If you've used Android for a long time, then you're probably very familiar with the interface and how to use it. For those less tech savvy, using a new phone or new platform can be confusing. This is something Google is looking to correct in a new feature that's coming to Android 15.
An APK teardown by Android Authority has revealed that a new feature in Android 15 could make using Android a lot easier for newbies. This comes in the form of a feature called "easy pre-set". Basically what it does is it optimizes the Android UI for improved readability and ease of navigation. It will enlarge icons and text and make it more contrasty and bolder.
This is great for users who might have vision issues, or older folks whose eyesight might not be as good as before. This isn't a groundbreaking feature per se. Other Android OEMs have similar features, but it's good to see it part of base Android. It will make it easier for other OEMs to implement if they don't have the feature already.
The feature isn't live yet but it is speculated that it could be part of the Android 15 update. Google will most likely launch the developer preview of Android 15 next month. The public release will take place towards the end of the year, so we should have more details about its overall features soon enough.
If you own the Nothing Phone (1) and you've been waiting for the Android 14 update, then you're in luck as the wait is finally over. Nothing has announced that they are rolling out the update to users as we speak.
The company initially released the open beta for Nothing OS 2.5 (Android 14) towards the end of 2023. They also released the stable update for the Nothing Phone (2), so it's good to see that OG owners of the Nothing Phone (1) are finally getting the update as well.
Nothing notes that this is a staggered release. This means that not all Nothing Phone (1) owners will get the Android 14 update at the same time. This is done to ensure that the rollout is smooth.
It will also allow the company to address any potential issues that might pop up. So if you don't get the notification that the update is ready for your phone, don't worry as it should eventually make its way to you.
Nothing OS 2.5 will introduce all the features that Google announced for Android 14. It will also come with additional updates exclusive for the Nothing Phone series. This includes improved customization features, the Glyph interface, additional gestures, new widgets, and just overall improvements.
When developers introduce updates for their apps, it might land on one platform first before making its way to another. This is the case with the audio and video calling features on X, where it initially arrived on iOS last year before making its way onto Android now.
An X employee confirmed the rollout of audio and video calling for Android in a post on the platform. They noted that the feature is rolling out "slowly". This means that not all users will see it right away, but as long as you're using the latest version, you should get it eventually.
That being said, there is something you will want to take note of before you get too excited. The app's audio and video calling features are only available to X Premium users. All users can receive calls, but only those who are subscribed to the Premium will be able to make AND receive calls.
If you don't really plan to use the platform to make calls we suppose it's not a big deal. There are plenty of other messaging apps that you are using that offer it for free. If anything, these features on X are more about convenience than being a must-have.
Gmail on the web is a pretty great user experience. It has everything you might need from it, but the mobile app is a bit different. Obviously this is the case as Google would have to optimize the experience for mobile, but one feature has been lacking for years - the ability to select all emails.
This is a feature that can be easily found in many email apps, so it's odd that Google has not included it in the Gmail app, at least until now. According to a recent post on Reddit, it seems that users are starting to discover that in the latest version of the app, the ability to select all emails at once is finally available to them.
Android Police confirmed this themselves with multiple devices and Google accounts which suggests that the changes could be rolling out to a pretty wide audience as we speak, so keep an eye out for it if this is a feature that you've been sorely missing.
As noted by the publication, it was initially discovered back in September that a Select All button was being worked on, but it wasn't ready for the public just yet, so this new report suggests that it's good to go and that Gmail users who rely on the Android version of the app should be able to expect it soon enough.
Android users, if you're starting to feel like your device is starting to get a little long in the tooth, then you might be pleased to learn that Google has officially announced that the Android 14 update has been released and is in the process of being rolled out to its Pixel devices first.
In the meantime, here are some of the new features that you can look forward to once the update eventually makes its way to your device.
One of the changes in Android 14 is Google is introducing more customization options for users. For example, there will be a new way of choosing from different wallpapers at once and update what you want to see, such as creating a custom lock screen with shortcuts, changing the fonts, font color, and more.
Google is also offering curated lock screen templates which will also be powered by AI that can update itself accordingly depending on the situation at hand. Also, Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users can look forward to features like AI-generated wallpapers so you can create something truly unique for yourself.
Better control over your data
Our smartphones contain a lot of personal information that we probably wouldn't want the rest of the world to see. It might not always be "bad" data per se, but it is our data and we should have a say in how it is being used.
With Android 14, Google is giving users more control over their data related to their health and security. For starters, Health Connect will now be built into the Android 14 settings so that users have a more central way of storing their data.
Android 14 will also provide users with more visibility on how their data is being used by apps. For example, an app might request permission to use your location, but users will also be notified if that location data is being shared with third-parties so that they can revoke access if they're not comfortable with it.
Since not everyone who uses their phone is able bodied, certain features or functions that we use everyday might be a bit more tricky for others, which is why improved accessibility is another feature of Android 14 that users can look forward to.
This includes an improved magnifier feature for users who might have vision issues. The new magnifier is more intuitive to use with pinch to zoom gestures, and users will also have more choice when it comes to changing the magnifier size and how much of the screen they would like magnified at once.
There will also be a new Quick Settings tile that will allow users to change Android 14's font size, and with nonlinear font scaling, it ensures that text is already large enough won't get too large and cause issues like text wrapping or breaking a website's layout.
There are also improved accessibility features for those who are hard on hearing, where there will be a new dedicated hearing-aid setup flow that can be found in the Accessibility settings, providing users with easier ways to route audio to different outputs.
Like we said, Google will be rolling out the Android 14 update to its Pixel devices first starting today. Other smartphone brands and models will eventually push out the update to eligible devices, but when exactly that will happen remains to be seen.