Google Integrates AI into Google Messages, Android Auto, Wear OS, and Beyond

Google

Google’s implementation of Gemini for AI image generation has faced considerable criticism. Nevertheless, the search and mobile giant is undeterred, continuing to ride the AI wave by extending its application to more of its services. Today, Google unveiled a fresh set of features for mobile phones, automobiles, and wearables, leveraging Gemini to compose messages, generate AI-driven image captions, provide text summaries through AI on Android Auto, and grant access to passes on Wear OS.

The introduction of these new features occurred at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, an event where Google has maintained a strong presence for years as the company behind Android.

Commencing this week, Google Messages will incorporate a beta feature allowing users to access Gemini within the app. It’s important to note that this feature currently supports English only.

Furthermore, Google is introducing a feature for Android Auto that reads out summaries of lengthy text messages and contextualizes group chats. Initially announced last month, this feature also offers quick reply suggestions.

During MWC, Google is unveiling several accessibility-related features. The Lookout app, designed to assist visually impaired individuals with tasks such as reading food labels and documents, will now generate AI-powered captions for images lacking accurate captions or alt text. This feature is now available globally, supporting English.

Google is enhancing screen reader support for Lens in Maps, providing users with information about places and signs by pointing their phone’s camera around them.

On the productivity front, Google is extending support for handwritten notes to documents on Android phones or tablets, allowing users to use their finger or stylus to choose from various pen styles and colors for highlighting specific points in a document.

In addition, Google is introducing support for Spotify through an output switcher on the Android home screen, enabling users to seamlessly switch sources for song or podcast playback. Previously, this feature exclusively supported YouTube Music.

The Fitbit app is receiving an update, now supporting data from various sources such as AllTrails, Oura Ring, and MyFitnessPal. The app, redesigned with a new three-tab layout last year, provides data on exercise, steps, calories burned, and floors climbed in the Today tab. The “You” tab displays data from different apps alongside Fitbit’s own data.

Several updates related to Wear OS are also part of this announcement. Users can now directly access Google Wallet passes like boarding passes, event tickets, gym memberships, and loyalty cards from their watches. Additionally, voice-activated directions for transit are now available, along with the option to mirror directions from the phone or receive compass-guided navigation directions.

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