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Google unveils exciting updates including chatbot Gemini in Messages

Google's latest updates include integration of chatbot Gemini in Messages, AI enhancements in Android Auto, and new features in Google Docs.

In a timely move aligned with the Mobile World Congress (MWC), has announced a series of updates across its and app platforms. The most notable is the integration of Gemini, Google's in-house chatbot, into the Google Messages app. This integration will revolutionise your messaging experience, making it more akin to a conversation with a friend. Currently, Gemini in Messages is available only in English and in selected markets.

Engage with Gemini in your chats

If you want to experience chatting with Gemini, you won't have to wait long. The update, introducing Gemini to the Messages app, is slated for release this week. To get early access, you must participate in Google's beta testing programme. Interestingly, this feature does not require a Google One subscription. When I compared Gemini with ChatGPT previously, Gemini fell short as a conversational partner. However, integrating the chatbot within a messaging app could enhance interaction, making it feel like chatting with a real friend.

Enhanced driving experience and accessibility features

The updates extend beyond messaging. Android Auto is set to receive an AI upgrade to summarise long text messages or chat threads. This feature is designed to help you stay connected while keeping your focus on driving. The app will also suggest replies and actions based on the context, such as offering to share your ETA when someone asks when you'll arrive.

Google's commitment to accessibility is further reflected in its updates to Lookout and Maps. Google Maps' Lens feature will now have enhanced screen reader capabilities, making it easier to identify businesses and access essential information like opening hours. Lookout, aimed at assisting visually impaired users, will utilise AI to automatically generate descriptions for images, encompassing those found online or shared in messages. This global rollout is currently available in English.

Practical updates for music and note enthusiasts

In addition to these AI-centric updates, Google has introduced some practical features. For Spotify users, Android makes switching output devices easier – a small but handy improvement. Perhaps the most exciting development for note-takers and journal enthusiasts is the new support for handwritten annotations in Google Docs. This feature, available on Android phones and tablets, allows users to choose from various pen and highlighter colours, enabling them to mark up documents with their fingers or a stylus. This will be particularly useful on larger devices such as the Pixel Tablet or the inner screen of a foldable phone, allowing for extensive note-taking without the need for AI.

In summary, Google's latest updates offer a blend of AI-driven functionalities and practical improvements, aiming to enrich user experiences across its various platforms. Whether engaging in a chat with Gemini, navigating roads more safely, or jotting down colourful notes, these updates cater to a diverse range of preferences.

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Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition, where she writes about technology and often does listicles and product reviews. Based in Austria, Gabriela is a person with many and diverse hobbies. If you don't find her reading a book at home or baking something, she will probably be out hiking or taking some classes to learn a new skill.

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