After Google deployed RCS (Rich Communication Services) in the U.S. without the help of the four three big carriers, the company seems to be set to repeat that effort internationally. People in multiple, mostly European countries report that they're able to use RCS features in the Messages app. That might indicate that we'll soon see RCS functionality in even more parts of the world.
Today Google revealed a handful of new features rolling out in Google Pay for folks in Singapore, but buried inside the announcement was a bit of news that may ultimately apply to all of us: A self-explanatory "Split a Bill" feature that's being tested in Singapore before it comes to other countries. Singaporeans can also look forward to PayNow support at two more banks, they can purchase movie tickets at Golden Village and Shaw Theaters, and they can enjoy a new "scratchcard" rewards system.
Google Pay’s Indian edition has been growing strong, and even expanded overseas recently to bring a similar experience to shoppers in Singapore. The app got a Material design facelift not too long ago and picked up a much-requested payment option just yesterday. Keeping up with that pace, Google has now rewritten the Pay India app from the ground up, bringing a few visual tweaks along with a host of under-the-hood changes to beta users.
It was all the way back in October 2019 when the 2nd-generation Pixel Buds were revealed at Google's big annual hardware event, which seems like such a long, long time ago now. It wasn't until April this year that customers in the US could get their hands on a pair, and until today there's been no availability outside the States. If you live in Canada, the UK, or one of several other lucky countries, you should now be able to make an order.
Spotify has been working on proper lyrics support for ages. It likely takes this long to implement the seemingly simple feature in part due to licensing issues surrounding songtexts, which already led to a lawsuit against Google. Spotify seems to have finally found a suitable solution, as TechCrunch reports that the company is planning to roll out lyrics synced with music to 26 markets today. The US, Canada, and the UK aren't among these, though.
Google's Pixel Update and Software Repair tool is a mouthful, but it's an easy way to update or reinstall the software loaded on recent Pixel phones, and sometime recently it got a small tweak: Now the tool is available to people in more countries, with individual support for tons of specific carriers in each.
Google Pay is compatible with a wide range of cards from various institutions around the world. Sadly, there are still a bunch of them that don't work with the contactless payment service. Thankfully, it is constantly gaining support for new banks and financial institutions, including the below 29, spread across 22 countries.
Some cars and head units are capable of displaying Android Auto from your phone wirelessly, but there are additional restrictions to the functionality — other than owning a compatible handset, you also need to live in one of the regions where the wireless connection is available. Luckily, the list of supported countries is expanding, and now you can use wireless Android Auto in almost all locations where the wired version is available, with only two exceptions: Japan and Russia.
YouTube Music and Premium are continuing their expansion across the world. After adding eight Middle Eastern countries in September, the service is now spreading to seven more markets in Asia. Most notable among these additions is Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world, and a potentially huge market for Google.