google started The annual I/O developer conference on Wednesday. As usual, the company took the opportunity to announce a slew of new hardware products and software updates.
While shiny new products may steal the show — you can learn about the Pixel Watch, the new Pixel phone and more Our respective stories– I/O is still mostly a software transaction. To that end, Google used its keynote to detail a dizzying array of new features for Android, Search, Maps and Google Assistant services.
Here are the biggest updates Google has announced.
We got more details about the next version of Android, Google’s operating system for mobile devices. When Android 13 arrives this fall, it will introduce updates that make the operating system more secure and more interoperable with other devices around you. Google Messaging will expand RCS SMS standard that brings end-to-end encryption to group texts. Multilingual users will be able to set up specific apps to use specific languages, so you can search in English and tweet in German.Supports quick pairing with using devices matter With built-in smart home standards, it will be easier to cast video or photos to more TVs, monitors and other screens in the home, and support products from more manufacturers.
We’ll have a closer look at Android 13 when it’s due out later this year.
Google has found its wallet
The company has reinstated the Google Wallet name and branding it had previously abandoned, and the updated app will become Android’s default digital currency container. The wallet will hang on your device and hold all your credit cards, transit cards, vaccine verifications, and even your park passes to Disney World. If you’re thinking, “Wait, this sounds like Google Pay, a thing that already exists,” you’d be right. Wallet is basically the same as Google Pay, except that Google says its Wallet app will also soon support digital IDs, including driver’s licenses.Google has a habit kill own serviceso we’ll see how long these two options last.
new safety features
Google has also added various new features to its software platform designed to prevent cyberattacks. It’s improving its two-factor authentication system and enabling it on Google accounts by default. Phishing protection is moving from Gmail to Google’s office suite (Docs, Sheets, and Slides). It also flags when account settings can be changed to better protect privacy.
A new feature called Virtual Cards is designed to keep your credit card information private when you shop. When you autofill your credit card information, Virtual Cards will generate a random card number, saving you from having to manually enter sensitive information at some potentially suspicious storefronts.
Read Lily Newman’s Wired story to learn all about Google’s new security features.
welcome to multisearch
Last month, Google launched a program called multiple search. It allows you to combine elements in a single search query, such as using both photos and text. Soon, Multisearch will get new tweaks. The feature, called Near Me, lets you consider your location when doing multiple searches, helping you find local restaurants or shops based on photos and text. Multisearch Near Me will roll out globally later this year, though it’s currently only available for English input.
An upcoming feature in Google Maps is what Google calls Immersive View. It’s a spoofed Street View that lets you swipe around in CGI-rendered 3D space. It can simulate entire cities and even the interiors of offices and restaurants. You won’t see a 100% accurate rendering because most of it is based on user photos and then populated with algorithms. Google says the feature will work with any smartphone and will be available in “select cities” this year.
Google has taken steps to make its voice assistant understand more of the nuances of conversations and react accordingly. A new feature called Look and Talk, only available on the Nest Hub Max, aims to make talking to the voice assistant less like yelling at a concrete slab. You no longer have to say “OK Google” because the system is designed to recognize when you ask it a question. To do this, the Nest Hub Max uses its built-in camera to monitor how close you are to the device, which direction your head is turned, and which direction your gaze is pointing. So it can detect if you are looking at the device and wait for an answer.
The assistant also allows pausing during queries in case you need a second to organize your thoughts. It’s like talking to a person! The company did not say whether the Google Assistant is capable of falling in love.