Google I/O 2022: New competition for the Apple Watch, fresh smartphones are in the starting blocks

05/11/2022, 21:06

4 min reading time

At this year's developer conference, Google had many innovations up its sleeve. In addition to three new smartphones, the company presented its first smartwatch and a preview of the successor to the Google Glass data glasses.
I/O is to Google what WWDC is to Apple: an annual get-together for developers with a kick-off event showcasing all the new things Google has been working on recently. Google kept fans in suspense for a long time, the hardware only came at the end of the presentation. Including the first smart watch from Google, a new Pixel smartphone, a short preview of the upcoming Pixel flagship, new headphones and data glasses.

Time is ticking at Google

Google was particularly proud of the Pixel Watch. The round Smartwatch made of stainless steel is in direct competition with the Apple Watch and is visually very simple. The watch is completely round and has a digital crown on the right side. Bracelets can be easily exchanged – again taking the Apple Watch as a model.
The watch runs Wear OS and is deeply integrated with Fitbit's features. That means lots of fitness options. The problem: Google doesn't want to bring the watch until autumn, so it was reluctant to provide further information and prices.
A round thing: The Pixel Watch is round, has a digital crown and a button above it. The straps are interchangeable with little effort.

©Screenshot / PR

Small smartphone from summer

The Pixel 6a will be on the market faster. The smartphone is a cheap version of the Pixel 6, should only cost 459 euros and offers a 6.1-inch display, which is 0.3 inches smaller than the Pixel 6 and 0.6 inches smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro. The hardware sounds promising: In terms of refresh rate, Google is content with 60 Hertz, the battery measures 4306 mAh.
The Pixel 6a uses the same processor as the Pixel 6 Pro, offers two cameras on the back with twelve megapixels and an eight-megapixel camera on the front. Six gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage space complete the package. Google will be taking pre-orders at the end of July.
The Google Pixel 6a is coming this summer and is the smallest smartphone in the 6 series.

©Screenshot / PR

There was also a quick look at the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – Google is planning both devices again for the fall. The camera on the back is framed in aluminum, and a new generation of the in-house Tensor processor is used as the processor. Google didn't reveal more for now.
This is what the successor to the Pixel 6 looks like – but Google didn't want to reveal more.

©Screenshot / PR

For eyes and ears

There are also headphones – they are called Google Pixel Buds Pro. The in-ear headphones offer active noise cancellation (ANC) and are very similar to a kidney bean. Google specifies the battery life as eleven hours, with ANC it is seven hours. As with the Pixel 6a, Google will open pre-orders at the end of July. The price is 219 euros.
Every bean makes a sound: Google's new headphones look a bit like kidney beans.

©Screenshot / PR

As a final surprise, Google also had a preview of AR glasses up its sleeve, much like what was expected from Apple in early June. The quasi-successor to Google Glass is a relatively standard pair of glasses capable of captioning the world. For example, the glasses translate spoken languages and sign language to break down language barriers. A really exciting mission. But: Unfortunately, Google left open when and how the glasses will be launched.

Fed up with software

Google started with a one-hour journey through numerous smaller improvements, some of which promise major changes in everyday search engine services. The translator Google Translate gets 24 new languages and should deliver significantly better results because Google has revised the system with which the service analyzes languages and sentences.
No, this isn't a movie, it's a preview on Google Immersive View, a sort of 3D view of cities.

©Screenshot / PR

For YouTube, Google promises more automatic chapters, more precise subtitles and 16 new languages that the system can recognize and translate.

More than just search terms

According to the motto "A search for the real world", the Google Lens app also gets new functions. It should be possible to scan supermarket shelves and sort the products by category and quickly find the right one.
Google is also revising its language assistants and artificial intelligence, they should now also be able to understand stammering with pauses in speech, and devices with a camera like the Nest Hub Max no longer need a shout, but a look is enough to draw attention and be able to stop talking.

Android 13 approaching…iOS?

As for Android 13, Google is releasing another beta of Android 13 today, there are many innovations under the hood and slight visual adjustments. This applies to app icons, for example, whose color can be adapted to your own scheme. You can also set your own language for apps if you don't want to use everything in the same language.





Smart watch




Google I/O



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Data glasses

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