Google is releasing a grab bag of updates to its mobile apps and services, including an At a Glance Google Assistant widget, enhancements to its Lookout visual accessibility app, and Zoom calls in Android Auto. This comes with a side of branding updates designed to remind us that Android is fun but also a serious Google product. It all arrives as we anticipate Android 14’s imminent release, which is a slightly less exciting milestone when you realize that most new Android features come throughout the year in updates like this rather than in one big OS platform upgrade.
At a Glance surfaces useful things like current weather updates and travel info. Image: Google
The new At a Glance widget takes a useful Pixel feature to more devices. It dynamically offers helpful information about your events, travel, and local weather. Google is also updating Wallet to make it easier to upload passes with barcodes and QR codes by adding a photo import feature.
The Lookout app, which provides descriptions of on-screen imagery for people with low vision or blindness, will be able to describe scenes more intelligently and answer follow-up questions. And Android Auto is adding support for joining Zoom and Webex calls, albeit audio-only.
The old logo (top) compared to the new one (bottom).
Meanwhile, the Android logo will start looking a little different. The typeface will more closely match the one used by Google’s own logo, and Android will be spelled with a capital A now. Google brand manager Jason Fournier describes the change in a company blog post, saying that it “more closely mirrors Google’s logo and creates balance between the two.” Additionally, the robot will take on a 3D appearance, with colorful variations as the occasion calls for it. There’s a furry-textured one, too, and I don’t think I like it.
This won’t be the last we hear from Google this fall — the company’s hardware launch event invitations went out last week, and the Pixel 8 looks set to debut on October 4th. Presumably, we’ll have a full Android 14 release by then, too. In the meantime, we can kick back and enjoy the annual torrent of Pixel leaks that’s already underway.