Google I/O: Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch and Android 13 public beta – The keynote recap
The Google I/O 2022 conference has just ended and the American giant made a lot of announcements about its Pixel smartphones, its Android 13 mobile OS and even a Pixel Watch. No, you’re not dreaming. Come on, let’s take a look at the main hardware and software announcements from Google.
The Pixel 6a will be available on July 21 for $449.
The Google Pixel Watch will finally be released this fall… at the same time as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Android 13 beta now available to the public.
Like every year, Google opens its developer conference with an opening keynote, followed by several more specialized talks over the next few days. Google spent the first 10 minutes of its conference reminding people how good Google is for the world and its people.
Google Maps has helped more than 2 billion people find a testing center in Covid-19. Google Translate has helped refugees from the war in Ukraine exchange with their host families. But after an hour and a half of self-patting on the shoulder to pat themselves on the back for making our lives better, Google finally dropped some very big announcements for their new products.
Jump to:The Pixel Watch is official (and the Pixel Buds Pro too…)
Google has unveiled its connected watch after years and years of waiting. The Pixel Watch will arrive at the same time as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which is this fall, it’s official.
The leaks about its round and bulging design were correct. Google will integrate its apps like Google Wallet or Google Maps. And we will surely know more in the following months. The watch will also have Fitbit integrated for activity tracking.
I wasn’t really expecting them, but Google also announced the Pixel Buds Pro. The true wireless earphones should offer a very effective ANC, a transparency mode and microphones helped by algorithms to make the voice clearer. The announced autonomy is 11 hours. They will also be compatible with spatial audio and we can find a lost buds through his phone.
The Pixel Buds Pro will be available from July 21 at a price of $199.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro and their flashy orange color / © Google
Pixel 6a and a preview of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
After keeping me on tenterhooks for an hour and a half, Google finally dropped the ball by announcing the Pixel 6a for $449, available for pre-order starting July 21, 2022.
The Pixel 6a features a 6.1-inch display, a dual 12 MP camera module, an aluminum frame and the Tensor SoC. The idea is to offer the same software and photo experience as on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
The Google Pixel 6a will be released on July 21, 2022 for $449 / © Google
The Pixel 6a shares the same design language of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with the famous Camera Bar on the back that houses the dual camera module. It comes in three colors: white, black and sage green
The Pixel 6a is supposed to be five times more powerful than the Pixel 5a (which was never released in Europe). There are also Real Tone (for skin tone fidelity), Night Sight (for night mode) and Magic Eraser (to erase unwanted elements in your photo). In short, the idea is to emphasize that we would get the same photo experience as on a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, but at a lower price.
The three colors black, white, sage green of the Google Pixel 6a / © Google
We will also have a fingerprint reader under the screen and no longer on the back. Finally, the Pixel 6a will have 5 years of security updates. But that’s not all. No, Google also teased its next flagships, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
The Pixel 7 Pro is sublime in this color and with its aluminum Camera Bar / © Google
We find a similar design to the Pixel flagships of this year, with the Camera Bar, this time made of a single piece of aluminum and which houses a new triple camera module. We’ll also find the next-generation Tensor SoC and both smartphones will run on Android 13. We will surely know more in the fall.
A tablet signed by Google?
As usual, Google leaks its own products before they are even finished. This is how we saw the Google Tablet, a tablet that is supposed to work in harmony with your smartphone and Pixel ecosystem. Google did not give anything away about this tablet except that it should be released in 2023. The opportunity for the manufacturer to review its copy for Android 12L.
Android 13 beta available now and new features
The Android 13 beta is available this Wednesday, May 11, it’s official.
Google gave us a reminder about the Material You design and announced that Android 13 will allow third-party applications to take advantage of Monet, its personalization system that adapts colors to the screen background. Android 13 also includes a new system that can allow you to choose the language of each app or a new control center.
Google also presented a new Google Wallet to store your payment card, your student card, a plane ticket, your vaccination pass and your identity card (not in Europe) securely. The Google Wallet is expected to arrive in the next few weeks.
Google Maps gives you an eagle eye view
After quickly announcing the addition of 24 new languages to Google Translate, the American giant has announced a big update for Google Maps with the Immersive View feature.
Google Maps allows you to explore in real time a place to see the local weather, traffic but also points of interest nearby. You can for example tap on a restaurant and virtually go inside to see if you like the decor or not.
This feature will be available in the next few months, in English only at first.
Immersive view in @GoogleMaps is a new way to experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant and venue will be like — and even feel like you’re right there. It uses advances in computer vision and AI to fuse together billions of Street View images. #GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/DgJwwE03rQ
— Google (@Google) May 11, 2022
Google also announced the deployment in Europe of the Eco Friendly Routing feature, which allows to calculate the most efficient route in terms of carbon emissions. This feature will also work for air travel.
Google is also YouTube. The video platform adds the ability to generate subtitles automatically on mobile. Its ability to offer a transcript of a video in nearly 16 languages.
We can also quickly talk about a new feature for Google Docs with the automatic creation of summaries from your document.
Google Search understands you and represents you better
Google has announced several features for its search engine Google Search. The first one is Multisearch, which consists in combining a text search with an image. But also Multisearch Near Me. Imagine you’ve seen a dish passed by on Instagram, you can search for it via the photo in question and at the same time find nearby restaurants that serve said dish. First available in English only later this year. But it can also go further.
Google IO 2022 keynote / © Google
Google also announced the deployment of the Monk Sink Tone Scale. This is a skin tone recognition algorithm to reflect darker skin tones more accurately in Google Photos and Google Search. This would allow for improvements to images in Google Search for more inclusive results with the ability to filter results by skin tone. Google is even imagining a new standard for tagging images with attributes such as skin tone, color and hair type.
Look and talk for Google Nest Hub
Google has announced two new options for accessing the Google Assistant. The first concerns the Nest Hub Max. You can simply look at the connected object and it will understand that you want to ask it something.
Another is what Google calls “Natural Conversation” which allows you to launch a query without having to say the hot phrase “Hey Google.” You’ll be able to choose a series of Quick Phrases, commands, which will allow you to simply ask Google Assistant to “turn on a lamp,” for example.
Just look at your Google Nest Hub tablet without having to use the “Hey Google!” command / © Google
My Ad Center to control your advertising data
As virtuous as Google claims to be, the firm from Mountain View earns its living from advertising and our personal data, but Google keeps on showing its hands and claiming that it does not collect and sell our data without our knowledge.
That’s why Google has announced a My Ad Center menu in your Google account that will allow you to better manage the type of advertising you are subjected to.
We could also see the “Results about you” option. Google is adding this option that allows you to have information of your choice disappear when you type your name, or when someone else does, in the Google search bar.
What do you think of the announcements at this Google I/O? Are you going to install the Android 13 beta? The Pixel 6a, does it heat up a bit? And the Pixel Watch, are you still waiting for this connected watch?