Google’s biggest announcements at I/O 2022

Google has wrapped up its two-hour I/O keynote, which was absolutely packed with news. We hear about AI, Android, and of course a lot of Pixel hardware. These are the biggest announcements we saw on Wednesday.

Google isn’t raising the price of its line A.
Image: Google

Google announced its new mid-range phone, the Pixel 6A, which will cost $449 when it’s available for pre-order on July 21. The company appears to be flipping its usual script for this phone: Previous A models featured a camera comparable to what’s found on Google’s flagship Pixels, but had weaker processors. However, the 6A has the Pixel 6’s Tensor chip and design, but opts for a 12-megapixel camera instead of the standard 6’s 50MP.

Oh, and even though Google released a two-minute ad about the Pixel 5A’s headphone jack last year, the 6A doesn’t have one. Womp Womp.

Hey, look at that. The screen is on.
Image: Google

The Pixel Watch’s hardware has been fully leaked, so it’s no surprise that it appears on this list, but Google has finally given us a look at what the software will look like. The wearable will run an updated version of Wear OS 3 and feature Fitbit integration that allows you to track your health metrics. However, there are still some unanswered (and very important) questions about the watch: We don’t know what kind of chip it will run on, nor do we know how much it will cost. It is scheduled to launch later this fall alongside the Pixel 7.

Correct. Yes, Google teased the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro with some renders, showing that the phones will have some slightly different back panel and camera cutouts. Like Google’s current Pixels, the 7 and 7 Pro will have two and three cameras, respectively. However, the pink color will apparently disappear, so I will never be happy again.

Let’s not beat around the bush: Google has announced its version of Apple’s AirPods Pro. The Pixel Buds Pro will cost $199, feature active noise cancellation, and have an estimated battery life of seven hours when using ANC. Google says that the Buds have a custom audio chip and that they will support multipoint Bluetooth, allowing them to connect to two devices at once. That’s a neat trick and one that’s not particularly common in the headphone world. They will also come in various colors, including black, red, and green, and will be available to pre-order on July 21.

A preview of the Pixel tablet coming next year.
Image: Google

Google announced that it plans to release an Android tablet next year to act as a “perfect companion to the Pixel in a larger form factor.” The writing on this has been on the wall for a while. (Android 12L focused on big-screen experiences, and there have been some tablet-related hires in Mountain View.) But it’s good to know that Google is looking to get back into tablets. The only real hardware detail we have about Google’s next device is that it will have a Tensor chip.

Google Lens will be able to help you choose the chocolate.
Image: Google

As is often the case, Google’s I/O presentation was packed with AI news. Perhaps most importantly, it will allow people to test your language model. Not everyone will be able to try LaMDA 2, but eventually, Google hopes to bring the technology to search and its other products (although it wants to do so very slowly).

There were also a bunch of smaller AI-related stories. Google announced that its auto-generated translations will come to YouTube on mobile devices, that you’ll be able to just look at your Nest Hub Max and start talking to the assistant, and that your phone will be able to look at a shelf full of chocolate bars and pick one for you based on what you want. what you are looking for That last Google described it as “a supercharged Ctrl-F for the world around you.”

The company is also expanding its multi-search feature, which allows you to search along multiple axes. For example, you can give Google an image of a specific type of cuisine you’re looking for and ask where you can find it nearby.

Google had a full suite of security and privacy ads, including plans for the My Ad Center interface: a center that will allow users to customize the types of ads they see by selecting from a variety of topics they’re interested in or opting to see. fewer ads. on a given topic. He also said that the company is focused on implementing additional security features for its products by default, in addition to the concept of “protected computing” to do more processing on the device instead of sending data elsewhere.

The next version of Android is available in Beta today.
Image: Google

Google has reviewed its plans for Android 13, and the next version of its mobile operating system appears to be going further with the ideas introduced in Android 12. The company is adding Material You themes to more places, allowing you to configure apps to use different languages, and add some security and privacy features. That doesn’t add up to a momentous release, but as my colleague Jon Porter points out, it’s probably a good thing. Android 12 has been a bit of a chore, so a year of refinements and minor improvements is probably warranted.

For those who want to try it out, the beta version is available today.

Google is bringing back its Wallet app as a place to store not just your payment cards, but also your passes, rewards program memberships, vaccination records, and more. Google says the app is designed for the age of digital identity. While I realize that’s probably the future, that knowledge doesn’t make me miss my physical Google Wallet debit card any less.

London is one of the cities where Immersive View debuts, along with San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Image: Google

Google is adding a new mode to Maps, which is basically Street View from the sky: in select cities, you’ll be able to get an overview of a location to get a better view of the geography before getting lost in the streets below.

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