Google made some big announcements at Google I/O 2023. Apart from talking about how the company is using advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build a host of helpful products and features — everything from custom wallpapers on Android, more powerful editing tools in Google Photos and so on – the tech giant unveiled its new hardware lineup, including the Google Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7a.
Google also introduced a new large language model, used for training AI tools like chatbots, known as PaLM 2, and said it has already woven it into many of the internet search company's marquee products, a Bloomberg report added.
It’s fair to say there was an equal level of excitement for both the Google Pixel 7a, the company’s next mid-tier smartphone offering, and Google Pixel Fold – Google’s first foldable phone. The latest A-Series phone is built with Google Tensor G2, the company’s flagship processor, and Titan M2 security chip. Pixel 7a will have some big featues from the premium Pixel phones: like Face Unlock, 8GB of RAM, an up to 90Hz Smooth Display and wireless charging. The phone has the same familiar design as the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. According to Google, the phone starts at $499 and will come in Charcoal, Snow, Sea, and Coral color schemes.
Pixel Fold comes with its own set of bells and whistles. Powered by the Google Tensor G2 chip, the Pixel Fold has an interesting thin design. In its folded form, Google claims, the phone can slip into your palm and pocket. When you open it up, the phone has a 7.6-inch screen with a thinner profile than any other foldable phone in the market. A post on the Keyword explains more about the phone’s design philosophy: “To create this foldable design, we didn’t compromise on form and function. Many of the Pixel components — from camera, battery, speakers and haptics technology — were cleverly redesigned to fit within the thin design. Our custom-built hinge not only contributes to that thinness, but also doubles as the most durable hinge out there.” Thankfully, the Pixel Fold also has an IPX8 rating for water resistance.
You’ll be able to use multiple screens on the phone to keep your work and entertainment. When closed, the Pixel Fold’s exterior screen will let you do all the usual tasks on a phone: responding to Messages, browsing the internet or using a host of call assist features. When you flip it open, the interior screen will give you all the benefits of a tablet, including split screen functionality.
One of the standout features of the Fold is the rear camera selfie. Google claims you can get the highest quality selfie on a Pixel ever with this. The exterior screen acts as your viewfinder and the 48-megapixel main camera captures your selfie.
While Google has been testing its own conversational chatbot called Bard, the company announced that Bard will be available to users in more than 180 countries and more languages beyond English. According to the AP, Bard's multilingual expansion will begin with Japanese and Korean before adding about 40 more languages.
That’s not all. Remember how in 2017 Google introduced Smart Reply in Gmail? These are short responses you could select with just one click. Then came Smart Compose: automatic writing suggestions when you are typing your mail. Now, Google has introduced Help me Write in Gmail. This new feature – thanks to a more powerful generative model – will help you create proper replies to an email with just a single prompt.
Google Photos has been one of the most impressive tools in the Android ecosystem for a while now. During Google I/O, the company gave a sneak peek of Magic Editor, a new experimental editing experience that uses generative AI to help reimagine your photos and make editing even easier. According to Google, with Magic Editor, users will be able to make complex edits without pro-level editing skills. The tool will use a combination of AI techniques, including generative AI, to help you make edits to specific parts of an image — like the subject, sky or background. Google plans to give select Pixel phones early access to Magic Editor later this year.
Google also introduced new ways for users to personalize their Android phones: across messages, lock screen, wallpaper and more. All this is powered by Google’s recent advances in generative AI technology. Magic Compose in the Messages app will offer users suggested responses based on the context of their messages, and even magically transform what they write into different styles.
In Android 14, which is expected to be out later this year, users will be able to bring their own inspiration to customize lock screens with new shortcuts and beautifully crafted clocks. Pixel devices will also get access to emoji and cinematic wallpapers, starting June. Another cool visual feature is Generative AI wallpaper. Users will be able to answer suggested prompts to describe their preferred wallpaper: for instance, city by the bay in a post-impressionist style. Using Google’s text-to-image diffusion model, your phone will generate unique wallpapers for you to choose from.
Also read: Evolution of Google Pixel: Where will the goodness of Android take us next?