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6 new Android features: schedule text messages, dark mode on Google Maps and more

105 samsung galaxy s21 and s21 ultra comparison

Various Android apps are getting some useful updates.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Google just announced it will release updates for six different Android apps, from the TalkBack screen reader to Android AutoThe updates add useful new features such as the ability to schedule when a text message is sent in the Messages app. Google Maps is also receiving its own update that adds a true dark mode to the entire app, not just when you’re using navigation.

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

Keep in mind that these are ongoing updates. That means you may not be able to access it right away. The best advice I have is to keep checking the Play Store for app updates.

Below I will walk you through the new features and how to use them.

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Password checking now works in Android apps

If you’re using 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 your credentials to see if they have been leaked or exposed to a hack. If it finds your information, a prompt will tell you to change your password.

The new password checking tool is rolling out to Android devices running Android 9 or higher. You can check if you are using the Google autocomplete service by using it Settings app, then go to System Languages ​​and imports Advanced and tap Autofill serviceIf that path doesn’t take you to the right place as every Android phone is a bit different, you can use the search feature in the Settings app to search for Autofill(For example, on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the setting is below General management in the settings app.)

Here’s what it looks like when Google finds a wrong password.

GIF by Google

Once you get to the Autofill section, you should know for sure Google is selected.

If you haven’t used the Google Autofill tool, start saving your credentials when prompted. If you have already used it, keep using it as you have been. The tool will let you know when it detects your information has been leaked – you don’t need to do anything special to activate it.


Full Dark Mode is finally coming to Google Maps.


Dark mode is coming to Google Maps

Fans of dark mode in Android apps will want to keep checking the Play Store for an update to Google Maps.

Google is finally adding a true dark mode to the entire app. Huzzah! Before the latest update, Google Maps only offered a dark mode when you were actively using the navigation mode. It was certainly better than nothing, 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 Settings Theme then select Always in a dark theme


Scheduling messages is a useful feature.


Schedule a text message

If you’re not already using Google Messages as your default text messaging app, it could finally get you to switch. Google is rolling out an update that adds the ability to schedule when a message is sent. Scheduling messages is especially helpful if you don’t want to bother someone at the wrong time because they are in a different time zone, or if you know they are busy at work. Or you can use it to schedule a message canceling plans that you even regret making.

Once your Messages app gets the latest update, you can start composing a message just like you always do, but instead of tapping the send button, long press it. A menu will appear asking you when you want to send it. It’s that simple.


TalkBack is also getting a major update.


TalkBack becomes easier to use

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

We have more information about the TalkBack update hereIf you want to try it for yourself, check for app and service updates in the Play Store.

GIF by Google

But wait, there is more

Google is also adding new features to Android Auto and Google Assistant. They are relatively minor updates, but worth taking note of.

Android Auto users are given the option to set custom wallpapers displayed on their vehicle’s screen. Google is also adding voice-activated games that your passengers can play on long car journeys. One of the games Google mentions is Jeopardy, which is always a hit. Finally, Google adds shortcuts to the Android Auto home screen that make it easy to check the weather or quickly access contacts for messages and calls.

Google Assistant gets improvements when you use voice commands to communicate with the digital assistant when your screen is off and the device is locked. Google says the information cards are now larger, making it easier to read responses from across the room. Enable to make sure the feature works as expected Lock personal results on your Google Assistant settings page.

Google releases such major feature releases every quarter. For example, here are some features added to Google Assistant last year. If you’re someone who prefers to look ahead, check out the new features we found in Android 12 so farWe also have an ongoing list of hidden features in Android that we love

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