Google announced the first-next Android updates. The new version of Nearby Share speeds up file sharing. Google Meet will soon allow users to livestream videos in group calls.

The updates were announced on September 8, not long after the announcement of iOS 16 and the iPhone 14. Apple’s smartphones and operating system include a series of new features. Google attempts to compete by updating Nearby Share and Google Meet. The updates will be deployed over the coming weeks.

Nearby Share and Google Meet

The upcoming version of Nearby Share speeds up file sharing among user-owned devices. Devices associated with the same Google account are listed in a drop-down menu. After selecting the desired device and data, the files are sent.

The previous version of Nearby Share required transfers to be approved on the receiving device. To transfer a file from a laptop to a smartphone, users had to physically locate the smartphone and approve the transfer. The new version does not require approval.

Google Meet received two new features. ‘Live sharing’ allows you to stream a video in group calls with up to 100 participants. The video plays simultaneously for each participant. ‘Multipinning’ allows users to highlight one or more individuals during calls.

Widgets and accessibility

In addition, Google launched a new design for the Google Drive widget. The widget features three new shortcuts to Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets. Furthermore, the Google Keep widget was enlarged to create more space for notes.

Lastly, Google developed an accessibility feature for hearing-impaired users. Users can configure an alert to go off when a fire alarm rings, a faucet is opened, a cooking timer beeps or a person knocks on the door. The alerts are configurable in the Live Transcribe & Notifications tab.

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