Android is the operating system of choice for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Perhaps that’s because it also comes with several extremely helpful apps for everything from driving to communicating. On Tuesday, Google announced that it plans to roll out updates to six of its Android apps in the coming days.
The changes should help tide users over while waiting for Android 12 (which the company just previewed).
Some of the biggest changes involve Password Checkup, Messages, and Maps. Users will soon be able to keep their passwords more secure on mobile devices, schedule messages to send later, and access dark mode in Maps.
Google notes that the updates will occur on a rolling basis, so they might not be available for everyone right away. That being said, they should arrive within the coming weeks.
Google Chrome and Android users have the ability to save their passwords to their Google account. This is a lifesaver for those who like to set a unique password for each site to decrease the risk of mass hacking events. While some security experts argue that Google’s built-in password manager isn’t secure enough compared to other password managers, it is better than nothing.
Part of what makes it so attractive is the Password Checkup feature. This automatically alerts users if one of their saved passwords has been compromised. Then, it makes it easy to reset the password.
Google is now integrating Password Checkup into devices running Android 9 and above. This makes it possible for users to keep an eye on their mobile passwords for apps they might not use on the computer.
Unlike iOS, Android gives users plenty of flexibility to choose their default messaging app. For many, the built-in Messages app is good enough. It has all the basic features you need to communicate with friends and family as well as some advanced features for fun and efficiency.
However, it has lacked one thing—the ability to schedule messages to send in the future. Google recently announced that it is addressing the shortfall by integrating scheduled send into devices running Android 7 or later.
This makes it easy for users to compose a message and schedule it to send at a certain time. It’s a useful feature for those who communicate with loved ones in other countries or working different schedules. For users that currently rely on third-party apps to schedule messages, this makes it possible to switch to Android’s native messaging app.
Maps Gets Dark Mode
There is nothing worse than trying to get around at night and staring at Google Maps’ incredibly bright screen. That will no longer be an issue thanks to a new “Dark Theme” that is coming to the app.
This makes it easier to navigate at night and is much gentler on your eyes. It is also a long-requested feature, so it’s nice to see Google finally rolling it out.
There are also several other updates slated to roll out in the coming days. Google is upgrading its TalkBack screen reader with new features, is making it easier to use Google Assistant hands-free, and is offering new features within Android Auto. The company’s official blog post is worth checking out to learn more about all the changes coming to Android.