Google’s big I/O developer conference for 2022 is being hosted today, and as per usual, the company has lots of announcements up its sleeves, ranging from the latest version of Android to new hardware (including a watch).
Here’s a breakdown of all of their biggest announcements.
Google announced that it’s adding 24 new languages to Google Translate, including Dogri, Assamese, Aymara, and Twi. These languages have been historically underrepresented on translating applications, so it’s nice to see Google use its machine learning chops to add them.
Google announced a new Immersive mode for viewing different locations listed on Maps. It uses a 3D rendering recorded by Google so you can peak inside different buildings, restaurants, towns, cities, and more. The feature will be available on virtually every device that works with Google Maps since the experience runs on the company’s own servers.
Auto-generated summaries in Google Workspace
Google is adding an AI-generated summary to your documents in Google Workspace. It’s essentially an intelligent TL;DR that’ll live at the top of the things you’re working on. The feature will also work for Google Meet and automatically generate a transcript with a TL;DR.
Scene Exploration in Search
One of the really cool features Google announced that’s coming to Search is Scene Exploration. It’ll allow you to point your phone’s camera at a plethora of products (such as a store shelf) and help you find the exact item you’re looking for. Google used the example of finding a highly-rated dark chocolate bar with no nuts. Overlays will be presented on each product using augmented reality to make discovering the perfect product easier.
Google announced that the Nest Hub Max is getting a new feature called “Look and Talk” that will let you simply look at the smart speaker and being talking to it. It’ll use the camera to face match you to your account and only work when you’re looking directly at it. That way, you don’t have to shout “Hey Google” every time you want to use it. Quick Phrases will also be coming to the device without requiring the hot word, so you can set a time or turn off the lights.
The Google Assistant is also becoming more adaptive to natural ways of speaking, so if you pause mid-thought or forget the name of something, the Assistant will nudge you along.
Google showcased its new LaMDA 2 system, the sequel to last year’s LaMDA that works to analyze different data and give you relevant information based on your quires. The company showcased some of what it could do using its new AI Test Kitchen application, which automatically generated a to-do list for how to start a vegetable garden.
Virtual card numbers
Google says it will start adding autonomous card numbers to your stored credit and debit cards in Chrome. That way, you won’t need to worry about your actual card’s information being seen by an unwanted third party. The company says it worked with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Chase Bank to create the feature. It’ll roll out this summer.
My Ad Center
Google is adding a new My Ad Center that lets you gain much more control over the types of ads you see. You can curate the experience with much more refined controls than you could previously.
Google rattled off a ton of new features coming in Android 13, such as a new media center for playing content, the ability to assign different languages to different apps, and improvements to Material You.
The company also demoed a new version of Google Wallet, with support for everything from credit cards to student IDs. Google is also adding digital driver’s licenses later this year, so long as states comply.
Android 13 is also better optimized for tablets, with a navigation bar at the bottom and new multitasking shortcuts. Google is also pledging to update over 20 of its own apps so they look better on tablets. The company teased a few third-party apps, including TikTok and Canva, that will also double down on the tablet experience.
Google took the wraps off the new $449 Pixel 6a, its latest budget smartphone. The device runs on Google’s Tensor processor, the same one found in the flagship Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. It has a 6.1-inch 1080p display, dual 12MP rear cameras (one standard, one ultra-wide), and a very similar design to the Pixel 6.
There’s an under-display fingerprint reader and Titan M2 chip for security, and Google says it’ll offer five years’ worth of software updates.
The device will launch in three colors on July 21st.
Google Pixel 7 & 7 Pro
Out of absolutely nowhere, Google offered a sneak peak at the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. The new device will feature a tweaked version of the Pixel 6’s design with new materials and finishes. It’ll run on the next generation of the Google Tensor chip, and it’ll launch this fall.
Pixel Buds Pro
Google also unveiled new Pixel Buds called Pixel Buds Pro. The earbuds will offer active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and an improved design that has a better chance of fitting in your ears. They’ll last up to 11 hours on a full charge, are compatible with Google’s device tracking app, and will go on sale this July for $199.
After tons of leaks and rumors, the Pixel Watch is officially here. It won’t start shipping until the fall with the Pixel 7, but it seems like it could be the Wear OS watch to get.
Google teased a new Pixel Tablet that’s coming in 2023. It looks sort of like a blown up version of the Nest Hub Max’s display, minus the giant speaker on the back. It’ll run Android 13 and offer a similar software experience to a normal Pixel phone.