GOOGLE kicked off its annual I/O google software developer conference on Wednesday. As usual, the company took the opportunity to announce a number of new hardware products and software updates.
While the shiny new gadgets stole the show (you can learn more about Pixel watches, new Pixel phones, and other items announced in our separate story), I/O is still primarily a software affair.
To that end, Google used its flagship event to detail a dizzying array of new features for Android, search, maps and Google’s voice assistants. Here are the major updates announced by Google:
Android 13 I/O Google Software:
We still have a few details about the next version of Android, Google’s operating system for mobile devices. When Android 13 launches this fall, it will introduce a few updates that will make the operating system more secure and interoperable with other devices around you.
Google Messaging extends support for the RCS messaging standard by introducing end-to-end encryption in group texts. Multilingual users can set specific apps to use specific languages, allowing you to search in English and tweet in German.
Support for quick pairing with devices using the Matter smart home standard is built in, making it easier to stream video or photos to multiple TVs, displays and other screens in your home, with added support for products several manufacturers.
We’ll take a closer look at Android 13 when it launches later this year.
Google Found His Wallet:
- The company has reintroduced the previously abandoned Google Wallet name and branding, and the updated app will become Android’s default digital currency container.
- The wallet attaches to your device and holds all your credit cards, transit cards, vaccination records, and even your Disney World Park pass.
- If you’re thinking, “Wait, that sounds exactly like Google Pay, something that already exists,” you’re right.
- Wallet is basically the same as Google Pay, except Google says its wallet app will soon support digital IDs, including driver’s licenses.
- Google has a habit of deleting its services frequently, so we’ll see how long these two options stick around.
New Security Features I/o Google Software:
Google has also unveiled a number of new additions to its software platforms aimed at protecting against cyberattacks. It improves its two-factor authentication system and enables it for Google accounts by default.
Protection against phishing is carried over from Gmail to the Google Office suite (Docs, Sheets and Slides). It also shows when you can change your account settings to better protect privacy.
A new feature called Virtual Cards aims to keep your credit card information private while shopping. When you automatically enter your credit card information, Virtual Cards generates a random card number and prevents you from having to manually enter sensitive information about some potentially suspicious deals.
Welcome to Multisearch:
- From Android to translation to visual web search, here are all the improvements coming to your phone, tablet and desktop this year.
- Last month, Google introduced a feature called Multisearch.
- It allows you to combine elements in a single search query, for example with a photo and text at the same time.
- Multisearch will soon get a new optimization.
- With the Call Near Me feature, you can track your location during multi-search and find local restaurants or shops using photos and text.
- Multisearch Near Me will be available worldwide later this year, although for now it only works with English input.
Charted Immersive I/O Google Software:
Google calls a new feature of Google Maps immersive visualization. It’s sort of a gimmick Street View that lets you swipe to navigate a CGI-rendered 3D space. It can simulate entire cities and even office and restaurant interiors.
You will not see a 100% accurate rendering as a lot of. It is based on user photos and therefore compiled with an algorithm. Google says the feature will work on any smartphone and will roll out in “select cities” this year.
Google has taken steps to ensure that its voice assistant understands more nuances of conversations and responds accordingly. A new feature called Look and Talk, exclusive to Nest Hub Max, aims to make talking to a voice assistant less like yelling at a concrete slab. You no longer have to say “OK Google“. Because the system is designed to recognize when you ask it a question.
To do this, Nest Hub Max uses its built-in camera to monitor how close you are to the device, which way your head is turned and which way you are looking. So it can tell if you are looking at the device and waiting for an answer.
The wizard also allows for pauses in a query if you need a second to organize your thoughts. Just like talking to a human being! The company hasn’t said if Google Assistant will ever be adorable.
Look For Product Intake:
Google has announced some changes to the way its search results work. Including those aimed at making the results more complete.
Google says it collaborated with Harvard sociologist Ellis Monk to develop the “Monk’s Scale,” a system that breaks down skin tones into a range of 10 shades. The goal is to train AI on the web to recognize and adapt to a wide variety of skin tones, including face detection and photo filters.
Google also says it is developing a standardized way to label specific elements in images. Such as skin color, hair color, and hair texture. He says he will release this feature in the coming months.
AI Everywhere Google is Rolling:
Google is rolling out a new TL; DR features in its services, from Google Docs to Google Meet. Soon your very long document will have a simple summary at the top. Summarizing what Google’s algorithms are pinpointing as key points. The setting also works in Google Meet, showing highlights of a conversation you may have missed before joining a meeting.
- The company is also releasing an improved artificial intelligence program called LaMDA 2.
- Based on the instructions Google provided during the preview.
- You could use it to describe scenes from the ocean floor or help you figure out what to plant in your garden.
- So the possibilities are truly endless.
This year, 24 new languages will add to Google Translate. The new additions are the main languages used in Asia, Africa and South America, including Assamese, Bhojpuri, Lingala, Maithili, Oromo, Sanskrit and Twi. Here is a complete list.