Nine new features coming to Android

New Emoji Kitchen combinations and a Google Keep widget



A lot of news from MWC 2023 will showcase the evolving world of hardware. However, software gets its chance to shine under the spotlight, too. During the conference, Google announced a handful of new features coming to Android today and in the near future. Here are some new features to look out for:

Available now

New Emoji Kitchen combinations. New emojis are always a welcome sight with every software update. With the Emoji Kitchen, Google has this in spades, allowing users to create new emojis by combining existing ones. This update, the feature is adding more combinations including basketball- and spring-themed combinations.

Page zoom for Chrome. Starting today on Chrome Beta, users can increase the size of content on Chrome by up to 300 percent. It’s a big step for accessibility.

Noise cancellation on Google Meet. Google’s teleconferencing platform is making a huge case to compete against other platforms like Zoom. Today, the platform can now filter out distracting background noise from calls.

Better annotation on Google Drive. Starting today, users can now annotate PDFs on Google Drive using their stylus or their finger. Writing on PDFs create notes for reading. Meanwhile, the highlighter tool allows users to save text from a document.

Coming soon

Google Keep widget. Soon, users will be able to organize and create notes right from their Home screen using the upcoming Google Keep widget. The widget will also let users customize the looks and added images from the Home screen.

Google Keep on Wear OS. Adding to the previous update, Google Keep will soon have better integration with Wear OS. In an upcoming update, users will be able to dictate new notes and to-do lists with a single tap on their smartwatch.

New accessibility options for Wear OS. Staying with Wear OS, users will soon have more options to help with accessibility on their smartwatch. A new mono-audio mode will reduce the disorientation caused by split-audio configurations. Plus, color-correction and grayscale modes will help visually impaired users.

New animations in Google Pay. Starting next week, Google Pay users will be able to customize the app’s animation whenever a payment goes through.

Fast Pair on Chromebook. Users on Chromebook will soon be able to connect to their Bluetooth headphones with just one tap. Plus, if they already connected it to their Android phone, the settings will automatically save for Chromebooks.


ShopeePay now available for Apple services

Additional payment method



ShopeePay, the integrated mobile wallet of the e-commerce giant, is now available as a payment method for Apple services.

That means in the Philippines, one’s ShopeePay account may be used to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.

Using ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method eliminates the need for a credit card while still having a secure and easy way for one-tap purchases from iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more.

Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and iPad, or on their Mac or PC.

On the Shopee app itself, ShopeePay has been a convenient payment option for users to buy products, as well as to pay bills, top-up load, and more.

SEE ALSO: ShopeePay: 6 reasons why you need to switch now

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Google is working on a Video Unblur tool

Possibly for the Pixel 8 series



The Pixel 6 series introduced one of the most useful tools for smartphone cameras: Magic Eraser. With a simple swipe of a finger, users can erase distracting elements from a photo. Additionally, the Eraser came with other features which improved editing for photographers. Now, Google might be adding some tools for videographers.

As spotted by 9to5Google, Google is reportedly working on a new feature called Video Unblur. The feature already has code in a recently released APK. Unfortunately, though the feature can be forcibly enabled, doing so doesn’t do anything yet. The developers are still clearly working on the new feature.

However, it’s a clear indication that Google is confident about its software enough to work on videos. Presumably, Video Unblur will sharpen the detail of any videos that come out blurry.

Since the Pixel 7 series, Google already introduced Photo Unblur, a feature that does the same but for photos. If Google’s release history is any indication, the company might launch the Video Unblur tool for the Pixel 8 series. We might even get some hint of the feature during the I/O event this May.

In the meantime, Google’s newest suite of photo-editing tools is already available to both Pixel users and Google One subscribers on any platform.

SEE ALSO: Google confirms date of I/O 2023

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Microsoft Copilot will infuse Word, PowerPoint with AI

AI meets business



As one of the primary moving forces of AI today, it’s no surprise that Microsoft is quickly infusing its services with a healthy dose of the technology. Today, Microsoft has announced Copilot, a new way to integrate AI with how the world works.

During an event today, the company introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot, based on large language models. It isn’t an entirely new product. Instead, the new technology will improve the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity apps.

For one, Copilot in Microsoft Word can automatically write and edit content while a user works. It will do the same in PowerPoint, streamlining the creation process with workers.

On the other hand, Copilot will ease how users engage with Excel, Outlook, and Teams. In Excel, the technology can easily understand and create insights for users, rather than the latter spending chunks of time poring over spreadsheets. In Outlook, the feature can manage a user’s inbox, allowing users to see what’s most important. Finally, in Teams, it can create real-time summaries as a meeting is going on.

Amid all of these integrations, Microsoft is also introducing Business Chat, a way for Copilot to collate everything it learns from the suite to create results for a team. The company even claims that the technology can create action plans for a team based solely on what it creates with users.

Right now, Copilot is still in testing with a few partners. It might take a while for the technology to reach other consumers.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft reportedly cancels Surface Duo 3

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