Google announces new smartphones, a watch and tablet unveiled an expanded lineup of hardware products in the latest sign it remains committed to moving beyond its core advertising business and competing with the likes of Apple.
At its first in-person developer conference in three years, Google announced three new smartphones and its first in-house smartwatch as well as plans to release a new tablet next year. Google also announced updates to several of its most popular tools including Maps, Google Translate and its core search product.
Google surprised fans of its smartphone lineup on Wednesday by teasing two new flagship devices — the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. While the company didn’t share many details, the two smartphones are expected to be released this fall. Google also announced the Pixel 6a smartphone, a more affordable version of its Pixel 6 lineup released earlier this year. The Pixel 6a is powered by Google’s in-house Tensor chip and will come in three colors — green, white and black.
There are no shortage of Android smartwatches on the market, but now Google is planning to manufacture a new smartwatch of its own for the first time. The company teased the much-hyped Pixel Watch, which will use Google’s WearOS operating system and be compatible with services such as its voice-enabled Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Wallet.
An integration with Fitbit, which Google acquired in 2019, will add several activity tracking and fitness features.Beyond the hardware, there were also a number of new software updates. Google Maps users will soon be able to get a real-world view of certain cities via a 3D view of popular sights, restaurants and businesses in order to better visualize the space. While Maps already offers satellite view and street view options, Google says its new immersive view feature combines those two to “create a rich, digital model” that makes users feel like they’re on the ground.
A sliding scale will let users see what the area looks like at different times of day, how busy it is, and local traffic conditions Immersive view will be available in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo later this year, on all mobile devices using Google’s Android operating system. The company said it plans to add more cities as it develops the feature.
They include Quechua, which is spoken in the Andes, particularly in Peru; Lingala, a language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Assamese, which is spoken in northeast India; and Tigrinya, which is spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea The additional languages bring the total number that the tool can translate to 133, and will be available to all Google Translate users in the coming days, the company said.
Google is launching a new skin-tone scale it hopes will make its products more inclusive Many beauty and tech companies classify skin shades based on what’s known as the Fitzpatrick scale. Developed in the 1970s by a Harvard dermatologist, it is used to classify how different skin colors respond to UV light (and, through that, predict a person’s risk of sunburn and skin cancer). Despite including only six skin shades, it’s been used by tech companies for years to inform everything from the colors of emoji and how wearable heart-rate monitors work on different skin tones to efforts to make AI fairer at Facebook.
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