Google Chat’s latest visual update hides an important tab

Summary

  • Google Chat has added Starred messages to its mobile apps, allowing users to prioritize important messages.
  • The redesign includes moving the Mentions tab into a three-dot menu within the navigation bar, which may cause some confusion initially.
  • The changes will be available to all Google Chat app users on iOS and Android, but it could take a couple of weeks to become widely available.


Google Chat has undergone a couple of design changes since late last year, starting with the introduction of a bottom navigation bar on its mobile apps. This was followed up by a logo redesign in line with a few other Google Workspace apps. Google Chat is now picking up another visual upgrade with the addition of Starred messages on iOS and Android.

The web version of Google Chat added support for Starred messages back in November, as noted by the Workspace blog. This feature is now ready to make it to the mobile apps, involving a rearrangement of the bottom navigation bar. To accommodate this, Mentions has been moved inside a three-dot menu within the pill-shaped container, joining the new Starred option, as shown below. In its previous form, Mentions was the fourth option in the navigation bar after Home, Direct Messages, and Spaces.

Google Chat Starred Mobile

Google says this change “helps you stay on top of your most important messages,” but it can be quite confusing at first glance, especially with the Mentions option disappearing. As 9to5Google notes, the existing arrangement of the pill-shaped container is still present within the Gmail app’s Chat experience, pictured below.

Google Chat Mentions Gmail-1

The navigation bar of the Google Chat app inside Gmail

When the feature is available, users will be able to star messages by long-pressing the chat and tapping the star. You can unstar a message by going to the

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Google Bard gets visual as it learns to respond with images

Giving you a better idea of what you’re searching for


A few weeks ago, Google announced at I/O that Bard would be getting a host of new features in the coming weeks. Some, like exports and dark mode, have already begun rolling out, but others have taken a bit longer to launch. Now, Bard is getting another one of the promised updates which will show users images that are relevant to their queries.


This new enhancement to the AI tool will provide visuals in search responses that will help give users a better idea of what they’re looking for. If someone is planning a trip, they can ask about tourist destinations they had in mind and Bard will also show images of that specific location. This feature will also be useful for people looking to buy a certain product. Alongside a brief description of the product, Bard will attach a picture so you don’t buy anything blindly.

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google-bard-image-responses-anim

Source: Google

For now, Bard will only be able to reply with images, but in a few more weeks, it’ll be possible to prompt the AI with images using Google Lens. Bard will also soon begin leveraging Adobe Firefly, an AI art generator, to help people create an image based off of their ideas.

As Bard continues to mature, we’ll surely see more updates and features that improve the experience. Until then, Google still has a few hurdles to get over. The AI tool is not yet available to anyone in the EU or Canada, and it’s still unclear when we might see it arrive in those two regions.

Until then, those who do have access will be able to enjoy generative AI features in other Google apps like its Workspace suite.

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Google TV’s Apps only mode is getting a visual refresh

Google TV has picked up a few updates in the recent past, including some not-so-exciting ones. However, it continues to power some of the best streaming devices on the market, especially if you’re invested in Google’s smart home ecosystem. Back in 2020, the company started offering an apps-only interface, which puts Google TV applications front and center, hiding away Assistant and personalized recommendations. Over this past week, one of our readers witnessed a new visual upgrade to this interface, with larger icons and a new grid format for apps while scrolling down from the banner.

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It’s not exactly clear if Google meant for this change to go live right away, but it looks like people can manually enable it by updating the launcher app. From what we can tell, the feature seems to come with version 6.0.16 of Android TV Home, which is currently up on APKMirror. The changelog appears to corroborate the inclusion of these visual changes, though nothing specific is mentioned.

Google launched Apps only mode as a kind of alternative to guest mode, wherein your content recommendations won’t appear, but people can continue to access videos via individual apps. Other features like Assistant and search are also missing in this view. This is a godsend for households where the television is shared and you’re not comfortable with your personal content recommendations appearing for everybody. Ads and other promotional content will continue to appear, however, so there’s no escaping that.

Turning on Apps only mode requires you to navigate to the Settings page from the home screen of your Chromecast or other Google TV device, then select Accounts & Sign In. From there, tap your profile and enable Apps only mode.

Google TV isn’t perfect

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Google’s Phone app brings a new visual aesthetic to the call monitor

No make any difference how wise and able our handheld units get, they even now provide a person main function: contacting. The Cellular phone app from Google is between the finest at accomplishing this, thanks to practical characteristics like Call Screen, Hold for Me, and Clear Contacting, and it truly is 1 of the explanations Pixel gadgets rank so hugely between the finest Android telephones. But attributes aren’t everything — aesthetics are vital, much too, and Google is providing on this entrance with an update rolling out now that alterations the Cell phone app’s in-contact UI.

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The new update has held the familiar bits of the interface from past iterations, like inserting the profile photograph, name, and contact variety up major alongside with the base-aligned pink button to finish the phone. The most significant improve (by way of 9to5Google) is the placement of the in-get in touch with selections like mute, keypad, audio output, and contact recording. They are now accessible in a card originating from the base, with a few possibilities obvious by default — Keypad, Mute, and the audio output selector.

When you tap the a few-dot Far more button on the card, other alternatives emerge in a row higher than. The keypad also seems as an extension of this card. The phone interface and card background are also dynamically themed, in accordance with Google’s Substance You layout recommendations.

The new in-simply call interface

The previous interface put all the in-phone utility options in the middle of the display, but it typically essential two palms to function. The new card-model structure must be a lot much more handy for one particular-handed use — at minimum when it comes to the contact possibilities, as the keypad is really a little bit increased

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