Google I/O 2021
Each year’s Google I/O brings with it a heck load of anticipations and updates surrounding Google’s entire ecosystem. This time around, it was virtual and thus on a small scale, but with digital blobs singing opera, the cameo appearance of the American actor Michael Peña, Google didn’t keep it that low-profile either. Regardless, here’s what the Google I/O 2021 was all about.
The AI Bots
LaMDA by Google is a machine learning model that refines the conversational skills of an AI. The idea behind LaMDA is to make digital assistants a little less frustrating, a bit more accurate, and the conversations a bit more free-flowing. Google demonstrated a conversation between two AI, among which one pretended to be Pluto and the other, a paper plane.
Android 12 gets new Aesthetics
The entire look of the Android 12 will be new. Android 12 brings redesigned widgets and customizable color palettes to best suit the backgrounds. For instance, if your wallpaper has a certain prominent color, the entire widgets and os will automatically switch to the shades/colors that complement that prominent color of your background. What’s inane is that this design which Google calls Material You design can be ported onto other phones as well. This feature is set to hit the devices and apps, later this fall for the pixel devices and more.
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Android 12 gets plenty of privacy features. Firstly, a new dashboard that displays what data the apps are collecting, a private folder within the google photos app, and more. Apart from that, Google is creating an entire ecosystem with devices that can complement the functioning of each other such as sending photos and texts to Chromebook, built-in Chromecast remote controls, digital car keys (only BMW supports it as of now), and more.
Google Photos gets a new Memories Feature
Google Photos will now be able to show memories based on the common elements that it finds in three or more photos. The google demonstration included an engineer’s orange backpack and how Google Photos were able to create a collection based on the backpack.
Cinematic photos are the new addition to the list, which bears its resemblance to Apple’s live photos but one key differentiating aspect of it is that it can stitch together two different pictures clicked at two entirely different timeframes. For those of you, who want to keep track of then vs now, it lets you do that. Then there’s a Locked folder, a folder that remains hidden during a random scroll session in your photos unless you provide the passcode required to access it.
Google Maps; Better Navigations
Google Maps will be receiving plenty of updates, the most intriguing of which is the recommended routes which are now less likely to guide you straight into busy intersections, sharp corners, etc. Then there’s Live View mode which shows you informations about the surroundings you’re walking through, such as restaurants, shops, etc. Google maps will also have street signs to guide you through junctions and intersections.
The most important of all is the live ” area busyness” which lets you see what places you are crowded so that you can decide your route maintaining the social distancing protocols. Post pandemic, this might be helpful in cities where you want to celebrate some festivals or occasions, you can know that from the busyness of that very neighborhood.
Samsung and Google Partnership:
Google has joined hands with Samsung for the new Wear OS or Wear- as they’re calling the new OS. The new Wear platform will combine Samsung’s Tizen and Google’s Wear OS to make a new unified OS which will presumably give the new Wear devices 30% faster app launch speeds, support for third-party apps and tiles, longer battery life, and more. This will give Wear the support for functions such as sleep tracking and continuous heart-rate monitoring.
Project Starline; Holograms?
“Hologram” is the keyword that aptly describes Project Starline by Google. Pitched as a magic portal that lets you see and interact with a 3D image of the person you’re talking to, Project Starline combines 3D vision, spatial audio, and real-time compression in order to make it as life-like and as life-size as possible. With trials happening on Healthcare services and Media towards the end of this year.
That wraps it up for the Google I/O 2021, and it sure is a peek into the future that we’re headed to.