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Google IO: Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch And Android 13 Unveiled | Google

Google has announced a slew of new products as it seeks to compete with Apple in tablets and smartwatches. It unveiled a lower-cost smartphone, high-end headphones and a watch due later this year, along with Android updates.

During the keynote kicking off its IO developer conference, Google announced plans to build a broader collection of own-brand devices rather than relying on third parties such as Samsung to use its software.

“We’re going into the ecosystem,” said Rick Osterloh, head of consumer hardware at Google. “We want people to know where Google is heading with devices as an organization over the next few years. »

Pixel 6a

The Pixel 6a is Google’s smaller and cheaper smartphone, but shares the same chips and design as its top phones. Photography: Google

The Pixel 6a is Google’s new smaller mid-range Android phone, costing £399 ($449/A$749), shipping on July 28. It has a 6.1-inch display and the same recycled aluminum casing, two-tone colors and rear camera bar as the company’s top-end phones.

It features Google’s high-end Tensor processor, 5G, and the Pixel 6’s Titan M2 security chip, along with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. It will be supported with software updates for at least five years, making it one of the longest-lasting Android phones.

The 6a has a pair of 12-megapixel wide and ultra-wide cameras on the back, which support the same improved skin tone and magic eraser features as Google’s top models.

Pixel Buds Pro

Pixel Buds Pro and their charging case resting on a book on a desk
The Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s premium noise canceling headphones. Photography: Google

Google has announced its first noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones, called Pixel Buds Pro, which will ship on July 28 for £179 ($199/A$299).

The headphones use Google-designed chips, algorithms and speakers, in direct competition with Apple’s more expensive ones. AirPods Pro. They have IPX4 sweat resistance and the same smart features found in previous Google earphones such as hands-free voice assistant, walking directions and instant translation capabilities.

The Buds Pro can connect to two Bluetooth devices at once, such as a phone for calls and a laptop for music, including iPhones, Macs, and PCs. They last up to seven hours with noise cancellation and up to 20 hours with their charging case.

Pixel Watch

The front and back of the Google Pixel Watch
The Pixel Watch is Google’s long-awaited WearOS smartwatch and a direct challenge to the Apple Watch but for Android. Photography: Google

Google has introduced its first own-brand WearOS smartwatch, called Pixel Watch, which will ship in the fall. It has a round, domed design, is made from recycled stainless steel and has optional 4G connectivity. It offers various Google apps and services, including Assistant, Maps, and Pay, as well as the Play Store for third-party apps.

It will also feature a suite of Fitbit health and activity tracking services, after Google’s purchase of the company which completed last year. The watch will work with most Android phones, not just Pixel.

Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Tablet

A group photo showing different colored backs of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are Google’s next high-end smartphones, due out in the summer. Photography: Google

Google has unveiled its next Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones for later this year. They will feature premium aluminum and polished glass enclosures and the company’s next-generation Tensor processor, which ships with Android 13 in the fall.

Google also announced plans to return to making Android tablets in 2023 as companions for its Pixel phones. The premium Pixel tablet will have Google’s Tensor chip and will take advantage of Android 13 with additions for better split-screen multitasking and better space utilization on tablets, including updates to 20 of the apps from Google, with third-party apps like TikTok, Zoom, Facebook and others gaining new designs optimized for tablets.

Android 13, Maps, Search and Assistant

A photo from Google Maps giving fuel-efficient driving directions around Berlin
Google’s Eco Directions in Maps, which shows the most fuel-efficient routes, extends to Europe. Photography: GooGle

Google introduced new software features coming later this year, including the ability to request removal of search results that contain your contact information, automatic summarization of key points in Google Docs and Chat, and the ability to just talk to Google Assistant looking at the Nest Hub Max smart display.

Later this year Google Maps will get a new immersive view, which combines street and aerial imagery to create digital models of cities such as London, Los Angeles and New York. Users will be able to virtually walk through cities at different times of the day with information overlaid, such as a location’s weather, traffic, and busyness.

Android 13 will also be released this summer as a free update, bringing with it greater customization and privacy options, including the ability to force apps to ask if they can send you notifications before doing so. similar to iOS, and other location access restrictions for apps.

Material from Google You color theme from Android 12 will be extended to more of the interface, including custom app icons. Now more than one language can be used on a phone at the same time, like English in a social media app, but Spanish in a banking app. The new Google Wallet will be able to collect payment cards, loyalty cards, transport tickets and boarding passes in one place, with different types of identification such as student cards and permits to drive in the United States later this year.

Users willing to try out the new features can test the software in beta form on Pixel phones from Google and others from third-party manufacturers.

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