Today is the Google I/O Once a year, Google begins its developer conference with a barrage of announcements, finally revealing many of the projects that have been in the works behind the scenes.
Not enough time to see the entire two-hour presentation? We understand, which is why we’ve compiled the most important news in an easy-to-digest, easy-to-skim list. Let’s get started!
Google has released a smart watch
“Here’s something to think about: Google has never developed its own smartwatch,” Brian Heater writes, “but that will all change this fall.”
The first official photographs of Google’s first Pixel watch, which is anticipated to arrive later this fall, are still scarce (most of what is out there now was actually leaked ahead of time).
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are Google’s newest smartphones
Last year at I/O, Google attempted something unusual: they showed a little information about their new flagship Pixel phone — then the Pixel 6 — but withheld the most of the details for a later presentation.
With the announcement of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro this year, they’re doing the same thing. Price and release date details are yet unknown, but here’s what we do know: It will run Android 13 and have the Tensor chip of the future. It shares a lot of design elements with the Pixel 6, such as the raised “camera bar” that runs across the rear.
Google is releasing the Pixel 6a, which retains most of the features of the already excellent Pixel 6 while lowering the price to $449 (from $599). It has a smaller screen (6.1′′ vs. 6.4′′), less RAM, and lower-quality cameras, but it still has Google’s Tensor chip, the Titan M2 security chip, and 5G compatibility.
Pro Pixel Buds
Noise cancellation Pixel Buds! At last! These $199 earbuds are also IPX2 sweat resistant and have features such as beam forming mics, mesh wind blockers, and bone conduction to increase call quality.
Is Glass the Next Google?
Google was low on details, as were many of the other products today, but just before the speech ended, Sundar Pichai showed a small demo reel of what appears to be a continuing AR glasses effort in the same spirit as Google Glass (albeit in a much less jarring form factor). Live transcription/translation – think subtitles for real life, with a speaker’s words reproduced in your view — was one of the most bizarre things mentioned.
Google is producing Android tablets once more! Eventually.
Google’s new “Pixel tablet,” which was teased today, will not be available until 2023. Apart from the fact that it’s in the works, Google has said little nothing about it.
Wallet by Google
Google Pay, an Android software that stores digital credit cards for contactless payments, has been available for a long time. Google Wallet, a new programme, will “enable users to save things like credit cards, loyalty cards, digital IDs, metro passes, concert tickets, immunisation cards, and more.” The implementation process differs based on the country.
Enhancements to Google Assistant
More natural communication: Google Assistant will now be able to recognise whether you’ve misspoken a command or need a moment to think about what you’re saying. “Can you play that new song frommmm…,” the speaker said on stage, and Google Assistant responded by saying “mmhmm?” and waiting for them to finish their thought.
Glance and Talk: On Google Assistant devices with cameras integrated in (like the Nest Hub Max), you won’t have to say “Hey Google” before asking a question; simply look at the device, and it’ll figure out what you’re asking it based on proximity, head direction, and gaze direction.
Quick Phrases: With Nest Hub Max, you can now use several frequently-used instructions without using the hot word. So you can simply ask Google Assistant “What time is it?” or “Turn off the lights” and it will respond appropriately.
Improvements to Google Maps
“Immersive” view: Starting in select big cities, Google Maps is gaining a new 3D exploration option that allows you to zoom around a 3D representation of that city to get a better idea of where everything is. That 3D model will develop as their data set grows to include the interiors of popular restaurants and locales.
Expansion of eco-friendly routing: Late last year, Google introduced a function that allows you to choose your route based on car efficiency rather than just speed. Later this year, it will expand the functionality to Europe.
Google started rolling out a feature called Live View for third parties in 2019 that used your phone’s camera and the buildings/landmarks around you to figure out where you are in the world for more accurate navigation — most commonly, to figure out which direction to walk when you’ve just started a new route. Google says it will make this technology available to third parties, citing instances such as assisting concertgoers in finding their seats or assisting commuters in finding a parking spot for their rental e-bikes.
Google Translate adds new languages
Google Translate is learning dozens of new languages, with a particular focus on “languages with extremely big yet neglected populations.” Quechua, Guarani, Aymara, Sanskrit, and Tsonga are among the new languages. Many of the languages Google is introducing today would have been technically impossible to support just a few years ago, and are now only conceivable because to improvements in machine learning.
Chrome’s virtual credit cards
Google Chrome may now generate a “virtual” credit card number in order to protect your genuine credit card number. If the virtual number is ever taken, you can simply revoke it and generate a new one without having to buy a new card.
A clearer picture of skin tone
Google wants to increase its knowledge of skin tone in search results, in addition to its work on Real Tone for more precisely capturing all skin tones in images. “If you’re looking for ‘bridal makeup looks,’ for example,” says Aisha, “you’ll have the opportunity to select results that work best” for a given skin tone.