Google is rolling out a variety of updates for its mobile apps and services, which include improvements to the At a Glance Google Assistant widget, enhancements to the Lookout visual accessibility app, and the introduction of Zoom calls within Android Auto. These updates are accompanied by changes in branding, underlining Android’s dual identity as both a fun and a serious Google product. This release comes as we await the launch of Android 14, though it’s worth noting that many new Android features are introduced throughout the year in updates like these, rather than in a single major OS platform upgrade.
The revamped At a Glance widget now boasts a refreshed design and offers more useful information regarding your events, travel plans, and local weather. Google is also simplifying the process of adding passes with barcodes and QR codes to Wallet by introducing a photo import feature.
The Lookout app, which aids individuals with low vision or blindness by describing on-screen images, will become more intelligent in scene descriptions and be capable of answering follow-up questions. In Android Auto, support for joining Zoom and Webex calls is being added, although this feature is limited to audio-only participation.
Additionally, Google is making changes to the Android logo. The typeface will align more closely with Google’s own logo, and “Android” will now be spelled with a capital “A.” Google’s brand manager, Jason Fournier, explained this alteration in a company blog post, stating that it creates a better balance with Google’s logo. Furthermore, the Android robot logo will adopt a 3D appearance, with various colorful variations to suit different occasions, including a furry-textured one, which has received mixed reviews.
This isn’t the last of Google’s announcements for the fall season, as the company has sent out invitations for a hardware launch event, with the Pixel 8 expected to debut on October 4th. Presumably, a full Android 14 release will accompany these announcements. In the meantime, the annual flood of Pixel leaks has already begun.