Google I / O 2021: the biggest announcements

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Google just finished its live Google I / O 2021 keynote, where the company unveiled a host of announcements, including a new look for Android, a ton of features for its Google Workspace productivity suite, and even a new AI that spoke like Pluto. used to be.

Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn followed the whole thing in real time here on our live blog. But if you just want to keep up with the show’s biggest news, read on for our recap.

Image: Google

Google has revealed that Android 12 will have a brand new “Material You” design with a bunch of new changes. It offers a lot of color and customization, and the new mobile OS can even change system colors to better match your wallpaper. It also offers some new privacy features, including a new privacy dashboard. Starting today, a beta version is available that works with phones from 11 device manufacturers.

Google has announced ‘smart canvas’, a new initiative for its Workspace office software that makes it easier to work between products. Features include “smart chips” that allow you to link to other Workspace apps and the ability to initiate a Meet video call directly from Google Doc, Sheet or Slide.

Image: Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai showed some impressive (but pre-recorded) demos of someone having a conversation with an AI powered by its new LaMDA call technology. In the demos, the AI ​​”spoke” as Pluto and a paper airplane.

Google has announced Wear OS (now simply called Wear) and Samsung’s Tizen will be combined into a unified platform. That should result in apps getting faster and longer battery life.

Image: Google

Google demoed Project Starline, which uses high-resolution cameras and depth sensors to create a real-time 3D model of a person “sitting” across from you to recreate the feeling of a face-to-face encounter.

Image: Google

Google is working on updates to its camera and imaging products to make them better at accurately capturing and reproducing skin tones in images.


GIF: Google

Google Photos gets impressive new “cinematic moments” where two photos are used to create a moving image. You can see what they look like in the GIF above. Google is also adding new types of reminders, including reminders based on visual patterns in your photos.

Image: Google

Google is adding a feature to Google Photos that allows you to store photos in a password-protected space on your phone. These photos do not appear when you scroll in the app. It will launch first on Google Pixel and come to more Android devices throughout the year.


GIF: Google

Google has announced that it is adding a way to change a saved password for a website directly from Google’s password manager. It is rolling out gradually to Chrome on Android in the US and will be available everywhere in the coming months.

Google is making some changes to Google Maps, including rolling out new features for its Live View augmented reality tool. Google also adds features to make maps more informative, such as showing different restaurants at different times of the day, pointing out local landmarks when you visit a new city, and showing how busy a particular area is.

Google is adding a number of privacy-focused features to Android, including an Android sandbox called the Private Compute Core, which securely stores data used for machine learning.

Google announced that there are now more than 3 billion active Android devices. That’s a lot!

Image: Google

Google allows “selected Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones” to work as digital car keys, starting with Android 12. The feature supports UWB and NFC, although BMW is the only car manufacturer to support Android’s digital car key so far.

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Google has unveiled a new health tool that allows you to take a picture of a skin problem and answer questions about their skin type and symptoms, helping you better identify skin conditions. Google aims to launch a pilot with the tool this year.