New Android Features Like Fast Pairing Headed to Chromebooks, WearOS

Magnify Chrome, manage notes from the Home screen, and more

Several new and updated Android features are rolling out for Google's phones, Chromebooks, smartwatches, and services.

A new round of Android updates is on the way, offering more personalization options, help with productivity, and (if you use emojis regularly) more ways to express yourself. The changes aren't limited to Google's smartphones, either, as Chromebooks and Wear OS watches are also included.

Fast Pair coming to Chromebooks


Fast pairing support is headed to Chromebooks, allowing you to pair a Bluetooth headset or earbuds with your laptop with one tap (rather than digging through menus). And if those headphones are already paired with an Android phone that your Chromebook recognizes, they'll connect automatically.

Meanwhile, the Chrome browser is testing out content magnification that would increase the size of text, photos, videos, and interactive controls by up to three times without affecting page layouts.

Google Meet users are also part of the update surge, with noise cancellation being made available for calls on a larger number of (unspecified) devices than before. A few new sports- and spring-themed emojis debut in Emoji Kitchen, which can be combined with other existing emojis for some custom flair. And if you use Google Wallet, expect to see some new animations when using tap-to-pay.

Chrome magnification, new emojis, and Google Keep single note widget


Touch screen (or stylus) functions are headed to Google Drive, allowing you to annotate your PDFs more directly with multiple ink strokes and a highlighter. The big addition to Google Keep is the option for a single note widget, which will let you manage your notes and to-do lists from the Home screen, plus it'll auto-sync those notes with your smartwatch. If you're using a Wear OS 3+ watch, you'll have new voice shortcuts to browse through or create notes—in addition to utilizing new mono audio and white or greyscale color correction display modes.

All of the Android feature updates above should be rolling out soon, if they aren't doing so already, except magnification in Chrome. The new browser feature is currently in beta, with plans for a full release sometime in March.

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