(Pocket-lint) - Google has announced a feature drop - or a bunch of new features - rolling out to its various Android-based products and services.
In a blog post published 1 December, the company revealed new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos. It also detailed new Android Auto features and updates for Google Assistant and Google Photos. Many of these upgrades are available now, or they're rolling out.
Starting with the new widgets, Google said you can expect the YouTube Music widget to offer playback controls and quick access to recently played tunes. The Google Play Books widget will serve up shortcuts to what you're reading or listening to, and the Google Photos widget, which is rolling out next week, will be able to display pictures you've selected from your Photos library.
Speaking of Google Photos, its Memories feature will start showing curated photos and videos in the standard grid view.
Next up, Google said that Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Galaxy S21 owners can now use their phones as a car key with compatible BMW vehicles in select countries. Google said it will be available "on all BMW 2020 and 2022 model year vehicles", and it's working to add more cars in the future.
As for those new Android Auto features, you can now set the car-friendly interface option to launch whenever your Android phone connects to a vehicle. It's also adding smart replies soon, so you can respond to a text message with help from Google Assistant.
There will also be a new always-on play button right on the home screen, and "coming soon", you’ll be able to use your voice to search for music.
Finally, Google's "Family Bell" alarm-like feature that can be broadcast from smart speakers and displays now works on mobile devices.
Google also said its new permissions-reset feature, which automatically turns off permissions for apps you haven’t used in a while, is expanding from devices running Android 11 and above to devices running Android 6 and up "starting next month" (or around January 2021).