Google just finished the first day of its I / O event, giving us tons of new products, software, and experimental AI to learn about. Here’s everything you need to know about Android 12 beta, Samsung̵
Keep in mind that there are two days left from Google’s I / O event, which runs through May 20. The company will continue to announce products, ideas, and technological advancements at the I / O event, but as always, most of the big announcements come on the first day.
Android 12 Beta comes with a whole new look
As expected, Google used its I / O event to launch the first beta for the Android 12 OS. And it’s the biggest Android update we’ve seen in years. Not only has Google redesigned Android with a new customizable ‘Material You’ design language, but it has also added stronger privacy controls, plus a new all-in-one app permissions panel.
One of the most interesting changes in Android 12 is the redesigned notifications and the Quick Settings drop-down menu. It now offers a complete overview of all notifications, app controls, smart home controls and Google Pay options.
You can now try the beta version of Android 12 on Google Pixel and other compatible devices. Just keep in mind that some features may not work perfectly and some of your phone’s hardware (such as the fingerprint sensor) may not be supported in beta.
Samsung and Google combine their smartwatch ‘talents’
Google really dropped the ball with Wear OS. But now Google and Samsung are teaming up and essentially combining their Wear OS and Tiezen software. For now, the combined software is just called Wear OS, but it includes several new features and apps to better track your health and integrate with your smartphone.
Due to the recent acquisition of Fitbit by Google, the company suddenly has access to smartwatch developers really knows what they are doing. It looks like Google is using those developers, plus a little help from Samsung, to really have a shot at the Apple Watch.
Google Photos Builds Memories (and Memory Hiding Tools)
A new Google Photos update expands the Memories tool and provides slideshows for more than just you and your pets. Future slideshows will focus on objects, colors and events, and one example from Google, the Memories algorithm, created a funny ‘adventures of the orange backpack’ slideshow. Memories will also start creating slideshows of cultural events and holidays later this year.
But not all memories are worth remembering. That’s why Google makes it easier for users to hide Reminders with selected dates, people, or pets. Photos users can also Delete Memories or delete selected images from Memories slideshows.
Better tools for shopping in Chrome
A massive Google Shopping update adds a ton of new tools to help you find what you need online. The update includes a new Shopping chart to help you compare prices and find reviews, based on data from 24 billion listings across the web. Google is also expanding its lens capabilities, so you can point your camera at any product and find it instantly online.
If you use Chrome, your browser automatically keeps track of open shopping carts so you can come back and buy items at any time. Google also announced that it plans to integrate store loyalty programs and discounts into the Shopping tab.
Google Maps takes to the pavement with new safety features
Now that Google Maps is king of the streets, Google is expanding its capabilities to better display sidewalks, bike paths, and crosswalks. The company also updates maps to account for safety information, such as traffic and weather.
Interestingly, and I wish we had this feature last year, Google Maps adds information about pedestrians in stores and streets. The tool can better help you avoid crowded areas, be it for health reasons or personal preference.
Google Search provides ‘expert’ answers with MUM
There’s nothing worse than going down a Google Search rabbit hole. That is why Google is working on a MUM algorithm that provides long, detailed answers to search queries. For example, if you look up information about hiking, Google Search can generate a fun article with all the tools and safety information you need to have fun.
Google says the MUM relies on real-world experts who provide detailed explanations for simple questions. The algorithm will save you time (one day) during your research vacations or hobbies and provide important information you never thought you’d look up.
Smart Canvas brings video chat to Word documents
Do you hate jumping between video chats and Word documents? Google integrates its productivity suite with its Meet video service through a tool called Smart Canvas. The idea is simple: add social media features, polls, video chat windows, and more to Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Google Meet updates along with Smart Canvas to make collaborations and presentations easier. People in charge of meetings can rearrange colleagues’ video feeds, giving them a clearer, more controlled view of presentations, documents, and the people you work with.
Chrome automatically replaces compromised passwords
You really shouldn’t reuse passwords. But things do happen, and sometimes accounts get compromised. If you use Chrome to manage your passwords, your browser can now automatically generate and change passwords for websites, so you don’t have to search through a site’s confusing user interface.
One-tap password changes are now available in Chrome. You can find the feature by running a password check or by visiting passwords.google.com.
With LaMDA, Google Assistant can have real conversations
In what can only be described as the most bizarre moment in (recent) I / O history, Google demonstrated a conversational AI that role-plays like Pluto, a paper airplane, or whatever object you want.
Called LaMDA, the conversation AI will eventually provide casual, free-flowing discussion options for Google Assistant and other voice assistants. It won’t always pretend to be a paper airplane, but it can be used a lot in education as kids can ask to have a conversation with a lion or horse to learn about the environment, biology and habits of the animals. .
Project Starline Take video chat to a new level
Video chats just aren’t enough. That’s why Google is working on Project Starline, a magical mirror that brings distant families to you in 3D. Spatial audio and careful video positioning give you the feeling of making eye contact through Project Starline, an impressive feat impossible with standard video chat services.
Project Starline is perhaps the first AR application that can appeal to everyone, everywhere. Google says it is working to lower the price of Starline hardware, although it is not known when a product will launch or what form it will take.
Google will identify your result and give you a TB test
A new Google dermatology tool helps people identify common skin conditions with their phone. While not a substitute for an actual doctor’s visit, the tool can help people learn about common skin, hair, and nail problems, or even find a treatment for a rash.
Along with its dermatology tool, Google shared research on its AI-powered tuberculosis identification tool. The software can accurately identify tuberculosis in X-rays of patients’ lungs, providing a low-cost alternative to human-led assessments. Because tuberculosis disproportionately affects people in poorer countries, this tool can convince people who are ill to get a cheap pre-test before moving on to expensive, traditional testing.