Google I/O, the highly-anticipated annual developer conference, took place on Wednesday, revealing a plethora of new products and updates from the US-based tech giant. Among the highlights were the unveiling of the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet, as well as exciting new tools like Google Bard, the new Gmail, Android 14, and additional features for Google Maps, Photos, and Search.
The Pixel 7a, Google’s latest addition to its line of smartphones, was announced with upgraded camera features. The Pixel Fold, the company’s first-ever foldable phone, also made its debut, boasting a larger display and a unique design. Meanwhile, the Pixel Tablet was unveiled as a powerful new addition to the Pixel family, with an emphasis on productivity and entertainment.
The Pixel 7a is priced at Rs 39,999 on Flipkart. The $1,799 Pixel Fold, powered by Tensor G2 chip, will take on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 in two colours, Porcelain and Obsidian, and will first be available in Germany, Japan, the UK and the US. Lastly, the Pixel Tablet costs $499 (around Rs 41,000).
Artificial intelligence is a major focus at this year’s I/O event with Google announcing several new initiatives.
Google has now opened the AI chatbotBard to over 180 countries and territories, including India. Apart from English, Bard is now available in Japanese and Korean, and the company said it’s on track to support 40 languages soon. In addition, Google said that Bard will soon become more visible in both its responses and your prompts. To make this happen, the company will bring Google Lens right into Bard.
“Help Me Write,” a generative AI feature, is being added to Gmail. It will be able to write emails for Gmail users when provided with a prompt such as requesting a refund from a company.
The company has also introduced Immersive View in select cities to let users get a 3D view of the area. Maps will soon add Immersive View for routes, to let users “visualise every segment of a route” before they go. It will be released in the coming months in Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Paris, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Tokyo, and Venice.
Google Magic Editor
Google brings a new tool Magic Editor to let users move the subject to bring it into focus. “With Magic Editor, you’ll be able to make complex edits without pro-level editing skills. Using a combination of AI techniques, including generative AI, it will help you make edits to specific parts of an image — like the subject, sky or background — so you have even more control over the final look and feel of your photo,” the company said.
Google’s Android 14 update adds new wallpaper customization options, including the ability to bring text and widgets, as well as create wallpapers with emojis. The release date for the stable version has not been announced yet, but it is expected to come out in August 2023.
The company also announced a new WhatsApp app for Google WearOS that allows users to take WhatsApp calls directly on their smartwatch. Google subtly criticized Apple for not adapting to the RCS protocol for messages.