Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL, GOOG) announced a host of new products and features at its Google I/O 2022 conference, held May 11-12, 2022. Among the most anticipated announcements was the new Pixel smartphone 6A, Pixel headphones, the new Android 13 operating system and an improved Google Wallet. Later in 2022, Google plans to launch the Pixel 7 smartphone and the Google Watch.
Key points to remember
- Google announced various new products and features at its I/O 2022 conference on May 11, 2022.
- Among these were a new Pixel 6A smartphone, Pixel headphones, the new Android 13 operating system and an upgraded Google Wallet.
- Later in 2022 will come the Pixel 7 smartphone and the Google Wallet.
- Improvements to Google Maps and various security and privacy upgrades were also announced.
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Here are highlights from the announcements made on the first day of Google I/O 2022, May 11, 2022.
Pixel 6A is a budget version of the Pixel 6 smartphone, which costs $449, but with most Pixel 6 features, including a Tensor chip. It has a 6.1-inch screen and dual 12-megapixel (MP) rear cameras (compared to 50 MP on the standard Pixel 6) in a recycled aluminum frame. Pre-orders will begin on July 21 for $449. The Pixel 6A will be available in three colors and will be available in stores on July 28.
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones are coming, likely in the fall of 2022. Like the current Pixels, they’ll have two and three cameras, respectively.
Pixel Watch will be available in fall 2022, which is expected to launch with the Pixel 7 phone. It will be “deeply integrated” with Fitbit, allowing the user to track health metrics. The Pixel Watch will support Google Maps, Google Wallet, and Google Home.
Android operating system
Android 13 beta is now available. That is, a beta (test) version of Google’s Android operating system is being released.
Android improvements include a redesign for larger devices such as tablets and foldables. Google will update 20 of its apps for large screens.
Pixel Buds Pro are the first buds made by Google with ANC, or active noise cancellation. Google says they pick up a person’s voice clearly while cutting out outside noise, like wind. Pricing will start at $199. Pre-orders start July 21, and the headphones go on sale July 28.
Security and privacy
Personal information can be removed in several ways from Google search (but not the Internet), although details on this upcoming feature were not provided during the presentation.
My ad centerwhich will be launched later in 2022, will allow users to control the types of ads they like and dislike.
Protected Computing will scramble data to help users remain anonymous.
Virtual credit cards will keep actual card numbers hidden from retailers, reducing the risk of fraud and identity theft.
Future without passwords involves enabling two-step verification by default for everyone. This authentication system will use multiple systems so that users do not have to remember hundreds of passwords.
Phishing Protections artificial intelligence (AI) tools are added to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Google notes that phishing scams are responsible for 90% of cyberattacks.
Google Wallet redesigned can store more than credit cards. It can now hold student cards, park passes, Disney World cards, vaccine cards, and government-issued ID cards. It will start with driver’s licenses, allowing the user to share an ID with an NFC tap.
Better representation of skin tone will use the monk skin tone scale to better represent skin tone in photos and research. One application is in makeup research. Google makes its skin tone guide open source, allowing all companies and researchers to use this technology.
Google Translate added 24 new languages.
Google Maps is enhanced to show more buildings, present 3D views of cities, and suggest the most fuel-efficient driving routes.
Google Meet will have improved audio and video quality thanks to Project Starline, which was announced at Google I/O 2021.
Multiple search allows the user to take a photo, search with that photo, and adjust that search with text. The new “near me” feature will analyze a photo and see if that item is available nearby. Scene Exploration is a powerful new search tool that analyzes an image and offers information about the objects it contains.
Future hardware under development
Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses were demonstrated at the conference, in particular their ability to automatically translate languages in real time. That is, the wearer can read a translation projected onto a lens of what another person is saying. An expected launch date for this product has not been announced.
An Android tablet, powered by Google’s Tensor chip, is scheduled for release in 2023.