Google rolls out five new Android upgrades ahead of Android 11's launch


Posts: 2,505   +549
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In brief: You don't need to wait for Android 11 to gain access to some exciting new features for the mobile OS. Today, Google has begun rolling out Bedtime, two emergency preparedness tools, and updates for Lookout and Android Auto to all Android users -- as long as they're running a reasonably up-to-date version of the software.

These feature additions are part of a larger push from Google to improve its mobile OS in the time before Android 11 launches. The first major feature addition of note, Bedtime, has been available on Pixel devices for a while, but today, it's available for all devices running Android 6.0 or newer.

In short, Bedtime aims to help you maintain a consistent sleep schedule. It accomplishes this by optionally tracking your screen time at night, playing "soothing sounds" to gently urge you to sleep, and waking you up in the morning with the "Sunrise Alarm." If Bedtime sounds like your cup of tea, it can be switched on and scheduled from within the Clock app.

Android Auto is also receiving improvements, courtesy of a revamped Calendar app and an updated Settings menu. These changes let you get a "quick look into your daily schedule" and manage your Android Auto preferences "directly on your car display," respectively. The updates are expected to arrive over the next month.

Two smaller but nonetheless important features arriving soon include Android's new Emergency Location Service and Earthquake Alerts System. The former is able to share your device's language setting with participating emergency operators to help you get in touch with someone you can understand, and the latter enables Android smartphones to detect earthquakes quickly and accurately.

Finally, Lookout, Google's computer vision app that helps blind and "low-vision" users perform certain tasks more efficiently, is getting considerably better. Upon downloading the update from the Google Play Store, you'll be able to use Lookout to scan long documents and convert them into "readable text," identify products based on their food labels and more.

For more information on availability for these features, check out Google's official announcement blog post here.

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Posts: 87   +49
"and updates for Lookout and Android Auto to all Android users -- as long as they're running a reasonably up-to-date version of the software"
We use Android, of course were not on up to date software...


Posts: 14   +8
Precisely why I bought the Google Pixel 3a XL. It also happens to be an excellent phone. But, getting frequent updates is a major plus.


Posts: 8   +10
Android auto is a waste of time effort and money.It is so broken I doubt I will buy another android phone.Worst thing is when I first got it [with deck in car] it all worked perfectly .Then they did updates and each time they update it gets worse. Doesn't respond to messages, randomly stops playing music after 30 seconds [involves rebooting the phone to get it to play music again] every time you give it an address you have to start driving ,then unplug the phone and re plug it back in before the GPS works [else it just says searching for GPS signal].Stop adding more crap to it and fix what you already have implemented.