BIG changes to Android in India: User choice billing to be available starting next year

  • User choice billing will be available to all apps and games starting next month. Through user choice billing, developers can offer users the option to choose an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content.
  • Indian users will now have the option to choose their default search engine.
  • OEMs will be able to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.

Google Assistant can now read and reply to messages on Whatsapp

While Google Assistant has been able to read SMS texts you’ve received via the native Messages app, it has now added the functionality to read out messages in your notifications from Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack and more.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Start by saying ‘read my messages‘ to Assistant.
  • It will request access to notifications if you haven’t enabled it already. Turn it on for ‘Google’.
  • It will now read out your messages one-by-one and display them in a card format.
  • After each message is read out, you will have the option to reply. Assistant turns your voice into text and sends the reply before moving on to the next message.
  • Messages that contain images, videos, document or audio files aren’t accessible as of now to Google Assistant. It will only detail that the message contains an audio files or a video file and so on.

The feature appears to be a limited release at the moment and it is quite possible that this may be a precursor to full blown integration with all kinds of messaging apps soon.