Software

The new Android Google Account settings app gives you everything you need and more

Google has evolved the Google Account settings app on Android devices everywhere. See what's new and why this change is long overdue.

Google has been doing a great job lately of making it easier for Android users to manage their accounts. We now have Google One, which makes working with your Google Storage accounts incredibly easy. Next up comes the newly redesigned Google Account settings. Unlike Google One, this new feature focuses specifically on your Google Account and all the settings available to it. This is really more of a redesign to the already handy Google Account Settings app found in Settings | Google | Google Account. Thing is, however, this reboot of the app is significant and makes working with your account even easier. In fact, it goes a long way toward helping you secure your Google accounts without having to fumble around on numerous websites or deep diving into various settings locations.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

This new take on the settings app should already have been rolled out to all Android users. So getting the tool doesn't require anything on your end other than making sure your device is updated. Once it is updated, head to Settings | Google and you should see Google Account listed (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Google Account settings entry at the ready.

Once in the new settings page (Figure B), you will immediately see that Google has made it easy to find every available setting for your account.

Figure B

Figure B

The main account settings window.

There is one oddity that immediately struck me. From the main page, you'll see there are Google One entries. If you tap either of those entries, it will open a browser ... even with Google One installed on your device. This could very well be because the Google One app has yet to be rolled out worldwide. With that in mind, know that tapping Google One will direct to the associated web pages.

From that same main page, you can gain access to the following:

  • Privacy settings (which will launch the Privacy Checkup)
  • Security issues check
  • Data management
  • Account storage

I highly recommend you tap on the Security Issues Found entry. Within this option you'll be warned of any possible security problems that have been discovered (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Consider resolving any issues listed here.

The new Google Account settings tool is worthwhile for the Security Issues Checker alone. The one thing you should know about this feature is that it tracks every device you have associated with your account. As I have multiple devices attached to my Google account, some of the security issues have nothing to do with my daily driver (Essential PH-1). In fact, it's important to remember the Google Account settings app is about your account, not necessarily your device. After going through all the issues the Security Checker found, not one affected my PH-1. However, it did reveal some issues that should be addressed. You'll even gain access to app passwords you've created. I discovered there were two, one of which I no longer needed. From within the new settings app, I could easily delete that app password.

SEE: Google's big Gmail redesign: A look at the new features (free TechRepublic PDF)

The menu

You might be thinking the settings app seems a bit limited. Au contraire. Tap the Menu button (from the main page) and you'll see a list of what else the app has to offer (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

There's more there than meets the eye.

If you don't want to use the menu, you can always swipe the top tab bar to move through the various categories of settings. You should go through every entry to check on your Google account. Make sure every bit of information is up to date, secure, and necessary.

Other options you'll find in the new tool are:

  • Blocked users
  • Contact info saved from interactions
  • The ability to choose what others can see about you
  • The ability to share recommendations in ads
  • Recovery phone number and email
  • Recent security events
  • All devices associated with your account
  • Third-party apps with account access
  • Saved passwords
  • Purchases
  • Subscriptions
  • Reservations
  • Web & app activity
  • Location history
  • Voice & Audio activity

The list goes on and on. Needless to say, there's a lot to be found in this new app. Fortunately, Google included a search feature, so you won't have to tap and scroll through a seemingly endless amount of information.

Take the time to go through this app

As soon as you see the new Google Account settings app on your phone, you should definitely go through it and check every bit of information in your account. Chances are you'll be surprised at some of the things you find and can easily address.

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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