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GOOGLE I/O 2021: Top 10 Announcements So Far

The event, known as Google I/O is going digital this time, given that the pandemic is still ongoing. The three-day conference started yesterday on May 18 and will be continued to May 20. The event is also being streamed on the company’s YouTube channel.

So far, Google has focused on new features focused around its key products which are Search, Maps, Photos, Google Lens, etc. Here’s a quick highlight of the Top 10 announcements from first day.

  1. Android 12: That most anticipated OS

The new design for Android 12 is called ‘Material You’, and brings a major design change from redesigned widgets to apps. The beta for Android 12 will be available from today for Pixel, OnePlus and Xiaomi devices, and later on to other Google products.

The new UI will come with a new ‘Colour extraction’ feature that creates a custom pallet based on the wallpaper you’re using. You get a new lockscreen that supports dynamic light. The clock on the lockscreen also appears larger when you dont have any notifications. The ‘quick settings’ of the notification bar also includes Google Pay and Home controls.

 Google Assistant can now be summoned by long pressing the power button. There will also be a ‘Digital Car Key’ feature later this year, which will let car owners lock, unlock or start their vehicle with the help of NFC. To be available on Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices.

You can now unlock and share files from ChromeBook directly via your Android phone. Google says that TV remote will come built into the phone and will work with Android TV.

A new privacy dashboard will show what type of data was accessed and when. A new indicator has been added that will let users know when an app using their camera or microphone.

  • Project Starline: A holographic video conferencing tool

Google gives us a glimpse of Project Starline, a technology project that combines advances in hardware and software to help people feel like they’re together, even when they’re apart. System uses high-resolution cameras and depth sensors to create 3D images of a person during a video interaction; making it like being seated across from them, basically a hologram.

  • Wear OS: wearables get longer battery lives

Fitbit is now part of the Google fold. Some of the most popular features of Fitbit will be available on Google’s Wear watches, and the two will also co-develop new watches. Also on the wearables front, Google has teamed up with Samsung to combine the strengths of Wear OS with those of Tizen for faster performance and improved battery life. Apps will start faster and you’ll have more choices from devices to apps and watch faces.

  • Google Health: Quick diagnosis

Google Health has partnered with Northwestern Medicine to advance the use of AI in mammograms for quicker, more accurate detection of breast cancer cases. Advances in AI can not only help clinicians triage patients more effectively, they can also help solve big health challenges, says Google.

  • Google Photos: “Little Patterns” makes things better

The new “Little Patterns” feature can read visual similarities between different pictures and present them as an assembled memory. Google Photos will also now sort images for memories basis of the occasion they were taken on.

Google is making it easier to choose the content you look back on. You can prevent photos of certain people or time periods from showing up in Memories in just a few taps. They’re also making it possible to remove a single photo from a Memory, rename it or remove it entirely.

  • Google Maps: You can see how busy places are

Google Maps’ AR view feature will allow users to just point at a place like restaurant and instantly get details like reviews, how crowded they are and more on Live View. It will also work indoors to help users navigate buildings like Airports.

Search results in Google Maps will also automatically adjusted, based on the time of the day and based on business hours.

It also announces eco-friendly, safer routes features for Google Maps, which will reduce fuel consumption.

  • Google Shop: Introducing shopping graphs

The new “Shopping Graph” is a knowledge graph for shopping that shows reviews, pricing, video and more. It uses Lens, Photos, Search, Chrome and YouTube to gather information and allow users to shop easily. For example, you can use Google Lens to examine a photo or a screenshot to look for and then search for products you can buy online.

  • Google Search: See how elite athletes perform

You will now be able to see some of the world’s best athletes via AR on Google Search. Google is also working on new tools to improve search results and give users more search options. It is adding “About this result” to all English search results worldwide, providing key information and context for various websites and services. The goal is to provide valuable, helpful, and accurate information from trusted sources.

  • Smart Canvas: A new collaboration tool

Google is adding a new collaboration tool to Workspaces: Smart Canvas. It looks like a mix of Google Sheets, Docs, and the task-managing service Asana. Google Meet is integrated, as well, and later this year, you’ll be able to join a Meet video call while collaborating on a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide. Google Meet is also receiving noise cancellation improvements, video quality features that rely on AI for lighting, framing and focusing, and translations.

  1. Google Chrome: translate, password tools and more

Google announced LaMDA, a natural language platform that’s still in the research and development phase inside the company for translation purposes.

You can now use “Delete last 15 minutes” feature to delete your recent search history. You will now be reminded to turn off your location history in case you didn’t want to save it. Google is also bringing ‘Locked Folder’ for photos and videos that will need your password or fingerprint to open. 

The new ‘Import Passwords’ tool will now make it easier for users to import passwords from other password managers. ‘Alert Password’ will alert users if any of their saved password have become compromised in a third-party breach. Google Assistant will help you navigate directly to the compromised account so that you can quickly change its password.

After 18 months, your data will be automatically get deleted unless you choose to do it sooner.

So there you go, those are the biggest highlights so far, and we are keeping an eye out for what Google announces next. Catch their live stream here: https://events.google.com/io/?lng=en

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