. Google says the cards that display information are now larger, making it easier to read responses from across the room. To make sure the feature works as expected, enable Lock personal screen results on the Google Assistant settings page.
Google releases great features like this every quarter or so. For example,Last year. If you prefer to look forward to it, check out the . We also have a current list of .