Google I/O 2021 was less exciting than last year because there were no significant hardware announcements. In addition to Android 12, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant also announced a partnership with Samsung regarding Wear OS and its new Material You design.
In Mountain View, California, Google’s I/O 2021 conference opened with a keynote speech. Software giant Microsoft released updates to Maps and Workspace. The company also released new versions of its Android and WearOS platforms. The following is a quick rundown of Google’s major announcements at Google I/O 2021:
1. Android 12
“Material You” is the name of the redesigned Android 12. Google released the first beta version of Android 12 to allow users to see what the new OS has to offer. Despite these changes, Android 12 also offers many customization features. Pixel devices will allow users to design their own color palette and widgets based upon their preferences. In addition, Google has simplified the interface for easy interaction.
2. Android support for Digital Car Keys
Android 12 will allow Pixel and Samsung Galaxy users to use their phones as digital car keys. Google’s car key has only been supported by BMW so far.
3. Google and Samsung partners for WearOS
Google announced that it’s bringing the best of Samsung’s WearOS and Tizen into one platform called “Wear.” This would improve the way smartwatches work. Additionally, the company claims that the watches will now be faster and have a longer battery life.
4. Google Smart Canvas
A collaboration tool between Google products was announced, Smart Canvas. A new smart chip is coming to Google Docs, according to the search giant. You can insert smart chips into your work by typing “@” to see a list of recommended people, files, and meetings. Google said in a blog post that collaborators can quickly skim associated meetings and people or preview linked documents without changing tabs or contexts.”
5. Google’s Starline Project
The project Starline that Google announced at the conference is indeed an advanced technology. Utilizing high-resolution cameras and depth sensors, the technology creates a real-time 3D model of the person in front of you. The project is only currently available in a few of our offices, using specialized hardware and equipment. Hopefully, this is the way personal communication technology can and should improve, and over time we hope to bring some of the latest technological advancements to our communication products,” shared Google in its blog.
6. Google to AI to Detect Skin Conditions
With Google’s new AI-powered dermatology assistant, you can identify any person’s skin conditions using your phone’s camera. Google says the new technology will improve breast cancer detection and help detect tuberculosis more effectively.
7. Google’s Enhanced Camera to Capture Skin Tones Correctly
The company said it is working on a feature that would allow darker skin tones to be captured by its camera app.
8. LaMDA AI language
The conference also announced a new LaMDA conversation technology powered by Artificial Intelligence. Conversation technology is what Google calls its revolutionary technology.
9. More AI-powered Google Maps
By providing information about routes that prevent users from entering a hard braking point, Google Maps will save users from difficult times. “We’ll recommend that route automatically if the ETA is the same or the difference is minimal. The company wrote on its website that it believes these changes could reduce hard braking by 100 million times in Google Maps usage every year. Additionally, the Live View tool will display more information than ever before.
10. Updated Google Photos app
Google Photos is receiving some much-needed updates. In addition, the photo app will convert still photos into animated ones. A password will also be required to access Google Photos. With this feature, you can lock your private images and they won’t appear when you scroll through the application.