Getting the scoop on what Google’s been up to at its annual developer conference, Google I/O, has become almost as fun as the actual event itself. Google’s big show included the introduction of several new Android services and products – some of which you might have missed if you blinked at the wrong time! This post recaps all of the major announcements from Google I/O, so you can get caught up on everything that’s going on with your favorite Google services.
What you need to know about Android Q
Android Q is the upcoming release of the Android operating system. It was first announced at Google I/O on May 7, 2019, and its beta was released on the same day. Android Q introduces a number of new features and changes, including support for foldable devices, a dark mode, improved privacy controls, and more. If you’re curious about what Android Q has to offer, read on for everything you need to know. What’s New in Android Q? As mentioned above, Android Q brings with it many improvements that should improve your experience using your phone or tablet. In this guide, we’ll cover three of the biggest changes introduced by Android Q—foldables support, Dark Mode, and improved privacy controls—along with all other relevant information. Let’s dive in! Foldables Support As tablets have evolved into modern laptop replacements, so too have smartphones evolved into desktop replacements; some might say that we’ve come full circle when it comes to our device preferences. With the introduction of foldable, a term used to describe phones that can be folded open like a book, there are now even more ways for us to use our mobile devices as computer alternatives. And with Android Q supporting this form factor from day one, we can be sure that the OS will work just as well no matter which way you decide to hold your device.
How does Dark Mode work? When switching over to a darker screen mode, apps will get an all-black background instead of their usual white one, which should help reduce eye strain if you find yourself staring at your screen for long periods of time during nighttime hours.
What you should know about Wear OS
Wear OS is a version of Android designed for wearables, such as smartwatches. It was formerly known as Android Wear. Not all features available on Android phones are available on Wear OS devices, but many of the most popular apps have been ported over. Google has been working to improve the platform with each new release. The latest version, Wear OS 2.0, was released in February 2018. Improvements include app usage tracking, battery management, and easier interaction with notifications. There’s also a native Podcasts app now. Wear OS will soon be able to run standalone Android apps (without being tethered to an Android phone). The next update (version 3) will allow you to download any app from the Play Store that supports installation on both smartphones and watches. There’s also a new fitness coach mode coming soon that will provide personalized guidance at just the right time during your day, whether it’s while walking your dog or during meditation time before bedtime. And if you’re not wearing your watch, there’s still no need to worry about missing important messages or calls — Wear OS syncs seamlessly with our mobile number so they can reach us on whichever device we’re closest to.
The 3 announcements that stood out
- Google Glass is back! The new version looks much sleeker and more stylish than the original, and it comes with a few new features too.
- We got our first look at the upcoming Pixel 6a and 7 phones, which are both looking pretty impressive so far.
- The much-anticipated Pixel Watch was finally unveiled – and it looks like a pretty solid smartwatch option. It’s made of titanium or aluminum and has 3 buttons on the side. They’ve put a lot of thought into how this watch will function while being worn on either wrist, making it extremely easy to use whether you’re right or left handed. They also mentioned that some Android apps have already been updated to take advantage of the watch’s features (for example, Yelp can display ratings on your wrist). 4. Developers were also given their own preview of what’s coming in 2020 with Android Q in terms of software updates for developing for low power devices as well as multi-camera API improvements for AR/VR projects and improved UI automation tools for creating conversational AI interfaces using Dialogflow Lite. 5. And last but not least, they announced that Google Lens integration is now available within the Photos app. Using machine learning technology and computer vision analysis, Lens provides information about what you’re looking at such as restaurants nearby, reviews from other people who’ve visited there before, information about artwork displayed on museum walls and even flowers in bloom – all just by pointing your camera phone’s camera at something. And with just one tap on the screen afterwards, you’ll be able to find places nearby where those things exist by selecting from a list of relevant choices offered up by Google Maps.
- All told – an exciting week from Google filled with lots of exciting announcements for developers who attended! 7. But most importantly, these announcements provide hope for wearables once again.
- You could say the overall theme of this year’s conference seemed to be innovation. There were certainly quite a few creative ideas shown off during the keynote – including talking buses and bikes that go together to create transportation corridors based on supply and demand data, airplane seats turning into walking chairs for wheelchair passengers when they arrive at the gate, car dashboard interfaces that turn completely transparent so drivers don’t have to stop driving to interact with them, or augmented reality experiences around music venues overlaid onto actual city streets–to name just a few! 9. One of the big disappointments for me personally was that no mention was made of any new developments in the realm of wearables, and I think it would be a shame if Google didn’t start showing a renewed interest in getting back into the market.
- The focus on wearable tech over the past few years has been primarily focused on health and fitness tracking, which is great, but I’m hoping to see Google show some creativity in designing new ways to innovate with this emerging form factor beyond fitness tracking alone.
- What do you think? Did you get a chance to attend Google IO this year? What announcements were your favorite? What announcements are you looking forward to the most? What features in Android Q sound exciting for you as a developer? Do you have a favorite announcement from Google IO? Let us know in the comments below!
- Thanks so much for reading! You can also find me on Twitter @tech_insider13.
How much are the new phones?
The new phones are the Pixel 6a, which starts at $349, and the 7, which starts at $449. The new phone has a 5.8-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It also has a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. The phone is available in black or white. The last two phones announced were the Pixel 3A and 3A XL. These were two midrange Android devices that still have great cameras but a smaller price tag. They start at $399 for the 3A and $479 for the 3A XL. With these phones, you can take selfies with Motion Mode to ensure that you’re not blurry when your hands shake! You’ll be able to record videos as well. You will be able to capture shots with Super Res Zoom, which uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to create photos that are clear despite being taken from far away. You can do this on any device running on Android 9 Pie or higher! Another cool feature was Photobooth mode. With this mode, you can set up some photos of yourself to show the world who you really are. Just line up what you want to see in your photo and press go! There’s no need for selfie sticks here either because Photobooth mode automatically detects how many people there are and then takes all of the necessary shots. Finally, Google showed off their newest product called the Pixel Watch. With it, you’re able to see notifications and respond directly from your wrist while exercising or playing sports. And with its GPS enabled apps like City Cycle Tour, Golf Shot Pro and Yoga Studio – Mountain View – Pixel users will have a more seamless experience than ever before! The watch is water resistant too so don’t worry about sweat ruining it!