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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Top 7 news from the Google I/O 2022 conference

Several Pixel smart devices, new Android version, Google Wallet and more

Google Pixel 6a telefonid

Although the Google I/O conference has traditionally focused mainly on software news and information aimed at developers, the opening speech of the conference is usually full of new product presentations and software news for the general public and Google usually also shows new hardware. This year, too, Google introduced several new products, the majority of which had been previously leaked, but Google had kept a few things up their sleeve.

  Pixel 6a phone
The biggest news is that after a long wait, the Pixel 6a, which contains the majority of what is offered in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro but in a smaller and more affordable package, will finally be available for purchase. The main compromise is the camera, which is still identical to the older models and, unlike the more expensive versions, did not receive a major upgrade this year. The Pixel 6a will be available for purchase from 28 July.

 Pixel Watch  
Google officially unveiled the extensively leaked Pixel Watch, the company’s first very own smart watch. The announcement came as expected after years of speculation about Google’s own portable devices. Google announced that the Pixel Watch would be available for purchase in the autumn of 2022, but the price and details have not yet been released.

Pixel 7 and Tensor 2 processor
As a big surprise, Google also showed the appearance of its next smartphones, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which will be unveiled in autumn. The design is reminiscent of the Pixel 6, but the strip around the camera module is made of aluminium instead of contrasting glass. As is tradition, Google will share more information about the new phone in the autumn; all we know right now is that the heart of the new phones will be the second-generation Tensor chip.

Pixel Buds Pro

For a couple of years now, Google has been trying to compete in the market for earbuds. As more and more phones come without a headphone jack, Google is also interested in people purchasing earbuds bearing the Google logo to go with the phones. Although Google hopes to stand with its back straight next to Apple and Samsung, they have a long way ahead, particularly given that in addition to high quality earbuds offered by phone manufacturers, they also have to compete with JBL, Sony, Jabra and many others. But Google has not given up, and Pixel Buds are becoming better and better with each new model. As such, this year’s version, the Pixel Buds Pro, have received active noise cancellation, surround sound support and up to 11 hours of listening time, which can be further extended with the charging case. The earbud design is much more contemporary than in the previous model, and they are offered in four different colourways.

Pixel tablet
Following a break of several years, Google is once again working on a tablet. After all, it makes perfect sense for a company whose one main focus in developing Android is better support for large screens to offer a device to demonstrate this support on. However, the catch is that the new tablet will not arrive for another year. We will probably see this device at the next year’s developers’ conference I/O 2023.

Concept of AR glasses
At the end of the presentation, Google showed augmented reality glasses that perform incredibly good real-time translation. No additional information was provided, including whether and when such glasses could actually be purchased. As it is known that Apple is also developing augmented reality glasses, this area is of special importance to Google as well.

Google Wallet

Wallet is not a new product for Google. They already had such a service once, but then they decided to focus more on offering payment solutions and renamed Wallet as Google Pay. This also led to a shift in focus and the part of the classic digital wallet was neglected. But now Google wants to offer Android users an alternative to Apple Wallet in the form of a full-fledged digital wallet. Wallet aims to hold bank cards as well as tickets, vaccination certificates but also, for example, driving licences, ID cards and electronic access keys. In some countries, Google Pay will, at least initially, remain a standalone payment solution. But in Europe, Wallet will completely be replacing Google Pay.

Android 13 Beta
NAs has become tradition, Google announced the public beta version of the new Android version at the I/O. There is not much new in Android 13 as it is more focused on bug fixes and minor design updates. The public beta is currently available for phones from selected manufacturers. The final version of Android 13 will arrive in the autumn.