Google’s annual developer conference, new AI-powered tools, and a zany prototype video booth made for hyperrealistic teleconferencing and many more features this year 2021
A New Look for Android
- Pick up your phone and the lock screen will light up from the bottom, but tap the power button instead and the pixels will illuminate from the side of the phone.
- If there are no notifications on the lock screen, the clock will take up more space.
- Small touches like this even apply to the system’s design—the color tones of widgets and the notification drop-down menu can adjust to match your wallpaper.
New Android 12 Privacy Features
- You can read a detailed rundown Android’s new privacy features by our own Lily Hay Newman.
- There’s a new privacy dashboard that allows users to view app permission settings, see which data is being accessed by which apps, and revoke app tracking privileges all from one screen.
- Also, an indicator will now pop up in the top corner to let you know if an app is using your mic or camera.
Project Starline’s ‘Video Booth’
- It’s the Zoom of the future! Kind of. Maybe the Google Meet of the future.
- still a prototype, Google’s Project Starline is a virtual meeting booth with holograms.
- Two people sit in their respective booths in different locations, and your chat companion beams right in using tech that makes them look like they’re sitting across the table from you.
Wear OS Updates
- The next version of Wear OS—for now, just called Wear—will include some features pulled right from Samsung’s current wearable OS, Tizen.
- Google says this and other optimizations will offer better battery life and up to 30 percent faster performance.
- Some Google apps will work directly on the Wear platform without requiring a constant phone connection, including turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps and offline music listening on streaming services like YouTube Music and (eventually) Spotify.
Improved Photo Discovery
- First is a feature that automatically collects photos into albums using visual patterns in the images to identify photos that probably belong together.
- The AI engine looks at all your photos to find similar shapes and colors, and it can spot patterns the human eye might miss.
- The Photos AI was able to assemble a gallery of photos from a specific backpacking trip he took by pulling in all the pictures where his orange backpack appears.
- The AI can spot all of your shots with a menorah in them, and put together a collection of Hanukkah memories.
A Better Password Manager
- there’s a new password import tool that helps new users aggregate their many passwords into Google’s manager.
- Once the passwords are stored in Google’s password manager, users will have an easier time deploying them outside of Chrome; better integrations between Chrome and Android will store passwords and auto-fill information for apps as well as websites in a way that feels more seamless.
- there’s a new feature in the password manager that adds one helpful step to that alert: a quick-fix tool that guides you through the process of changing any passwords that have been compromised.
Google I/O New Tools for Remote Work
- Smart Canvas is a project management tool that lets multiple users work together across different document types.
- They can keep track of progress with checklist items tagged to specific dates and people, and brainstorm ideas live in one place.
- Google Meet, the video chat platform, will soon be integrated directly into Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
- You’ll be able to click the little Meet button in the top corner, and collaborators can pop up on video in a column alongside the doc to argue about what gets edited.
- A new Companion Mode in Meet is meant to display members of a team in more equally placed tiles, along with better noise cancelation and automatic visual tweaks to zoom and lighting to make all participant videos more visually consistent.
- For anyone watching who needs captions, those can be turned on using live transcription, or even translated into one of Google’s supported languages.
Google I/O Improved Natural Language Skills
- First, it’s developed a new conversational model called LaMDA that can hold a conversation with you, either typed or spoken, about any topic you’re curious about.
- The AI will look up information about the topic while you’re talking, and then enhance the conversation in a natural way by weaving facts and contextual info into its answers. What we saw on Tuesday was just a controlled demo, but the LaMDA model really does look like it could make conversations with a computer feel even more human.
- There’s another natural-language processing model headed to Google’s Search tools. Dubbed the Multitask Unified Model, or MUM, Google says the feature is intended to make sense of longer, multi-pronged questions submitted by users.
Google I/O Detailed Maps
- Ask for directions and Google will present an option for “eco-friendly routes” that factor in distance and road or traffic conditions to find a more fuel-efficient way to get where you’re going.
- A “safer routing” feature in Maps can analyze road lanes and traffic patterns to help you avoid what it calls “hard braking moments,” when traffic slows down unexpectedly.
- Live View, that help contextualize where you are by analyzing streets signs and providing information like “busyness” levels for whole neighborhoods instead of just specific restaurants and shops.
- Live View also now works indoors, so you can see that contextual info inside a train station or a mall. The main Maps tool will also tailor what it shows you to the time of day and your location. Open Maps in the morning and you’ll see pins for breakfast options.
- Open Maps in a city you’ve never visited and you’ll see tourist spots and popular attractions.
Google I/O Shopping
- Users can use Google Lens to search images in screenshots taken on their phone and link third-party memberships directly to their Google account.
- Whenever you open up a new tab in Chrome, Google will show you all of the pending purchases you have sitting in shopping carts around the web.
- Google also announced a Shopify integration feature, which will let sellers who use Shopify make their products appear across search, Maps, images, Google Lens, and YouTube.
and Many more features. we will cover more features in another article.
Happy Reading 🙂