Google I/O 2022: Here are the Big Announcements from Google.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Google’s annual I/O developer conference returned to the Shoreline Amphitheatre in an in-person event that saw the company share details on its latest breakthroughs in AI, machine translation and software. Google also outlined some of the hardware it plans to release later this year.

Google Pixel 6a

The new Pixel 6a has the same Google Tensor processor and hardware security architecture with Titan M2 as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The phone also features dual 12 MP rear cameras withe features like Magic Eraser and Night Sight. Google also said they will support the Pixel 6a with five years of security updates.

Colours: Sage, Chalk, Charcoal
OS: Android 12
Display: Full-screen 6.1-inch display, up to 60 Hz, 20:9 aspect ratio, FHD+ (1080 x 2400) OLED at 429 ppi
Memory & Storage: 6 GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128 GB storage UFS 3.1 storage
Processors: Google Tensor, Titan M2™ security coprocessor

Rear Camera:
12.2 MP dual pixel wide camera, 1.4 μm pixel width, ƒ/1.7 aperture, 77° field of view, 1/2.55″ image sensor size, Super Res Zoom up to 7x
12 MP ultrawide camera, 1.25 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 114° field of view, Lens correction, Optical + electronic image stabilization

Front Camera: 8 MP, 1.12 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.0 aperture, Fixed focus, 84° wide field of view

Camera Features: Magic Eraser, Real Toneᵀᴹ, Face Unblur, Panorama, Manual white balancing, Locked Folder, Night Sight, Top Shot, Portrait Mode, Portrait Light, Super Res Zoom, Motion autofocus, Frequent Faces, Dual exposure controls, Live HDR+, Cinematic Pan

Video
Rear camera
4K video recording at 30 FPS, 60 FPS
1080p video recording at 30 FPS, 60 FPS

Front camera
1080p video recording at 30 FPS
Cinematic Pan
Slo-mo video support up to 240 FPS
4K timelapse with stabilization
Astrophotography timelapse
Optical image stabilization
Fused video stabilization
4K Cinematic Pan video stabilization
4K locked video stabilization
1080p active video stabilization
Digital zoom up to 5x

Authentication: Fingerprint Unlock with under-display fingerprint sensor

Sensors: Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Magnetometer, Barometer
USB Type-C® 3.1 Gen 1
Minimum 5 years of security updates
IP67 dust and water resistance
Fingerprint-resistant coating

Price: $449. Available to pre-order on July 21st

Pixel Buds Pro

Google also announced the new Pixel Buds Pro. The buds use Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), a feature powered by a custom 6-core audio chip and Google algorithms to put the focus on your music.Silent Seal™ helps Pixel Buds Pro adapt to the shape of your ear, for better sound. Google says the Pixel Buds Pro will also support spatial audio later this year. Spatial audio is an immersive 360-degree sound tech that takes 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos signals and applies directional audio filters, adjusting the frequencies that each ear hears so that sounds can be placed virtually anywhere in 3D space. Sounds will appear to be coming from in front of you, from the sides, the rear and even above. The feature has been part of Apple devices since the company announced spatial audio in June 2020. The Pixel Buds Pro also come in new colors: Charcoal, Fog, Coral and Lemongrass, and have a two-tone design.With Multipoint connectivity, Pixel Buds Pro can automatically switch between your previously paired Bluetooth devices — including compatible laptops, tablets, TVs, and Android and iOS phones.The earbuds and their case are water-resistant.

Compatibility Requirements
Pairs with any Bluetooth® 4.0+ device, including Android, iOS, tablets, and laptops

Full access to features requires:
Google Account
Google Assistant (available on Android phones 6.0 or newer)
Internet connection

Sweat & Water Resistant: Earbuds IPX4・Case IPX2
Connectivity Each earbud: Bluetooth 5.0

Audio
Each earbud: Custom-designed 11 mm dynamic speaker driver
・Active Noise Cancellation
・Transparency mode
・Volume EQ
・Active in-ear pressure relief

Voice
Each earbud: Three microphones
・Voice accelerometer
・Wind-blocking mesh covers

Sensors
Each earbud: Capacitive touch (tap and swipe) sensors for music, calls, and Assistant controls
・IR proximity sensor for in-ear detection to play and pause automatically
・Motion-detecting accelerometer and gyroscope
・Charging case: Hall Effect sensor for case open and close detection

Charging
Charging case: USB-C® charging port
・Qi-certified wireless charging

Battery
With Active Noise Cancellation off, up to 11 hours of earbuds listening time, and up to 31 hours total listening time with the charging case.
With Active Noise Cancellation on, up to 7 hours of earbuds listening time, and up to 20 hours of total listening time with the charging case.
Fast Charge

5-minute charge of earbuds in the charging case delivers up to 1 hour of listening time.
15-minute charge of earbuds in the charging case delivers up to 3 hours of listening time.

Price: $199. Pre-orders starting July 21st

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

In a rather unusual move, Google revealed the new designs of their next flagships, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Google only shared a brief look which showed a different design for the cameras on both devices. The company said both devices would feature its next-generation Tensor chip, and come with a refined design made from recycled aluminum. There’s no word on pricing or availability yet. We expect Google to share more details later this year, sometime in October. My guess is probably they’re trying to get ahead of the leaks.

Pixel Watch

Google is getting serious about its ecosystem. The company also teased their first smartwatch, the Pixel Watch. This has been a long time coming since Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, acquired Fitbit in 2021. The Pixel Watch features a nearly bezel-less watch face flanked by a “tactile crown.” and will incorporate FitBit features like sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring and other exercise tracking capabilities. You’ll be able to control smart home devices from your wrist. The Pixel Watch wI’ll be unveiled alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro later this year. Also, later this year, more devices will be powered with Wear OS from Samsung, Fossil Group, Montblanc and others.

Pixel Tablet
While not much was revealed about the Pixel Tablet, Google did announce that it’s planning a 2023 release date and it will run on the company’s custom Tensor chips.

Android 13
As you would expect on an opening keynote, Google did talk about Android 13. Customization was a big part of Android 12, with the Material You design. Android 13 will focus on new features that allow you to personalize your device even more. For instance, one new tool will allow you to set a different default language for all the different apps on your phone. Another new feature lets you color match more of the icons on your home screen, not just ones from Google.
You’ll no longer need to grant location to apps to enable Wi-Fi scanning in Android 13. The OS will automatically delete your clipboard history after a short time to preemptively block apps from seeing old copied information. Android 13’s new photo picker lets you select the exact photos or videos you want to grant access to, without needing to share your entire media library with an app. Apps will also be required to get your permission before sending you notifications. And later this year, you’ll see a new Security & Privacy settings page with Android 13.

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Eddy Ndungu
Eddy Ndungu

Just another papercut survivor.

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