Google IO: Pixel 6a, Pixel Watch and Android 13 presented | Google

Google has announced a range of new products to compete with Apple on tablets and smartwatches. It has unveiled a cheaper smartphone, high-end earbuds and a watch due later this year, as well as Android updates.

During the keynote address kicking off its IO developer conference, Google stated its intention to build a broader collection of its own branded devices, rather than relying on third-party providers like Samsung to use its software.

“We’re betting on the ecosystem,” said Rick Osterloh, Google’s head of consumer hardware. “We want people to know where Google’s journey as an organization is going over the next few years.”

Pixel 6a

Pixel 6a color options
The Pixel 6a is Google’s smaller, cheaper smartphone but shares the same chips and design as its top-of-the-line phones. Photo: Google

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

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

The 6a sports a pair of wide and ultra-wide 12-megapixel cameras on the rear, supporting the same enhanced skin tone and magic eraser features as Google’s top-of-the-line models.

Pixel Buds Pro

The Pixel Buds Pro and their charging case rest on a book on a desk
The Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s high-end noise-cancelling earbuds. Photo: Google

Google announced its first noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds called the Pixel Buds Pro, which will ship on July 28 for £179 ($199 / AUD299).

The earbuds use chips, algorithms and speakers developed by Google and compete head-to-head with Apple’s more expensive AirPods Pro. They have IPX4 sweat resistance and the same smart features as Google’s previous earbuds, like B. Hands-free voice assistant, driving directions and instant translation capabilities.

The Buds Pro can be connected to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, e.g. B. 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 clock

Front and back of the Google Pixel Watch
Google’s long-awaited WearOS smartwatch, the Pixel Watch is a direct challenge to the Apple Watch, but to Android. Photo: Google

Google showed off its first proprietary WearOS smartwatch called the Pixel Watch, which will ship in the fall. It has a round, domed design, is made from recycled stainless steel and comes with 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 include a range of Fitbit health and activity tracking services after Google bought the company last year. The clock works with most Android phones, not just Pixel.

Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Tablet

A group shot showing different colored backs of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are the upcoming top smartphones from Google, which are expected to be released in the summer. Photo: Google

Google has unveiled its upcoming top-of-the-line Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones for later this year. They feature premium polished aluminum and glass bodies and the company’s next-gen Tensor processor, which will ship with Android 13 this fall.

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

Android 13, Maps, Search and Assistant

A shot from Google Maps showing fuel-efficient driving directions around Berlin
Google’s eco-friendly directions in Maps, which show the most fuel-efficient routes, will be extended to Europe. Photo: Google

Google showed off some new software features coming later this year, including the ability to request removal of search results using your contact information, automatic summary of key points in Google Docs and Chat, and the ability to talk to the Google Assistant by typing just look at the Smart Nest Hub Max display.

Later this year, Google Maps is getting a new immersive view that combines street and aerial imagery to create digital models of cities like London, Los Angeles, and New York. Users can virtually walk through cities at different times of the day, displaying information such as weather conditions, traffic and how busy a place is.

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 beforehand to send you notifications, similar to iOS, and more restrictions on the Location access for applications.

Google’s Material You color theme of Android 12 is extended to more parts of the user interface, including custom app icons. Now more than one language can be used on one phone at the same time, e.g. For example, English on a social media app but Spanish on a banking app. The new Google Wallet later this year will be able to collect payment cards, loyalty cards, transportation tickets, and boarding passes in one place, along with various types of IDs like student IDs and U.S. driver’s licenses.

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

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