Google is announcing several new Android features, including a highly anticipated widget

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Google today published a new blog post that mentions several new features that will make their way to the Android operating system. For example, did you know that you can create a collage using the Google Photos app? Just open the app, long-press on two to six photos, tap the “Add to” tab at the bottom of the screen, then tap collage.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see several layout options to choose from, including newly added styles from “Australian husband-and-wife visual duo DABSMYLA and renowned watercolor artist Yao Cheng Design.”

Android’s new reading mode will help the blind, dyslexic or visually impaired

The Emoji Kitchen lets you mix two emojis to create something different. Open Google Messages and place two emoji side by side in the text field. If Emoji Kitchen has come up with something for this particular combination, it will be shown in the preview carousel below the text field. Some new creations have been invented by Google, so don’t forget to check them out!

If you are visually impaired, have dyslexia or are blind, the new Android reading mode allows you to customize the display options on an Android phone. The handset reads the text aloud. The reading speed and voice are easy to adjust. The content on the screen can be adjusted for contrast, color and font size. To get this feature, you must install the Reading Mode app from the Play Store. A special icon appears on the screen when the function can be used; tap it to activate reading mode.

You’ve been wanting a YouTube widget for Android, and one is definitely on the way. The YouTube search widget is coming to quickly connect you to your YouTube library, subscriptions or Shorts. To get the widget, tap on an empty spot on your home screen. Tap “Widgets” in the popup. At the top of the Widgets menu, type YouTube in the search field and you should see the YouTube widget. If not, it just hasn’t made it to your phone yet. No problem, try again later.

Starting next week, you’ll be able to cast directly from the Google TV app to your home television with just one tap. You can still browse your phone while this is happening and your phone can be used as a remote control. With digital car keys you can go from television to your car and lock, unlock and start your car with your phone. Pixel users can now share their digital car keys with iPhone users and open the digital wallet to change who can access their vehicle.

New features are coming to Wear OS

As for Wear OS, new tiles are added to make it easier to see your favorite contacts, as well as daily sunrise and sunset times. In case you hate early darkness like yours truly, things start to turn around (days get longer) on December 21st. Also, the Google Keep app on Wear OS has been updated, and Google says it will make your lists and tasks look as good as they do on your phone with custom wallpapers, photos, and drawings.

Finally, for the next week, you can use Google Assistant to have the adidas Running app track your physical activity (up to 30 different types of exercises). Say “Hey Google, start a run with adidas Running” and the app will open and start tracking your speed, distance and heart rate on your smartwatch.

Android users, consider this your holiday gift from Google, though some Pixel users have the December Feature Drop to look forward to. That update could appear on December 5.

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