Google I/O 2023, the company’s biggest event of the year, came down with tons of new products, services, and updates regarding its AI development. If you weren’t able to catch the stream, we rounded up some of the event’s most notable announcements.
The Launch of Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7A
Perhaps the most-anticipated announcement of the keynote was the official unveiling of Google’s new Pixel Fold.
During the event, the company called it its “thinnest phone yet” and confirmed some of the leaks and rumors circulated months prior to the keynote, such as its Tensor G2 processor, 5.8-inch and 7.6-inch screens, and retail price of $1799.
The Pixel Fold also houses exclusive features like the “tabletop mode” that turns it into an automatic tripod, the ability to switch between interior and exterior screens seamlessly, a “split screen mode” for multi-tasking capabilities, and more.
Next on the line-up is the Pixel Tablet – a noteworthy rival to Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. Aside from the usual features of a modern tablet, what makes Google’s special is its “first of its kind” charging speaker dock that turns it into a digital photo frame, smart home controller, voice-activated helper, and shared entertainment device once connected.
As a treat for smartphone buyers on a budget, Google is also continuing its “A” series with the Pixel 7A – a slight upgrade to its 6A predecessor, with better cameras and a $499 price tag.
Pre-orders for the three products are open now, but shipping will start next month as per the company’s announcement.
Google Workspace Meets AI: Docs, Map, Sheets, Gmail, Photos
Google’s suite of services is receiving an upgrade with a variety of AI features.
Succeeding “Smart Compose,” the all-new “Help Me Write” assists users with writing emails and replies in Gmail, churning LinkedIn-ready job listings and more in Google Docs, creating ready-made sheet and table files in Google Sheets, and so much more all with simple prompts.
When it comes to Google Photos, the company unveiled a new feature called “Magic Editor,” which allows users to manipulate and move around subjects in a photo. It also allows them to adjust the lighting and colors of a subject and its background to give the photo an overall natural and consistent look.
Moving onto Maps, Google is introducing “Immersive View for Routes,” which could be extra useful for runners, bikers, and commuters to see their routes in 3D. The new feature also gives users an accurate read of the weather and traffic in a specific area, which can help them plan out their travel accordingly.
While Google has given no specific dates as to when the features will roll out, interested users can expect to use them in the coming weeks and months.
New and Improved Google Search Engine
The tech giant is bringing generative AI into its search engine with Search Generative Experience (SGE) in Search Labs.
The new feature reinvents the entirety of a user’s search experience by providing them with an “AI Snapshot” containing key information and details on a specific topic, and follow-up questions that lead users to a “conversational mode,” which allows them to ask questions and create queries, chatbot-style.
The new Google Search is also integrating a “Perspective” filter option that users can find above search results. The new filter will show users opinions from real people through images, long and short-form videos, and written posts that they would often have to manually look for in forums, Q&A sites and social media platforms.
Signups for SGE in Search Labs are open now and will roll out in the coming weeks on Chrome desktop and the Google App in the U.S.
Bard and Adobe Firefly
Google is scrapping the waitlist for its AI-powered chatbot Bard to finally make it available for everyone.
In line with its much-awaited public rollout, it also comes with a set of new features such as the ability to process Japanese and Korean languages, and the ability to create AI-generated images with the help of Adobe Firefly.
Bard can also now integrate third party services such as OpenTable, which comes in handy when searching for restaurants and making reservations, and Instacart for one’s shopping assistance needs.
Google Cloud: Codey, Imagen, and Chirp
When it comes to Google Cloud, the company has added a fresh new lineup of AI tools that take its services to the next level. With “Codey,” users can now write computer code just by creating simple English instructions.
Additionally, the company also introduced tools such as "Imagen," which lets users prompt images to use for advertising within the Cloud, and “Chirp,” which gives users the ability to generate voiceovers for ads in their preferred tone.
New Wear OS 4
While Pixel Fold may have been the star of the event, Google is also coming out with new products in its fine roster.
While Wear OS 3 has yet to fully roll out, the tech giant has already unveiled what’s in store for the successor of its smartwatch Android operating system.
With Wear OS 4, users can expect a longer battery life, new accessibility features, and convenient smart home integrations that lets users adjust home settings straight from their watch.