Google brings Family Bell and BMW Digital Key to Android smartphones

That can assist you get extra out of the upcoming holidays, Google is rolling out a number of options that, whereas not solely new, are making their first appearances on Android. The options cowl quite a lot of classes, together with new widgets to make an Android smartphone’s residence display screen extra helpful, simplified reminders for the complete household, and even the flexibility to lock and unlock sure vehicles with a Pixel 6.


Household Bell growth

Google Assistant has lengthy been attempting that will help you make sense of your life and your private home, the latter usually by Google Nest (previously Google House) good audio system and good shows. Household Bell, a function supplied on these Nest gadgets, can be utilized to arrange reminders for everybody within the family. Google is increasing Household Bell to Android cellular gadgets, the corporate has introduced.

With this function, customers can, for instance, use their Android smartphone to inform Google Assistant to create a Household Bell reminder. Customers can choose the time the reminder is issued, in addition to which gadgets will obtain it. This can be utilized to remind everybody within the residence that it’s nearly time to go away or to alert everybody when dinner is prepared.

Android 12 for drivers

Android phone


Earlier this yr, Google stated it was working with BMW and choose different automakers to carry a digital key function to Android 12. In its new announcement at this time, the corporate stated the digital key function is now out there to be used in some markets, assuming you personal the precise smartphone and BMW automotive mannequin.

Google says its digital key function on Android 12 can now be used on the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Professional, and Samsung Galaxy S21. BMW elaborated on the announcement, noting that Android customers who’ve one among these supported handsets can use the cellular performance with autos that assist BMW Digital Key.

BMW homeowners who’ve a car with digital key assist can use the function to unlock and lock the automotive by inserting the smartphone near the driving force’s door deal with. Inserting the smartphone within the car’s wi-fi charging compartment will trigger the car to mechanically begin. Based on BMW, the performance is rolling out to homeowners within the following markets:

Pixel 6 and 6 Professional: US, Canada, UK, Eire, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore

Galaxy S21 Sequence: France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, US, UK

Widgets and Recollections

Google Photos on phone


The upcoming vacation season can also be an ideal time to revisit some key moments over the previous yr, particularly these captured by the lens of a smartphone digicam. Scrubbing by dozens (if not a whole bunch) of photographs, nonetheless, could be a chore, which is the place Google Photographs’ fashionable AI-powered Recollections are available in.

Google is rolling out new Recollections that curate photographs from main holidays and key private occasions, together with graduations and birthdays. Customers have the flexibility to customise, right, and personalize these collections to go well with their very own wants based mostly on which holidays they rejoice and the way they need to bear in mind these events.

Google has additionally launched three new widgets that make it potential to entry YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photographs Folks & Pets on an Android system’s residence display screen. The brand new widgets make it simpler to regulate music, get again to studying, and consider pictures of your favourite individuals and pets with out toggling between apps. The Google Photographs Folks & Pets widget shall be rolling out beginning subsequent week.

Improved safety for everybody

Android permissions


The ultimate weeks of 2021 are a good time to wash up and put together for the brand new yr — and that features eliminating the digital litter you’ve amassed over the previous a number of months.

Google is making this a bit simpler whereas bettering system safety by rolling out its permissions auto-reset function to gadgets working Android 6.0 and newer. This function works by mechanically turning off runtime permissions on previous apps, which means they’ll’t do something till you flip the permissions again on.

The function will begin rolling out to older Android gadgets beginning subsequent month, although be mindful they should have entry to Google Play providers.

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