By Rob Rich/
Change is coming to Android, both in terms of software updates and its branding as a whole. Google has unveiled its updated look for the Android logo, which is intended to modernize the brand as well as offer more visual adaptability in the future. The Android brand isn’t actually changing, of course, but you’re going to start seeing this new look on your Android devices and in other promotional materials and situations throughout this year and beyond — unless or until it goes through another redesign.
Outside of this makeover, a number of new features are headed to the Android platform across a multitude of system requirements from Android 6 to Android 11. More specifically, two of these new tools utilize AI in an attempt to help you both keep tabs on the important elements of your day-to-day, and provide better accessibility when it comes to viewing photos and other visual images on your devices.
Android’s new look
Any company that’s been around for a while is bound to update its logo as the years go by, and despite a 2019 refresh Android is at it again with a new look. The typeface itself hasn’t changed as it’s still meant to look very similar to the one being used for the Google logo (albeit with fewer edges where the curved and straight elements of a letter meet), however the lower-case “a” is out entirely — both in the logo itself and across the platform’s branding as a whole. Now it’s been capitalized, both to bring the Android look more in-line with what we’ve come to expect from Google over the years as well as add “more weight to its appearance” for a more serious look overall.
Of course the text isn’t the only element that’s changing. “Bugdroids,” Android’s more recognizable little green robot-looking icons, are also changing. More specifically, they’re making the jump from 2D to 3D. The iconic dome head, dots for eyes, and tiny antennae still stand out, but are now slightly bigger and “puffier.” The feet are flattened out a bit, and the body itself has gone from a rounded rectangle to more of a squared oval. So now the bottom matches the curve of the head. It all comes together to make the bugdroid (in all its adaptable colors and textures) look a little more friendly.
Do more with AI
If you’re interested in a more functional (though still digital) Android update, Android is also rolling out some AI-powered updates for your devices. The new Assistant At a Glance widget leverages AI to determine what kind of information you want or need in a given moment, then brings that info to the forefront when you need it. Covering everything from reminders and alerts to weather details and dynamic travel updates. Right on your Home Screen — assuming you’re running Android 9 or newer, that is.
Lookout is also getting an Image Q&A feature to assist those with low-vision. When ready, it allows you to open an image on your Android device (from your saved photos, group chats, or social media app feeds) and receive an AI-generated description. After that, you can ask — via voice or text — more questions about the photo for clarification and more detailed descriptors. Provided in one of up to 34 supported languages (including the 11 that were added recently like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). Though it does require Android 8 or newer, as well as at least 1GB of space.