If you missed Google I/O 2022 or just want a full recap, this is the recap for you.
For the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Google held its annual conference for I/O developers in person, at the iconic Shoreline Amphitheatre. A shared event, therefore, which allowed the American giant to reveal many details on advances in terms of artificial intelligence and others. Google has also found the time to highlight some upcoming products. If you weren’t able to follow the conference live, here are the main announcements of this Google I/O 2022.
Google has certainly teased its next flagship during this conference, but the new Pixel 6a from the Mountain View company has clearly caused a sensation. Available for pre-order from July 21, the $449 smartphone features the in-house Tensor AI chip and a 12 MP camera, all with the latest version of the Google Magic Eraser editing tool. The company also promises five years of security updates for this Pixel 6a.
Google only gave a brief preview of its next flagship, but we finally got to see the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. According to the company, these two devices will embed the new generation of Tensor chip and will offer a redesigned design in recycled aluminum. No indication as to their price and availability. We should know everything this fall.
After months of various leaks, Google has finally confirmed the Pixel Watch. The connected watch arrives this fall and will offer a virtually borderless screen with a “touch crown”. It runs Wear OS 3 and integrates seamlessly with Fitbit software for health and sports tracking features. The Pixel Watch will be available alongside the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Google promises to give more details in the coming months.
Google also said that companies like Samsung, Fossil and Montblanc will also release new Wear OS devices later this year.
Pixel Buds Pro
While we will certainly have to wait a bit before we can enjoy the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch, the new $199 Pixel Buds Pro true wireless headphones will arrive sooner. Next July 28, to be exact, with pre-orders opening on July 21. Among the interesting features, multipoint connectivity, IPX4 certification and active noise reduction. Spatial audio will also be present when connected to a compatible Pixle smartphone.
With the introduction of the Material You design, personalization was a big aspect of Android 12. The next version of Google’s mobile OS continues in this direction with new dedicated features to personalize your device even more. For example, it will be possible to define a different default language for your apps. Another feature allows icons to better match their color palette on your home screen.
Android 13 will also introduce a new Wallet app, with the ability to store identity documents (depending on the country). Security is also very important to Google, Android 13 will automatically erase the history of your clipboard.
And after years of neglect, Google will finally offer tablet-specific features. Android 13 will notably support multitasking on large screens, with a revamped taskbar and split view. In addition, the Mountain View company explains that it will update many of its own apps to take full advantage of these tablet features.
Besides this emphasis on software, Google is also working on the design of a new tablet. We got a very brief glimpse of a Pixel Tablet, which is expected to launch sometime in 2023. And as with many of the devices Google showed off today, details were skimpy. We just know it should be very similar to a Nest Hub. And it will take advantage of the homemade Tensor chips.
If you want to test Android, Beta 2 is available for download.
New augmented reality glasses
While we thought the keynote was over, Google still had a few announcements under its hat. The Mountain View firm is working on a new pair of augmented reality glasses, supposed to “break down the barriers of communication”. The prototype shown by Google would translate spoken language by offering real-time translated subtitles to the wearer. Google has not revealed the name of this prototype, nor given any date of availability.
It wouldn’t be an I/O if Google didn’t inform its audience about its latest advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. This year 2022 was no exception. The Mountain View firm had a lot to say on the subject, but above all we can expect improvements in Translation (which has recently been enriched with 24 additional languages) and a new “AI Test Kitchen” app which offers a demonstration of the LaMDA 2 learning model.
The company also announced updates for Workspace, YouTube and Lens. Perhaps one of the most interesting being Maps’ Immersive View to explore popular tourist destinations.