7 new features are coming to your Android phone — and they sound very useful

7 new features coming to Android this year
(Image credit: Google)

Earlier this month Google revealed a bunch of new details about Android at Google I/O 2024. These included some of the company's plans for AI over the next 12 months, and features set to arrive on Android 15 later this year. But today (May 30), we’re talking about something a little closer to home.

Google has just revealed seven new Android features that are designed to “elevate your everyday.” In other words, they’re the kind of updates that offer more pratical uses, especially whencompared to some of the flashier (and paywalled) AI features that were discussed in great detail at I/O.

Here are all the new Android features coming and what they'll means for your Android experience.

Editing RCS messages

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

If you’re a fan of sending RCS messages via Google Messages, you may find it annoying that sending those messages is absolute. Once they’re sent, there’s no changing the contents — no matter how embarrassing or ridiculous your spelling may be. Thankfully, that’s changing.

Google Messages will give you up to 15 minutes to edit your messages and fix any errors you’ve made. Like other messaging platforms such as iMessage or WhatsApp, you need to press and hold an RCS message to fix whatever blunder you made.

Switching devices in Google Meet calls 

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

Sometimes you’re in a Google Meet call and find yourself needing to swap to a new device, whether it’s because you can be chained to a desktop or you want a larger screen. Instead of loading up the call on a new device and potentially being in the call twice, you can now use Cast support, which Google is adding to Google Meet.

Simply tap the Cast icon and you’ll have the opportunity to switch between connected devices more seamlessly. Compatible devices include Android phones, tablets and your web browser. 

Share hotspots more easily

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

Also coming soon is Instant Hotspot, which will allow Android tablets and Chromebooks to connect to your phone’s hotspot with a single tap. There’ll be no need to type in your password, meaning you can get connected a few seconds faster than normal — and without the pressure of having to type in that password correctly.

New Emoji Kitchen sticker combinations

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

Gboard has had the Emoji Kitchen feature for a few years now, letting you remix different emojis together into something new. Some new options are coming for Summer festival season, including the option to remix a disco ball and headphones — all to be shared as stickers from Gboard. 

Control Google Home devices from more places

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

Google Home is getting a new Favorites widget that lets you manage and control your favorite smart devices from the home screen; it's currently available in Public Preview. On top of that, Wear OS owners will be able to customize their watches with a Google Home favorites tile and complication. That’ll let you check and control your devices from your wrist much more easily.

PayPal on Wear OS

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

Having Google Wallet on the best smartwatches for Android is a very convenient way to pay for stuff quickly. But if you’d rather have a little bit more security than your credit or debit card can offer, Wallet users in the U.S. and Germany are getting the option to pay from Wear OS with PayPal

You’ll need to have PayPal in your Google Wallet first, meaning it’s not that different from simply paying with a credit card. But if you’ve ever had to dispute a payment, you’ll know PayPal makes you jump through far fewer hoops to get your money back. 

Digital Car Key on even more vehicles

7 new features coming to Android this year

(Image credit: Google)

Android’s digital car key isn’t as widely available as Apple’s, but it looks like Google’s trying to change that. Mercedes and Polestar cars will be joining Mini and gaining Android digital car key support. 

This will give car owners the ability to lock, unlock and start their car through their phone. If you’re the trusting type, you’ll even be able to share those digital keys with friends and family, should they ever need to borrow your wheels.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.