Google adds dark mode to Google Maps, scheduling to Messages and more

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Google on Tuesday announced it’s updating several of Android’s core apps, adding new features and capabilities. The full list of apps and services that are being updated include Password Checkup, Google Maps, Messages, TalkBack, Android Auto and Google Assistant. 

Google said the updates are rolling out, which means you could see the update appear in the Play Store as soon as today, or a few weeks from now. No matter how long it takes for the update to reach your Android phone or tablet, here’s what you can look forward to when the updates arrive. 

Google Maps now has a true dark mode that’s active all the time, and not just when you’re using the navigation mode. Not only is dark mode easier on your eyes, especially when you’re driving at night, but it conserves battery life. 

Google’s Messages is gaining support to schedule when a text message will be sent. So the next time you want to send a message late at night, you can schedule it to send first thing in the morning instead. 

Android’s accessibility feature TalkBack is getting a bevy of changes that will benefit blind and low-sight Android owners. The overall experience should be smoother with improved navigation, better gestures, a revamped menu and more. Google breaks down all of the changes coming to TalkBack on its blog.

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Google’s Password Checker feature, which previously was limited to its Chrome browser is expanding to Android apps as well. For those who use Google’s autofill feature to log in to apps and websites, you’ll start to see a notification show up if Google detects that your password has been included in a breach or a leak. You can then change your password using one of the suggested passwords from the same tool. 

Android Auto will have new privacy features to turn off the display when you have passengers, along with new shortcuts that display on the home screen that make it easy to call a specific contact or check the weather. There are also new audio games you can play while on road trips. 

For its part, Google Assistant is getting easier to use when your phone’s screen is off and the device is locked. You’ll now be able to do things like send a message or place a call without having to unlock your phone first. 

Again, all of these updates are rolling out starting today. Your best bet is to check the Play Store for app updates and pay attention to which apps have been updated. 

Are you happy with the new features Google added to Android? Let us know in the comments below.

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