Google’s I/O 2022 developer keynote event, on Wednesday night, was packed with announcements. Google showed off lots of new software tricks based on AI and machine learning that it’s working on bringing to its products from Search to Maps, Translate, Assistant, Workspace, and more over the course of the year and future. It’s adding new languages to Translate, more immersive view to Maps, visual improvements to Meet, and a “Too Long, Didn’t Read” or TL;DR mode, aka automated summarisation to Docs. There’s a whole lot more. Android 13 was naturally touched upon, too.
There were a lot of hardware announcements as well. The Pixel 6a and Pixel Buds Pro officially broke cover. Just so you know, the Pixel 6a is coming to India, so yay! (There is no word on the Pixel Buds Pro at the time of writing.) To everyone’s surprise, Google even gave a sneak peek of the upcoming Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel Watch, and Pixel tablet, possibly catching many leakers off-guard.
As we said, Google I/O 2022 was packed. So, here’s a quick look at everything that Google announced:
1. Google is adding 24 new languages to Google Translate. These are Assamese, Aymara, Bambara, Bhojpuri, Dhivehi, Dogri, Ewe, Guarani, Ilocano, Konkani, Krio, Kurdish (Sorani), Lingala, Luganda, Maithili, Meiteilon (Manipuri), Mizo, Oromo, Quechua, Sanskrit, Sepedi, Tigrinya, Tsonga, and Twi. With this, Google Translate now supports a total of 133 languages.
2. Google Maps is on route to get a new immersive view feature that, as the name suggests, will allow users to get a more immersive view of a location. Say for instance, you’re looking for a restaurant, you can also get a glimpse inside of it, on Google Maps going forward. Google says it’s not using drones for this imagery but neural rendering creating the experience from images alone. It will work on any phone, too, regardless of the hardware and will be available for select cities later this year. Google is also expanding eco-friendly routing to Europe after US and Canada so more users will be able to get carbon emissions estimates— this is also coming to Google Flights.
3. Google is working on expanding auto-generate chapters in YouTubevideos ten folds from eight million today to 80 million over the next year. Auto-translated captions will also be available in 16 languages on mobile.
4. Google is adding automated summarisation to Google Docs.It will come to Google Chat next.Google says it’s also working to bring transcription and summarisation to Google Meet.
5. Speaking of which, Google is taking some inspiration from its own Project Starline –introduced last year— to improve the quality of videos on Google Meet. It’s also working to add studio quality lighting to it.
6. Later this year, Google will launch a new multisearch near me feature in English globally to help users search for relevant things from local businesses. It is also working on scene exploration for multisearch, that can scan an entire scene to find useful information and overlay in front of you. Google calls it a superpower with identifying plant species, disaster management cited as some key use cases.
7. Google has announced that “Real Tone” will be available across its products (after launching on Google Pixel 6) using the Monk skin tone scale as a standard. Tests are being conducted globally as we speak to help understand how Google represent skin tones in products like Google Photos and Search. It says bridal makeup looks will be filtered for diverse skin tones in Search. Real tone filters are also coming to Google Photos later this month. Moreover, Google is open sourcing the Monk skin tone so it can improve over time in partnership with the industry.
8. Google is adding two new features to Google Assistant to encourage more natural conversations. Look and feel will allow Google Nest Hub Max users to simply talk to Google Assistant by looking at without saying Hey Google every time. Google says it is using six learning models to avoid accidental activations and it will work across a range of skin tones, too. It is also expanding quick phrasesso you can have more commands without saying Hey Google, each time.
9. Google has introduced the second generation of its LaMDA conversational AI and launched AI Test Kitchen alongside so more developers can explore its AI features, give feedback, and make it better over time through demos like Imagine it, Talk about it, and List it. The goal is to make the AI stay on topic, even when someone tries to change it.
10. Let’s talk hardware now. Google has launched the Pixel 6a with Tensor chip and Pixel Buds Pro with ANC. Both will be available for pre-order starting July 21 in select markets. Google has also teased the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, both of which will arrive with its second-generation Tensor chip, later this fall. The Pixel Watch with deep integration with Fitbit and Wear OS 3 is coming, too, with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Last but not the least, Google is also making a Pixel tablet, said to be a companion to your Pixel phone and also powered by the Tensor chip, but that’s coming a bit later, in 2023.