Google has announced a bunch of updates coming to Android over the next couple of days. These updates will bring the new Assistant At a Glance widget, Google Wallet, Maps, Android Auto, and more. The news comes on the eve of reports of a delay to Android 14. The update was expected to be released in either late August or early September.
Google powers the Android Quick Tool for all the best Android phones. The AI-powered tool at a glance has been a Pixel staple since the Pixel 3, with current Pixels getting a fresher, more modern design than the version that eventually came to non-Pixel phones. This newly announced update will see the Google Assistant get a redesign that makes it even more useful, including a new layout that spans the top of the screen compared to the more compact design currently found on Pixels.
AI improvements continue with Image Q&A on Google’s Lookout app. Lookout will create detailed image descriptions to make the visuals accessible to people with disabilities, including the ability to ask follow-up questions. Google will also add support for 11 new languages, including Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, for a total of 34 languages.
Other features include support for Webex and Zoom on Android Auto (don’t drive and call please), and Google Fit and Fitbit support for sleep tracking with Google Assistant Routines. Google is making some changes that have already been announced. June’s feature drop included letting people take pictures of cards with either a barcode or QR code and adding them to Wallet, but now it’s finally launched.
As with Google, Google delivers updates through the new Play Store, not through full Android updates. Anyone using a currently supported version of Android can expect to receive it soon.
Where on Earth is Android 14?
Google was expected to launch Android 14 either at the end of August or the beginning of September, but the company is unlikely to do so.
Recent reports from a reliable source, Android analyst Mishaal Rahman claims that Google is planning to launch Android 14 at the same time as the launch of the new Pixel phones on October 15. Google hasn’t typically linked Android updates and Pixel launches, though the company has done so with Pixel-precursor-enabled Nexus devices in the past.
We now hear that the release of the source code for Android 14 has been postponed to next month. It seems that this decision was made very late, as even the OEMs were anticipating that the release would be today. OEMs are now being told that the security vulnerabilities detailed in Android 14… pic.twitter.com/I137j0F0x5September 5, 2023
The company has also not confirmed any such delay (or launch date to begin with). However, other companies like OnePlus and Xiaomi have given strong indications of its launch in September. However, it seems likely that they will now have to delay, if this report is accurate.
Android 14, for its part, is an operating system that has a fair number of changes behind the scenes along with a few generative AI integrations. Google is rolling out bigger Android updates with these features, so maybe it’s not so bad that Android 14 is delayed.