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Google brings Gemini to Messages and adds AI text summaries for Android Auto

The Android updates announced at MWC also include new accessibility features and casting controls for Spotify.

Google

Google has announced a slew of Android updates to kick off MWC this year, including Gemini integration with Messages and AI-powered text summaries for when you’re driving. As of this week, Messages users will be able to access Google’s chatbot without leaving the texting app. Gemini in Messages can handle basic tasks like drafting messages and helping to plan events, or you can just chat with it if you’re bored. The feature is still in beta, and it’s only available to English-language Messages users for now, Google says.

Android Auto is also getting a boost from AI that could help minimize distractions from people texting you while you’re on the road. If the group chat is blowing up your phone with nonstop messages or if someone is sending you novels of text, Android Auto will automatically summarize the messages and read you its more succinct version. It’ll also suggest replies and actions based on the messages, like sharing your ETA, so you can respond with a single tap and focus on driving.

Android Auto displayed on a rendering of a car infotainment screen showing a message to a contact named Brianna Travis asking
Android Auto displayed on a rendering of a car infotainment screen showing a message to a contact named Brianna Travis asking (Google)

Google also announced some new accessibility features for Android at MWC, including AI-generated image captions in the Lookout app. It’ll be able to generate descriptions for images found online or received in messages and read them aloud to the user. The feature is only available in English to start, but is rolling out globally. Google’s Lens feature in Maps is getting an enhanced screen reader option as well, which will allow users to point their phone’s camera at something in front of them, like a restaurant or transit station, and hear information about it.

The Android updates also include new casting controls for Spotify called Spotify Connect so users can switch seamlessly between their devices, like from your headphones to a speaker. This feature was already available for YouTube Music.

A phone showing Spotify Connect casting controls, with options for several devices for the user to choose from
A phone showing Spotify Connect casting controls, with options for several devices for the user to choose from (Google)

Catch up on all of the news from MWC 2024 right here!