Google I/O: Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, Pixel Tablet and Pixel Watch announced

Google I/O Developer Conference keynote kicks off at 7pm. Company President Sundar Pichai welcomed the audience to the Shoreline Theater for the first time in three years. At the event, Google announced the Pixel 6a, the latest Android developer smartphone.

Pixel 6a should cost 460 euros. It will run on the same Tensor chip that powers the Pixel 6 Pro. It will be on the market on July 28th. On this occasion, Google also showed off the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro live – at least the design. In the keynote, Google promised, among other things, the next generation of Tensor chips for upcoming mobile phones. Google has provided another brief preview of the Pixel Tablet, which is slated to launch in 2023.

As expected, Google also unveiled the Pixel Watch, the tech giant’s first Wear OS watch. Head of Hardware Rick Osterloh, who already has the watch on his wrist, announced the Pixel Watch for fall 2022. So the watch should launch with the Pixel 7 and run with Wear OS 3. Google hasn’t announced the price yet.

The Pixel Watch will launch with the Pixel 7 this fall.

(Image: Google)

Another piece of hardware was announced with the Pixel Buds Pro. Google’s new earbuds come with Active Noise Canceling (ANC) for the first time. The battery life is said to be 11 hours without ANC and 7 hours with ANC. It will be available from July at a price of 220 euros.

Pichai’s latest announcement came as a surprise: he showed off a prototype of augmented reality glasses reminiscent of Google’s earlier experiments with Glass. She appeared in a promotional video helping a family with translation. Tangible information about the aft glass is still pending.

Pichai also had news of Google Maps in his bag. The new ‘holographic mode’ where you can even search restaurants. Google has collected images taken by users and combined them into 3D environments using artificial intelligence. The feature is expected to work in select cities later this year, with London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo confirmed so far.

Google is bringing back its own Google Wallet for Android. The new system works as a set of digital cards and should be able to replace government ID cards in the future. At I/O, Google cited a driver’s license as an example. In 2018, Google merged two payment services such as Android Pay and Google Wallet into a co-branded name “Google Pay”.

Android 13 has been tested in several developer previews since the beginning of the year, and the first beta version was released recently. Among other things, Google has modified the privacy settings queries, so that apps now have to repeatedly ask for permission, for example to be able to access the camera or microphone. At I/O, Google announced, among other things, that the Android earthquake warning system should be available in additional countries. Google also wants to adapt additional apps to tablet screens.

Google has also shown an extension for Google Lens, a type of camera search for Android mobile phones: in the future, a cell phone lens should be able to scan supermarket shelves, for example, in order to display useful information about individual products.

In the future, Google Lens should be able to scan several products at once and display additional information.

(Image: Google)

Workspace apps are also getting new features. Workspace customers already have access to automatic content summaries of English texts in Google Docs (English Summaries). In the coming months, Google will expand this to its Chat and Collaboration service in Spaces (for workspace variants for Business, Enterprise, Education, Fundamentals, and Frontline), and next year to Google Meet. Automatic word logs for Google Meet chats will become available later this year.

Nest Hub devices with a camera won’t need to pick up “Hey Google” to bring up the Assistant. Alternatively, you can simply look at them in the future to contact the assistant who is in the plan. So-called “quick phrases” for frequently used queries can be done without any wake word or eye contact, and now Google wants to expand the list of potential queries. Both features can be deactivated if desired.

All Assistant features are planned in the US first. It is not clear if and when it will be available in Germany. A start in Germany currently seems unlikely, especially when you wake up with eye contact: the only Nest Hub with a camera, the Nest Hub Max, is not currently available in this country.

The keynote is the single most important event at the multi-day developer fair. Google will then hold more lectures and workshops on individual topics such as Flutter and Google Cloud. The company posted a timeline on its website.

This article is constantly updated.


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