Google updates its Apple AirDrop competitor Nearby Share; more accessibility features for Android announced

Google’s upgrade will help the blind or low- vision people with audio descriptions while using Google TV.

Google Nearby Share
Google upgrading its Nearby Share.

Google on Thursday announced several new features for Android smartphones which come with an upgrade of the self-sharing option which is quite similar to how Apple’s AirDrop works. It helps in transferring files across its ecosystems of phones, tablets and Chromebooks.

Google has released several upgrades — self-sharing feature, redesigned widgets, sound alerts, audio descriptions for Google TV and live-sharing on Google Meet.

Here are all the features that have been announced:

Nearby Share gets self-share mode

One of the most expected features about Nearby Share is the new self-share option. In this, users can share files, documents with themselves by selecting from your Android devices which are logged into the Gmail account.

When this feature was initially launched, users could only share files between their own devices only if they were approved for the transfer before the sharing process began.  With the new feature, this additional step is removed and files can automatically be transferred between devices with a single tap.

Widget upgrades and emojis

Google Drive widget has also got some upgrades where it has got a face tune, three new home screen buttons which can easily be accessed by Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets. Even the Google Keep widget’s size has been increased and now comes with a larger font.

Apart from this, Google Keyboard has expanded the availability of its Emojify button where users will write text and immediately hit the “Emojify” button for emojis. Although this feature is still in the beta version.

But this is not it, Google has also added Emoji Kitchen mashups where users can combine even more emojis.

Bitmoji comes to smartwatch OS

Google smartwatches operating system, Wear OS now has an option to add Bitmoji to the watch face and personalised Keep tiles for taking notes.

The Bitmoji will help in changing expressions depending on the time of the day and what activity the user is doing.

Live-sharing on Google Meet and more accessibility

With Live-sharing users will be able to co-watch YouTube videos and play classic games (UNO, Mobile Kahoot or Heads Up) with almost 100 friends and family members. This feature has started rolling out for Android phones and tablets.

To keep an eye on multiple people, one can now use multi-pinning to adjust the screen and keep a watch on certain people.

Accessibility tools for sound alerts and audio descriptions

This feature has specifically been designed for the deaf and hard of hearing, sound notifications and live transcribe and notifications which will detect critical household sounds like fire alarms, running water or even door knocks.  With this, a heads up will be given on sounds through notifications on phone and watch, vibrations on their devices or even flashing a light on your phone.

In order to make TV shows and movies more easily reachable to blind or low-vision people, Audio Descriptions on Google TV will help by narrating visual information.

ALSO READ| No Apple Watch? No problem, Apple Fitness+ to be available for all iPhone users soon

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 09-09-2022 at 15:42 IST