Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a new feature from Google.

The latest version of Google's phone operating system can use a quick press of a button to manage all the devices in your home, said Mark Wilson at Fast Company. Android 11, released in its beta version this month on new Pixel phones, introduces a new feature, called Controls.


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"All you do is long-press your power button, and up pops your credit card, any boarding pass, and a slew of smart-home toggles to activate as easily as hitting a switch." It sounds minor, but it represents "the next logical step in the evolution" away from having a host of different apps that each manage a single function such as turning on lights or unlocking a car door. With phone screens growing increasingly crowded, Google is questioning whether the proliferation of apps is really necessary or convenient.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.