Android phones and tablets are getting these great free feature upgrades

Google's been busy making improvements to Android and to WearOS too

Google Pixel 7
(Image credit: Google)

Google has announced some useful new features that should reach your Android phone, Android tablet and WearOS smartwatch imminently.

The most important of the new features, as confirmed by Google (opens in new tab), is a new system-wide app called Reading Mode. This is a great accessibility feature as well as a very useful annoyance eliminator. When you visit a page that's hard to read, Reading Mode can strip out adverts and other unnecessary page furniture and display it in a much more legible way.

Reading Mode is very customisable, enabling you to adjust the font and colours, line spacing and font size, and whether to display in light or dark mode. You can also use Android's text-to-speech to read it aloud. It's on the Play Store now. (opens in new tab)

Android 13 reading mode

(Image credit: Future)

Android improvements and WearOS updates too

As SamMobile reports (opens in new tab), Google has also introduced some new collage styles in Google Photos from artists DABSMYLA and Yao Cheng, improved reply functionality in Google Messages, and added private car key sharing to Google Wallet. That latter option is also available in the iOS app. Keep has been updated for Wear OS to bring across the same colours, photos and co-authors as on your Android phone, and Emoji Kitchen returns with new sticker combinations in Gboard.

Google has also introduced safety alerts for your Google Account. Now when you see your Google Account profile picture you might also see a notification warning you of possible threats to your account security. The alert isn't just there to scare you; it'll tell you what to do to make your account secure.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).