Google tests Gemini AI integration with Messages app, rolls out several productivity features for Android


Google rolled out nine new features for Android devices, including several features based on generative artificial intelligence (AI), on Monday, February 26. The feature announcement coincided with the first day of Mobile World Congress (CMM) 2024. The highlight among the features is the integration of Gemini, the company’s latest AI-powered chatbot, in the Messages app. Although it is currently in beta testing, the tech giant has started rolling out other features for smartphones, Android Auto and Wear OS.

The announcement was made via a job on the Google Newsroom, who stressed that these new features aim to improve user productivity. Gemini’s integration with Google Messages is an interesting expansion from the company. Users enrolled in Google’s beta testing program should see it soon. The feature adds a separate chat box for Gemini where they can have a conversation, ask questions, have him write or rewrite messages and much more. With this update, Gemini is available as a standalone app, as a virtual assistant, and in the Messages app. It is unclear whether the feature will be included in the Gemini Advanced plan once testing is complete.

The Messages app isn’t the only place to AI is however added. Android Auto also gets a similar feature where generative AI can summarize long texts or group chats and read them while the user drives. It will also suggest relevant responses and actions that can be selected with a single click.

An accessibility feature is also added to the Attention application. The app is designed for visually impaired users and can identify objects, read texts and much more using the smartphone’s camera. It will now automatically create AI-generated captions for images viewed online or received via messages and read them to users. It is deployed globally in English. In the same vein, Google Maps also receives an update to Lens in Maps, which was first added in October 2023. Users can now point the phone’s camera at the surrounding area and the TalkBack feature will read the location information out loud, including its hours of operation, rating, or instructions on how to do so. get there.

A few non-AI features are also debuting. Most notable is the handwritten annotation feature for Google Docs on Android. This will allow users to write and draw with their fingers or a stylus on documents to create notes themselves. The second is a change to the output selector for Spotify, which allows users to choose which device the sound output will come from. This can now be done directly from the home screen.

Finally, let’s move on to the Wear OS-based features. Google is rolling out an update to its Health Connect app that will allow users of wearables like Fitbit, Oura Ring and apps like AllTrails and MyFitnessPal to integrate their data. The app will display a detailed view of health and fitness trackers and provide actionable insights about them.

The last two Port OS the features are smaller but may be useful for some users. Google Wallet Passes are now available on Wear OS smartwatches and will allow users to access them directly. Google Maps for Wear OS will now show public transit directions to help users take a bus or train. The app will show details like departure times, compass-guided navigation, and the ability to mirror directions from the phone to the smartwatch.

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For more details on the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies present at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​visit our MWC 2024 Center.


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