Android is doing its darndest to become a better OS update by update — even beyond the actual OS upgrades. New pushes to Google Play Services and apps will improve how people reach emergency services, get them to bed, and bring the world clearer and closer to those with vision loss.
Let's start off with accessibility because Google's so-called 'computer vision' app, Lookout, is getting a good share of the tweaks here. It helps users analyze objects and texts in their surrounding world and has modes for exploring spaces, signs, products, anything with a barcode, and more.
Now, users will be able to partake in two new modes. Scan Document is fairly self-explanatory — users take a photo of a document and their screen reader dictates the contents to them. Then there's Food Label mode which instantly identifies packaged foods.
The app itself is also getting a makeover to better work with Google's screen reader app, TalkBack. Plus, more people will be able to use it: instead of individual devices getting access to Lookout, any Android device on 6.0 Marshmallow or later with at least 2GB of RAM will be able to install and operate the app. Here's the corresponding v2.0 on APK Mirror.
• Food Label (beta) identifies food by its packaging, not just barcodes.
• Redesigned look and feel. Lookout is easier to use, and works better with screen readers.
• More languages. Lookout is now available in French, Italian, German, Spanish, and English.
• More phones. Lookout works with all Android phones with more than 2GB of RAM, running Android 6.0 or later.
• Performance improvements and bug fixes.
In dangerous situations, smartphones are already supposed to make dispatchers' jobs easier with E911, triangulating the caller's location through cell towers and on-device GPS. In 2016, Android devices on 4.1 Jelly Bean and above gained their own Emergency Location Services, which added a more robust dataset from cellular and Wi-Fi radios.
Now, dispatchers picking up ELS will be able to see the device's language setting so that they can retrieve a translator as needed to distribute help.
Finally, for when you're safe and sound and sleepy, the Clock app is getting a new Bedtime tab — think Bedtime mode if you use Digital Wellbeing. The feature, which first launched on Pixels, will help you maintain a proper sleep schedule with notifications, track your screen time into the night, and set your slumber and sunrise soundtracks with music from Calm, Spotify, YouTube Music, and other sources.
You'll see the new tab with Clock on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later. If you have Digital Wellbeing installed, you can also toggle these bedtime settings from that app.