Google announces new smartphones, watch and tablet at its I/O developer conference

At its first in-person developer conference in three years, Google announced three new smartphones and its first in-house smartwatch, along with plans to launch a new tablet next year. Google also announced updates to several of its most popular tools, including Maps, Google Translate and its main search product.

Google surprised fans of its smartphone lineup on Wednesday by teasing two new flagship devices – the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Although the company hasn’t shared many details, both smartphones are expected to release this fall.

Google also announced the Pixel 6a smartphone, a more affordable version of its Pixel 6 line released earlier this year. The Pixel 6a is powered by Google’s internal Tensor chip and will be available in three colors: green, white and black.

It will cost $449 and will be available on July 21.

Pixel Watch

There’s no shortage of Android smartwatches on the market, but Google is now considering making its own smartwatch for the first time.

The company teased the much-hyped Pixel Watch, which will run Google’s WearOS operating system and be compatible with services like its voice-activated Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Wallet.

An integration with Fitbit, which Google acquired in 2019, will add several activity and fitness tracking features.

Google unveiled its new Pixel Watch on Wednesday.

The Pixel Watch will be available in the fall, along with the Pixel 7 lineup. Google also unveiled a new Pixel tablet, which the company says will be released in 2023.

Pixel Buds Pro

Google also announced a new iteration of its Bluetooth headphones called Pixel Buds Pro.

Available in four colors – orange, green, white and black – the new headphones offer features such as active noise cancellation and spatial audio. The Pixel Buds Pro will retail for $199 and release on July 21.

Immersive Maps

Beyond the hardware, there were also a number of new software updates. Google Maps users will soon be able to have a real view of certain cities via a 3D view of popular sites, restaurants and businesses to better visualize the space. While Maps already offers satellite view and street view options, Google says its new Immersive View feature combines these two elements to “create a rich digital model” that makes users feel like they’re on the ground. .

A sliding scale will allow users to see what the area looks like at different times of the day, how busy it is, and local traffic conditions.

The Immersive View will be available in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo later this year on all mobile devices using Google’s Android operating system. The company said it plans to add more cities as the feature develops.

Google Translate

Google is adding 24 languages ​​to its translation tool, Google Translate — a move the company says focuses on languages ​​from Africa and India more broadly, and languages ​​typically underserved by technology.

They include Quechua, which is spoken in the Andes, particularly in Peru; Lingala, a language spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Assamese, which is spoken in northeast India; and Tigrinya, which is spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The additional languages ​​bring the total number the tool can translate to 133 and will be available to all Google Translate users in the coming days, the company said.

A new complexion scale

Google is launching a new skin tone scale that it hopes will make its products more inclusive.

Many beauty and tech companies classify skin tones based on what’s called the Fitzpatrick scale. Developed in the 1970s by a Harvard dermatologist, it’s used to classify how different skin colors react to UV light (and, through this, predict the risk of sunburn and skin cancer from sunburn). ‘a person). Although it only includes six skin tones, it’s been used by tech companies for years to inform everything from emoji colors and how wearable heart rate monitors work on different skin tones to efforts to make fairer AI on Facebook.

Google will use the Monk skin tone scale to train its AI products to recognize a wider range of skin tones.

The company said it will start using the Monk Skin Tone Scale, which was developed by Harvard professor Ellis Monk and includes 10 different shades. Google uses it to do things like test how AI models (such as those that can spot faces in images) perform on people of different skin tones. The company is also using the scale in Google Images searches, for example by allowing people to refine beauty-related image queries by skin tone.

Google will also open the scale for others to use.

Virtual cards

Google is rolling out virtual credit cards to help protect users’ financial information when shopping online.

The feature generates a virtual card number that users can auto-fill instead of their real card information on Android mobile devices or in Google’s Chrome browser, hiding their real credit card number from the companies they use. buy.

The virtual cards will be rolling out this summer – initially only for US users with Visa, American Express and Capital One credit cards. Google says it plans to add Mastercard support later this year.

Google's virtual cards will hide users.  credit card information when shopping online.

Research Privacy Controls

Another feature announced Wednesday aims to give users more control over the results that show up when someone searches Google for their name.

This feature, which will be rolling out in the coming months, will make it easier for users to request that their personal information such as phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses be removed from search results.

Google plans to allow users to personalize the ads they see while browsing the internet, with the ability to choose which brands and types of ads they want to see or not see.

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