MWC 2023: What does Google have in store for Android, Chromebook and WearOS?

Productivity and amusement take centre stage with these updates

Google tends to kick things off with flair. We saw it during CES 2023, and now they’ve come out with an array of new features for Android, Chromebook and Wear OS that are specially designed to improve connectivity, productivity and accessibility. Perfectly timed to coincide with Mobile World Congress (MWC).

New features include Google Keep shortcuts for your phone and smartwatch, forthcoming Quick Pair compatibility for Chromebooks, and new Wear OS accessibility options. Read on for more deets on the matter…

Fast Pair Update

Fast Pair, according to the brand, will soon enable the quick pairing of new Bluetooth headphones with Chromebooks. A user's Chromebook will immediately connect to any headphones they have previously configured for their Android phone. Although Google did not specifically state when this update would go live, it did say that it would do so "soon."

Audio enhancements

We can also expect some more audio enhancements on Google Meet in the near future. For customers of Google Workspace, Google Meet, the video calling app now enables noise cancellation during calls on additional Android devices.

Chrome Beta

Google also mentioned that users would soon be able to simply boost the size of any content on Chrome by up to 300% while maintaining the page structure. This includes text, photos, and videos. To avoid having to change it every time they open the browser, users will be able to set their chosen content size as a default. The new version is now accessible in Chrome Beta and will shortly be made available to all users.

Google Keep Widgets

A single note widget for Google Keep will also be made available, enabling users to manage their notes and cross things off of their to-do lists right from their home screen. The widget syncs with your smartwatch and shows reminders and images added to notes from the Keep app. Additionally, Google Keep will be releasing two new watch face shortcuts that allow users to quickly create notes and to-do lists.

PDF Productivity

A boon for note-takers everywhere! This new productivity feature from Google will let users mark PDF files in the Google Drive app for Android using a stylus or just their fingers. To write notes or criticism, you can experiment with various ink techniques. You can also use the highlighter tool to capture essential information on your tablet or phone. Your annotated papers can then be hidden, deleted, undone, or a fresh copy can be saved. Now available in Google Drive for Android is freehand annotation.

WearOS Sound and Display Updates

Two new sound and display options for Wear OS are being added in an effort to increase watch accessibility. Users will soon have access to the mono-audio option, which will lessen the disorientation split-audio causes. Users will get more options for their watch display with the addition of new colour correction and grayscale modes too!

Emoji Kitchen

A Gboard product called Emoji Kitchen, which enables users to transmit combined or remixed sticker versions of Google's emoji designs, is also getting new emoji combinations. Users can experiment with the new basketball team and spring selections before sharing them with others.

The new Club Penguin?

The imminent release of new tap-to-pay animations in Google Wallet to assist you to validate your in-store purchases. To make it more exciting, Google dropped an easter egg that "cheerful penguins" and other characters will start to appear for users starting next week.

So Google has brought a lot of tiny new features. Some helpful,some more for show. But hey, as long as it makes the experience more efficient and fun, who are we to complain?