Google held its annual developer conference, I/O, today (May 10). And with it, the search giant launched a raft of new Pixel devices and software updates.
To say we're excited is an understatement — because this year, instead of the usual incremental upgrades to its budget model, Google launched a completely new model in the Pixel lineup.
Alongside the Pixel 7a, an update to its affordable smartphone, Google also launched the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold — two very hotly anticipated devices.
Beyond hardware, we also got demonstrations of how Google will be adding AI features to its apps, as well as a preview of all the new features coming to Android.
Here's everything that was announced at Google I/O:
Google Pixel 7a
In what is perhaps the worst-kept secret on the internet, Google launched the Pixel 7a at I/O.
A big upgrade over last year's Google Pixel 6a, the Pixel 7a has many of the same features as the Pixel 7. This includes a 64MP main camera, a high refresh rate display (90Hz) and wireless charging.
It also arrives with the Tensor G2 chipset, which is a major upgrade over last year's 6a.
The main difference between Google's new 7a and the more premium 7 is that the 7a has a 6.1-inch display (versus the 7's 6.3-inch display).
The Pixel 7a is priced at £449 (£50 more than the launch price of the Pixel 6a) and is available to buy now from the Google Store.
Google Pixel Fold
Perhaps the second worst-kept secret after the Pixel 7a, the Pixel Fold was also announced at I/O today.
The Pixel Fold boasts a 5.8-inch OLED external display and a main 7.6-inch OLED display when unfolded.
Google claims it has the most durable hinge of any folding phone, the thinnest profile and the best camera set-up. We can't wait to test all of those features out in our review.
The new folding phone runs on Google's Tensor G2 chip and features all of the Pixel features we've come to know and love.
This is the device that has us most excited in the Digital Spy office, as it's something completely different for Pixel fans.
You can pre-order the Pixel Fold now for £1,749, with deliveries starting next month. If you pre-order before June 26, then you'll get a free Google Pixel Watch.
Google Pixel Tablet
Google revealed the Pixel Tablet at I/O 2022 — but during this year's event, the brand announced the price and release date and showed off some more features.
The Pixel Tablet is a premium tablet with an 11-inch display perfect for streaming, browsing, playing games and making video calls.
It's powered by Google's Tensor G2 chip and features a charging speaker dock that turns the tablet into a Google Home Hub-style display when not in use.
The Google Pixel Tablet is available to pre-order today for £599. This price includes the magnetic speaker dock.
New Google AI
AI is the hottest thing in technology at the moment, with ChatGPT showing massive potential to shake up traditional ways of working.
Google opened the I/O show by showing off a new AI feature coming to Gmail called 'Help Me Write'. This will write your emails for you. Simply click the button, give Gmail a prompt (such as 'ask for a refund') and Help Me Write will compose an entire email for you. You can then adjust the text with prompts such as 'more elaborate', 'less formal' or 'shorter'.
This Help Me Write feature was also shown working in Google Docs to create letters, job listings and fulfil creative writing prompts.
An AI feature is also being added to Google Photos. Known as AI Magic Editor, this advanced editor allows you to easily change the look of your photos without needing to be a Photoshop pro.
The example shown at I/O featured making the sky blue (with Google automatically changing the lighting in the rest of the image to match), deleting distracting objects in the image and moving objects around without cropping.
We also got an update on Bard, Google's ChatGPT rival. Now open to everyone, Bard can now generate images using Adobe FireFly, format content into tables and move content created into Google Docs or Sheets.
In addition, Google showed how AI can be used to improve Google Search results, with content generation based on your question.
Finally, Google talked about how it will responsibly develop AI — making it easy to detect, removing unfair bias and adding citations to facts and figures.
Android 14 and Wear OS 4
Google announced that WhatsApp is coming to Wear OS. This is the first time the messaging app has been available on a smartwatch. You can start a new conversation, take calls and reply to messages using voice.
There will also be an update to 'Find my Device', with it now supporting more devices. This includes headphones, tablets, Tile, Chipolo and more. Other Android devices will now help you locate your lost device as well, so if you leave something at the gym or airport, you'll still be able to find it.
Plus, you'll get unknown tracker alerts if an unrecognised tracker gets placed on your device. This will eventually also work with Apple and Airtags.
Additionally, Google announced that it has built a replacement for SMS and MMS. It's called RCS, and Google hopes that Apple will adopt this new standard for cross-platform group chats.
'Magic Compose' is a new feature that will re-write your instant messages, making them sound more professional or shorter or even rhyme.
Your Android phone's lock screen will be getting new customisation options as well, with fresh designs, fonts and wallpapers.
Some of the wallpapers previewed at I/O included a custom emoji wallpaper, cinematic wallpaper that gives you a 3D image and generative AI wallpapers that are completely unique to you.
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