Google has released a bunch of new features and updates for several of its products, including the ability to pay for parking using your voice. You can now simply say “Hey Google, pay for parking” in ParkMobile street parking zones and then follow Assistant’s prompts. After you complete the transaction using Google Pay, you can ask Assistant to check your parking status or to extend your time anytime you want.
The tech giant has also rolled out grammar check for Gboard on all Android devices. It was originally a Pixel 6 exclusive before making its way to other Pixel models earlier this year. Now all Gboard users will be able to use it to detect errors and suggest corrections while typing. Google says the feature works entirely on-device to ensure your privacy.
The Android Live Transcribe app has been updated, as well, and now has an offline mode that you can use to generate real-time speech-to-text captions without an internet connection. It will give you a way to access its capabilities while on a plane, in the subway or in other areas where you don’t have access to mobile data or WiFi.
When you fire up Google TV, you’ll now see a Highlights tab containing a feed of entertainment news and reviews based on the movies and shows you watch. The articles link to the shows or movies they’re based on, and you can simply tap them to start watching. Meanwhile, an update for Nearby Share makes it easier to share photos, videos and other kinds of files to several people by letting you add multiple recipients during a transfer. This particular feature is rolling out to all devices running Android 6 or higher.
If you’re trying to curb the time you spend on your phone, you may find Android’s new screen time widget useful. The widget itself shows a glimpse of the three apps you use most each day. You can also click through to set daily timers for you apps, set a focus mode to pause distracting apps at certain times and set a bedtime mode that silences your device and changes its screen to black and white.
Finally, you’ll soon be able to use Portrait Blur on more subjects if you own a Pixel or have a Google One subscription. The editing tool blurs the background on photos of people after you’ve already taken them, but when the update goes out, it can also be used on photos of other subjects like pets, food and plants. You’ll even be able to retroactively apply the effect on old photos taken without the feature enabled. Unfortunately, Google didn’t say when the update will be available, but here’s a video showing how the feature works: