Google has announced a set of updates coming to Android over the next couple of days. These updates will bring a new Assistant At a Glance widget, Google Wallet, Maps, Android Auto, and more. The news comes on the eve of reports of an Android 14 delay. The update was expected to launch in either late August or early September.
Google is powering up Android's at-a-glance widget for all the best Android phones. The AI-powered at-a-glance widget has been a Pixel staple since the Pixel 3, with current Pixels getting a newer and more modern design than the version eventually rolled out to non-Pixel phones. This newly announced update will see the Google Assistant get a redesign that makes it more useful, including a new layout that spans the top of the screen compared to the more compressed design currently on Pixels.
The AI improvements continue with Image Q&A on Google's Lookout app. The Lookout app will generate detailed image descriptions to make visual images more accessible to the impaired, including the capability to ask follow-up questions. Google will also add support for 11 new languages, including Asian languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese for a total of 34 languages.
Other features include support for Webex and Zoom on Android Auto (please don't drive and call), and support for Google Fit and Fitbit sleep tracking with Google Assistant routines. Google is bringing in some changes it's already announced. The June Feature drop included letting people take photos of passes with either a barcode or a QR code and add them to the wallet, but now it's finally going live.
As with Google is delivering updates through the new Play Store, rather than through full-on Android updates. Anyone on a currently supported version of Android can expect to receive them shortly.
Where on earth is Android 14?
Google was expected to release Android 14 either around the end of August or the start of September, but the company is unlikely to do so.
Recent reports from a reliable source, Android analyst Mishaal Rahman claims that Google plans to launch Android 14 at the same time as the new Pixel phones on October 15. Google has not typically linked Android updates and Pixel launches, though the company used to do that with its Pixel-precursor Nexus devices in the past.
Hearing now that the source code release of Android 14 has been delayed to next month.This decision seems to have been made very late, as even OEMs were anticipating that the release would be today.OEMs are now being told that vulnerabilities detailed in the Android 14… pic.twitter.com/I137j0F0x5September 5, 2023
The company has also not confirmed any such delay (or a launch date to begin with). However, other companies such as OnePlus and Xiaomihad given strong indications of a September launch. However, it seems likely that they would now have to delay, should this report be accurate.
Android 14, for its part, is an operating system that has quite a few changes behind the scenes alongside a few generative AI integrations. Google rolls out larger updates to Android via these feature drops, so perhaps it's not so bad Android 14 got delayed.