The tech giant held its annual developer conference on the 11th and 12th of May and as usual, it was filled with announcements. We got new software features, and tools for developers as well as consumers. Google also teased a whole new hardware lineup with both phones and wearable tech coming later this year. If you missed it or simply didn’t have time to sit through the full 2 days, don’t worry. We got you covered with the highlights from Google I/O 2022.
More Android 13 features
While Android 12 was focused on design changes and Material You, Android 13 seems to be somewhat centered around security features. During Google I/O 2022 the company mentioned that we will see “dozens of new security features”. Among the highlighted ones is the upgrade to RCS for text messages. This enables end-to-end encryption and will help keep your messages private between you and the receiver. They are also improving two-factor authentication and turning it on by default. You no longer need any 6-digit codes, just one tap and you are verified.
We also get a neat feature that generates virtual versions of payment cards. This will let you enter a card number that is separate from the one on your physical card when making payments. So, if the card number gets in the wrong hands you can just cancel the virtual card instead of dealing with the hassle of getting a completely new physical card.
The tech giant also announced the Google Wallet which will let you store digital versions of everyday essentials. Quick access to digital id-cards, loyalty cards and boarding passes for flights. Another big quality of life improvement mentioned is the ability to copy-paste from one unit to another. Copy an image or link on your phone and paste it on your tablet or computer.
It also seems Android will continue their new focus on tablets. There are currently 270 million “large screen users” of Android and they are working hard on tailoring the experience. 20 Google apps have been remade for tablet use and they want to keep making them look better on large screens.
Google I/O 2022 – New search, Ai and maps
Search is of course the core of Google’s business and they continue to add new ways to help find what you’re looking for. Multisearch near me is a new tool that’s going to be very helpful for any food lover. If you find a tempting picture of a dish online Multisearch near me can identify the name of the dish and then find the closest restaurant that serves it. Scene exploration is another new search function that works through Google Lens. It lets you scan products in a grocery store and then provides information about the items through an overlay.
Google maps will get a new, so-called immersive view. With the help of machine learning, they have fused billions of images into models of cities. By the looks of the video showcased on the Google I/O 2022, you can basically fly around in a 3D map of cities and even venues.
It’s also obvious that they are working heavily on the AI and machine learning front and one of their new AI tools you might actually be able to test soon. AI Test Kitchen is an application based on the LaMDA 2 model which focuses on language and text generation. Currently, it has 3 modes called: Imagine it, List it, and Talk about it. Read more and possibly try them out on Google’s official site.
Wearables draw the loudest cheers
Google topped all expectations when it came to hardware announcements this year. They are launching a budget version of the popular Pixel 6 smartphone, called Pixel 6A. If you prefer the top-end models they also announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 pro which are launching this fall.
What drew the loudest cheers of the event however was the new wearables. A Google-made smartwatch has been rumored for a long time and now they finally made it official with the Pixel Watch. They are also launching the Pixel Buds pro with active noise cancelation.
Most impressive however was the demonstration of the new and improved Google Glasses. The AR-centered glasses are now integrated with Google Assistants live translation feature. When someone talks to you it will detect and display the translation live on your glasses. The whole thing is very sci-fi and could definitely make an impact on the world.