- Google is releasing a string of Android updates that include the ability to star important messages.
- You can also control more apps with your voice and further customize Android Auto.
- Starred messages will roll out widely in the weeks ahead.
You don’t have to wait until Android 12 to get a few new features for your phone. Google is rolling out an Android update collection that should be helpful across the board, particularly if you thrive in Messages and other chat apps.
The centerpiece Android update lets you star texts in Messages to quickly find them later. If a friend shares an address or a favorite photo, you just have to press and hold on a message and star it. After that, you can visit the “starred” category to fetch that important chat snippet later. The feature should reach Messages in the “coming weeks.”
Another update will save you time searching for custom Emoji Kitchen creations to spice up your messages across apps. Gboard’s section for recently used Emoji Kitchen stickers will be available this summer to all of the keyboard’s users writing in English, Portugese, and Spanish.
Read more: The best texting and SMS apps for Android
The Android update bundle isn’t just focused on messages — others are literally hands-free. More apps will offer shortcuts for opening or searching just your voice, including Capital One and Strava. You can also secure Voice Access with gaze detection that makes sure it’s only working when you’re looking at the device. The technology is even smart enough to recognize password fields and let you input numbers and symbols, although you’ll probably want to avoid using that in public when possible.
Android Auto now has greater personalization, such as launcher customization from your phone, tabs in media options and a simpler setup. Electric vehicle charging, navigation, and parking apps are also usable. And yes, you can use Messages and other chat apps thanks to an Android Auto update deploying worldwide.
The Android Earthquake Alerts System has also reached the Philippines, Turkey, and several other countries.
As with most of these Android update bundles, the improvements to Messages and other apps won’t necessarily be earth-shattering. However, they’re all quality-of-life upgrades that could make your phone better on a day-to-day basis — it’s difficult to complain loudly.