6 New Android Features: Schedule Text Messages, Dark Mode in Google Maps, and More

Some Android apps get some useful updates.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Google only has announced that it will introduce updates to six different Android apps from the TalkBack screen reader to Android Auto. The updates offer useful new features such as: B. the ability to schedule when a text message will be sent in the Messages app. Google Maps is also getting its own update that adds a true dark mode to the entire app, not just when you’re using navigation.

There’s also an update to Google’s auto-fill password tool that will let you know if your passwords have been leaked and let you know it’s time to change them.

Remember, these are rolling updates. That means you may not have access to it right away. The best advice I have is to check the Play Store for app updates.

Below, I’ll walk you through the new features and how to use them.

Look at that:

Our first look at Android 12


Password verification now works for all Android apps

If you use Google’s password manager to autofill your usernames and passwords in Chrome or Android apps, this update is for you. Google will now check all of your credentials to see if they were leaked or exposed in a hack. If your information is found, a prompt will inform you that you need to change your password.

The new password check tool will be introduced on Android devices running Android 9 or higher. You can check that you’re using Google’s AutoFill service by opening that the settings App then go to system > Languages ​​& input > Advanced and tap Autofill service. If this path doesn’t get you to the right place as every Android phone is a bit different, you can use the search tool in the Settings app to search for it Autofill. (On the Galaxy S21 Ultra, for example, the setting is under Managing directors in the Settings app.)

This is what it looks like when Google finds an incorrect password.

GIF from Google

Once you navigate to the “Auto-fill” section you should make sure Google is selected.

If you haven’t used Google’s AutoFill tool before, save your credentials when prompted. Once you’ve used it, keep using it the way you used it. The tool will notify you if it is found that your information has been leaked. You don’t have to do anything special to trigger it.


The full dark mode is finally coming to Google Maps.


The dark mode comes to Google Maps

For fans of Dark mode in Android appsYou should still check the Play Store for updates to Google Maps.

Google is finally adding a real dark mode for the entire app. Huzzah! Before the last update, Google Maps only offered a dark mode if you were actively using the navigation mode. It was better than nothing, sure, but it wasn’t ideal.

Once Google Maps is updated on your Android phone or tablet, you can always turn on dark mode by going to the settings > theme and then select Always in the dark topic.


Scheduling messages is a handy feature.


Schedule a text message

If you’re not already using Google Messages as your default SMS app, you might be able to make the switch. Google is rolling out an update that adds the option to schedule a message to be sent. Scheduling messages is especially useful when you don’t want to disturb someone at the wrong time because they are in a different time zone or when you know they are busy at work. Or you can use it to plan a message canceling plan that you regret yourself.

Once your Messages app gets the latest update, you can start composing a message as always, but instead of tapping the Send button, long-press it. A menu will appear asking when you want to send it. As simple as that.


TalkBack also receives a major update.


TalkBack is becoming more and more user-friendly

Google’s TalkBack accessibility feature is getting a major update to help blind or visually impaired users navigate and use their Android devices. There are new gestures, navigation options, spoken feedback and menus.

We have more information on the TalkBack update here. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, check the Play Store for app and service updates.

GIF from Google

But wait, there’s more

Google is also adding new features to Android Auto and Google Assistant. These are relatively small updates, but should be noted.

Android Auto users will be able to do this set custom background images which are displayed on the screen of your vehicle. Google is also adding voice-activated games for your passengers to play on long road trips. One of the games that Google mentions is Jeopardy, which is always a hit. Finally, Google adds shortcuts to Android’s automatic home screen that you can use to check the weather or quickly access contacts for messages and calls.

The Google Assistant improves when you use voice commands to interact with the digital assistant when your screen is off and the device is locked. According to Google, the cards of information are now larger, making it easier to read answers from across the room. To make sure the feature works as expected, enable it Personal lock screen results on your Google Assistant settings page.

Google makes big feature releases like this one roughly every quarter. For example, Here are some features that have been added to the Google Assistant last year. If you’re someone who’d rather be happy, then this is the check out New features we’ve found so far in Android 12. We also have an ongoing list of hidden features in Android that we love.

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