Google’s annual I/O 2022 developer conference returned to the iconic Shoreline Amphitheatre for the first time since the pandemic began. Google found time to discuss some of the hardware it wants to deploy later this year during an in-person event where the firm shared details on its newest advances in AI, machine translation, and other areas. In case you missed it live, these are the most significant announcements from I/O 2022.
Pixel 6A featuring Google’s flagship Tensor chip
Google’s latest flagship devices were teased at I/O, but the company’s new Pixel 6a stole the show. The $449 smartphone, which will be available for pre-order on July 21st, will have Google’s indigenous Tensor AI processor, which is also included in the Pixel 6. However, it only has a 12-megapixel camera, as opposed to the Pixel 6’s 50MP camera. It does, however, come with the latest edition of Google’s Magic Eraser photo editing software. The 3.5 mm headphone port has been removed from the phone, which is a solid reason for the manufacturer to sell its wireless earbuds. The company also pledged to provide five years of security upgrades for the Pixel 6a.
Pixel 7 and 7 Pro teased at Google’s I/O 2022
Google only gave us a quick preview of its latest flagship smartphones at I/O, but we did get to see the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro before they are officially launched later this year. Both gadgets, according to the firm, will use its next-generation Tensor processor and a streamlined design built of recyclable aluminium. According to a few renderings, the phones would feature somewhat different camera cutouts and back panels. The 7 and 7 Pro, like Google’s existing Pixels, will have two and three cameras, respectively. However, the pink colour will apparently be gone. There is no information yet on cost or availability. Google is expected to provide such information this fall.
Google’s Pixel Watch is real
The Pixel Watch’s hardware was widely leaked, so it’s no surprise that it’s on Google’s I/O 2022 announced list, but Google has now revealed what the software will be like. The wearable will run an upgraded version of Wear OS 3 and will include a Fitbit connection to measure your health metrics. There are some unsolved mysteries concerning the watch, such as what sort of chip it will use or how much it would cost. The wearable, which will be available this fall alongside the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, has a nearly bezel-less watch display flanked by a “tactile crown.”
Google also announced that companies including Samsung, Fossil, and Montblanc will release new Wear OS devices later this year.
Google’s Pixel Buds Pro featuring ANC, coming this July
While the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch may take some time to arrive, the new $199 Pixel Buds Pro will be available much sooner. Pixel Buds Pro will be available on July 28th, with pre-orders beginning on July 21st. They feature active noise cancelling and an estimated seven hours of battery life while enabling ANC. Google said the Buds will include a unique audio chip and will enable Bluetooth multipoint, allowing them to connect to two devices at the same time. That’s a cool trick, and it’s not very common in the earbud world. They will also be available in a variety of shades, including black, red, and green, and will be IPX4-certified waterproof.
The Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s latest premium variant in the Pixel Buds family. The Pixel Buds A-Series, which debuted in 2021, nearly eliminated the need for the previous Pixel Buds, and the new Pixel Buds Pro will rest atop the A-Series model.
Android 13 at Google’s I/O 2022
Customization was a significant part of the attractiveness of Android 12 with the introduction of Google’s new Material You design language. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 13, will amplify that focus with additional capabilities that allow you to further customise your device. For example, one new app will let you pick a different language as the default for all of your phone’s apps. Another new feature allows you to colour match more than just Google symbols on your home screen.
And, after years of neglect, Google is poised to provide some tablet-specific features to Android. On large-screen devices, Android 13 will have new multitasking features such as an improved taskbar and split view. Furthermore, the business stated that it will upgrade many of its first-party apps to make use of the new tablet features that Android 13 would provide.
Google Wallet App
In addition, Android 13 will have a new Wallet app that will allow you to save your own government-issued ID on your phone. Google is reintroducing its Wallet app as a place to store not only credit cards, but also passes, loyalty programme memberships, immunisation records, and other items. According to Google, the app is designed for the age of digital identity.
Google’s concerns about User Safety and Security
The company also prioritised safety and security, emphasising that Android 13 will safeguard your privacy by immediately removing your clipboard history. Google made many announcements about security and privacy, including plans for the My Ad Center interface (a hub that will let users customise the types of ads they see by selecting from a range of topics they are interested in or opt to see fewer ads on a given topic). It also stated that the business is committed to adopting extra security safeguards for its devices by default, in addition to the notion of “protected computing,” which involves doing more processing on-device rather than transferring data outside.
Google’s Pixel Tablet coming next year
Google is creating new tablet hardware in addition to working on software. Google revealed plans for an Android-powered tablet to be released next year as a “perfect companion for Pixel with a bigger form factor.” We received a sneak peek at the Pixel Tablet, which the business hopes to release in 2023. We didn’t get many specifics on the Pixel Tablet, as we did on many of the other gadgets Google unveiled Wednesday. But we do know that it will resemble a Nest Hub and will be powered by one of the company’s own Tensor processors.
Google’s new AR smart glasses
The company had one more announcement to make at the end of its presentation. Google demonstrated a set of augmented reality smart glasses that could translate in real-time during a conversation, aiming to “break down communication barriers.” Google’s early prototype could transcribe spoken words and provide real-time subtitles to the wearer. Google did not reveal the name of the prototype gadget, nor did it specify when it may be available to consumers.
Some more announcements
It wouldn’t be I/O without Google announcing its most recent AI and machine learning accomplishments, and 2022 was no exception. On that front, the business had a lot to say, but highlights include improvements to Translate (which now supports 24 more languages) and a new “AI Test Kitchen” app that provides a demonstration of the company’s LaMDA 2 learning model.
Google’s I/O 2022 revealed that auto-generated translations are coming to YouTube on mobile, that you’ll be able to just glance at your Nest Hub Max and start chatting to the assistant, and that your phone will be able to look at a rack full of chocolate bars and choose one for you based on what you’re searching for. Google defined the last one as “a supercharged Ctrl-F for the world around you.”