Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL, GOOG) announced a host of new products and features at its Google I/O 2022 conference, held on May 11-12, 2022. Among the most anticipated announcements involved the new Pixel 6A smartphone, Pixel earbuds, the new Android 13 operating system, and an enhanced Google Wallet. Later in 2022, Google plans to launch the Pixel 7 smartphone and the Google Watch.
- Google announced various new products and features at its I/O 2022 conference on May 11, 2022.
- Among these were a new Pixel 6A smartphone, Pixel earbuds, the new Android 13 operating system, and an upgraded Google Wallet.
- Later in 2022 will come the Pixel 7 smartphone and the Google Wallet.
- Enhancements to Google Maps and various security and privacy upgrades also were announced.
Key Google Announcements
What follows are highlights of the announcements made on day one of the Google I/O 2022 conference, May 11, 2022.
Pixel 6A is a budget version of the Pixel 6 smartphone, costing $449, but with most Pixel 6 features, including a Tensor chip. It has a 6.1-inch display and dual-rear 12-megapixel (MP) cameras (versus 50 MP on the standard Pixel 6) in a recycled aluminum frame. Preorders will begin on July 21 for $449. The Pixel 6A will come in three colors and will be available in-store on July 28.
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones are upcoming, probably in the fall of 2022. Like the current Pixels, they will have two and three cameras, respectively.
Pixel Watch will be available in the fall of 2022, scheduled to launch along with the Pixel 7 phone. It will be "deeply integrated" with Fitbit, allowing the user to track health metrics. The Pixel Watch will support Google Maps, Google Wallet, and Google Home.
Android Operating System
Android 13 Beta is now available. That is, a beta (test) version of Google's Android operating system is being released.
Android Improvements include a redesign for larger devices such as tablets and foldables. Google will be updating 20 of its apps for large screens.
Pixel Buds Pro are the first Google-made buds with ANC, or active noise cancellation. Google says they allow a person's voice to be picked up clearly while tuning out outside noise, like wind. Prices will start at $199. Preorders start on July 21, and the earbuds will go on sale on July 28.
Security and Privacy
Personal Information can be removed in more ways from Google search (but not from the internet), although details about this upcoming feature were not offered during the presentation.
My Ad Center, to be launched later in 2022, will allow users to control the types of ads they like and dislike.
Protected Computing will blur data to help users remain anonymous.
Virtual Credit Cards will keep actual card numbers hidden from retailers, reducing the risk of fraud and identity theft.
Future Without Passwords involves enabling two-step verification as a default for all. This authentication system will use multiple systems so that users do not have to remember hundreds of passwords.
Phishing Protections based on artificial intelligence (AI) are being added to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google notes that phishing scams are responsible for 90% of cyberattacks.
Redesigned Google Wallet can store more than credit cards. It now can hold student IDs, park passes, Disney World cards, vaccine cards, and government-issued IDs. It will start with driver's licenses, allowing the user to share an ID with an NFC tap.
Better Skin Tone Representation will use the Monk Skin Tone Scale to represent skin tone better in photos and search. One application is in searching for makeup. Google is making its skin tone guide open source, thereby allowing all companies and researchers to use this technology.
Google Translate has added 24 new languages.
Google Maps is being enhanced to show more buildings, present 3D views of cities, and suggest the most fuel-efficient driving routes.
Google Meet will have improved audio and video quality as a result of Project Starline, which was announced at Google I/O 2021.
Multisearch allows the user to take a photo, search with that photo, and adjust that search with text. The new "near me" function will analyze a photo and see if that item is available nearby. Scene exploration is a powerful new search tool that analyzes a picture and offers information about objects therein.
Future Hardware Under Development
Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses were demonstrated at the conference, specifically their ability to automatically translate languages in real time. That is, the wearer can read a translation projected on a lens of what another person is saying. A projected launch date for this product was not announced.
An Android Tablet, powered by Google's Tensor chip, is slated for 2023.