Wade through that busy group chat as Google assistant helps Android Auto summarize texts

What you need to know

  • An APK deep dive showcases a new AI summary feature for Android Auto backed by Google Assistant.
  • When the AI deems a conversation “busy,” such as a group chat, it will summarize the multitude of texts instead of spamming drivers with its reading.
  • Google has consistently brought AI-backed summaries to its app ecosystem, beginning with generative AI features in Gmail and more in the Recorder app.

Google is seemingly working on a new AI-Assistant feature for drivers to help them stay in the loop safely.

In a 9to5Google APK deep dive, Android Auto seems primed to gain an “Assistant summarize your busy conversations” feature. The code shows this feature will potentially involve  SMS and RCS text messages from Google Messages.

Essentially, when receiving multiple messages through an area the AI deems “busy,” like a group chat, it will attempt to briefly summarize what everyone said. It’s likely Android Auto will still read aloud two messages back-to-back, but anything more than this would be met with a summary — if enabled.

The company’s description of the feature in the app states, “these summaries will be generated by artificial intelligence, so it’s possible there could be mistakes.”

More importantly, it remains unclear if the AI Assistant will read out your summary  while displaying it. Leveraging some developer options unearths what users may find, such as “show message summary” as a toggle alongside other messaging options. This can be easily disabled if the user doesn’t need it.

Android Auto's coming settings for its AI-backed summary feature.

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

The publication added that the sightings of this feature were spotted during v14.5.2 of the main Google app. The version is still in beta and it’s not entirely clear when users will see this AI-backed summary feature arrive for Android Auto, either.

It’s not surprising Google is shifting

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Android users will soon have to sacrifice Google Drive storage to keep WhatsApp Chat backups

A graphical representation of WhatsApp

The social media giant, WhatsApp, is switching things up for Android users. According to a recent news report, WhatsApp users will have to sacrifice a portion of their Google Drive storage to continue backups.

Highlighted by GizmoChina, the meta-owned platform is no longer going to provide the free storage service on Google Drive to users. Previously, users were given the benefits of having end-to-end encrypted chat backups on Google Drive.

These backups did not take a toll on the users’ existing Google Drive storage. However, with the latest company policy changes in place the situation has changed.

Individuals who are currently using the default 15GB storage by Google Drive will now need to be careful about their storage. WhatsApp wrote in its Help Center post that once a user exceeds the given storage limit, they will have to make space for new content to resume the backups.

Here’s what the post mentions:

“In the coming months, if you choose to backup your WhatsApp chats on an Android device, your backup will start counting toward your Google Account storage limit.
If you go over the storage limit, you’ll need to free up space in your Google Account to resume backups.”

The change is currently only for beta users of WhatsApp and began in December 2023. However, to remind all non-beta users, the changes will be applicable on all WhatsApp accounts in the first half of 2024.

Additionally, the app will show a notice notifying users of when the changes will begin. This will appear as a banner 30 days before the implementation of the policy when users go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup.

Lastly, it is important to note that users have the option not to store their chats on Google Drive. Instead, they can transfer their chats

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Google Chat redesign rolling out on Android [Gallery]

With the new icon widely rolled out, Google Chat’s homescreen redesign is now slowly making its way to Android.

In the standalone Google Chat app, the bottom bar and “New” FAB (floating action button) — as seen above — have been replaced. Instead of there just being tabs for Chat and Spaces, you now have Home, Direct messages, Spaces, and Mentions in a pill-shaped container.

A circular indicator notes what tab you’re currently viewing. (A nice touch would have been having the circle glide/animate through as you switch between feeds.) There are no labels underneath each icon, but you can find that information at the top of your screen below the search bar. Thankfully, the Google Chat icons are pretty straightforward. 

Meanwhile, there’s a rounded square FAB to the right of the pill that is ever so slightly smaller. These two elements are centered.

In Gmail, this floating pill appears above the existing bottom bar, which has been consolidated to three tabs. While this navigation approach is fine in the dedicated app, the integrated Gmail experience looks rather busy.

This redesign first rolled out to Google Chat and Gmail for iOS, as well as the web. On Android, it’s slowly appearing on an account-by-account basis with a server-side update. We’re seeing it on a personal Google Account today.

More on Google Chat:

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