We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Android’s Latest Features Improve Security, Accessibility, and Convenience

Three phones on the screen, one with a password manager open.

One of the best improvements to Android over the years is the way it delivers updates. Google started separating features from Android so it could update them individually without a total OS update. To prove that point, Google is sending out new updates to improve password security, add scheduling for text messages, and improve accessibility for blind and low-vision users.

Password Checking Built Into Android

Your accounts are only as secure as your passwords, and if you’re reusing passwords across the internet for years on end, you’re probably already compromised. Reused passwords are stolen so frequently that credential stuffing is now one of the first attacks against any account.

When you used a weak password at several sites, and one of them suffers a breach, the rest are accessible too. The best thing you can do is use a different complex password with every site and change them whenever necessary.

That’s what Android will help with going forward. If you store your passwords with Google and use autofill to enter the password, Google will check the password against databases of known stolen credentials.

If you have a username/password combo match, Google will let you know so you can change your credentials immediately. Just change every site that uses that password to something unique.

Schedule Your Text Messages, Write Now and Send Later

Sometimes you know you need to send a text message, but right this instant isn’t the best time to send it. Maybe you’re thinking of a birthday tomorrow, or it’s 3 AM, and you can’t get an important detail out of your mind.

That’s where Android’s Scheduled Text Messaging feature comes into play. To take advantage, you’ll need to use the Google version of the Messages app and not a carrier-provided or third-party text messaging app.

But once you install the latest update to the Messages app, you can type out your text, then press and hold the send button. Android will pop up scheduling options so you can choose when the message.

Get it on Google Play

TalkBack Helps You Use Your Phone Without Seeing the Screen

According to the World Health Organization, there are over 253 million blind and low vision people worldwide. And touchscreen smartphones, by their very nature, are visual devices dependent on sight.

Android’s TalkBack feature hopes to help with that, and it’s getting an overhaul to make it easier to use. By partnering with blind and low vision people, Google says it developed a better screen reader to help you navigate through your smartphone just by scrolling and listening.

It features gestures to make interacting with apps and sites easier, like a double-finger two-tap to play a video. You can now speed up or slow down readback speeds, too, so you can more quickly digest news or listen to menu options more carefully.

And Google consolidated TalkBack’s two-screen menu system to one screen to make it easier to navigate. TalkBack will continue to host Google’s touchscreen Braille keyboard as well. To get started, install the Android Accessibility Suite.

Get it on Google Play

All the updates are rolling out right now to individual apps and Android. If you don’t see them yet, you should soon.

Source: Google

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »