Technology

Google launches 10 new features for Android, search engine and more; why does it matter? – 05/12/2022

Google presented yesterday (11) at its annual Google I/O 2022 conference a series of news for Android, updates on other platforms (such as a search engine) and new products – cellphone and headphones were some of them.

The objectives of the changes, according to the company, involve improving services and adapting functionalities to people’s needs. Many are even old demands from their users.

Here’s a list of the main highlights and why they matter in your life — and not just for Android users.

1. Android 13

Among the updates that Android 13 will have, Google has invested in improvements in the areas of:

Security and privacy: the new system will have new access control categories — ‘photos and videos’ and ‘music and audio’ — and will allow the user to select specific files to share with an app, rather than the entire media library. The number of apps that ask for location access will also be reduced.

Interface and performance: The system will gain different color settings, new application icons and greater integration between devices — this will allow Android to talk better with other devices, such as tablets, headphones and household items, including from other brands.

Digital wallet: the existing Google Pay will give way to a more complete service of payments via cell phone and bank details with the Google Wallet feature, which in addition to financial functions such as credit card, will allow the concentration of specific personal data such as traffic fines, event tickets, vaccination card, among others.

Why does it matter: the changes will provide a better user experience for the consumer, as well as security and privacy. Android 13 has already been released to developers and updates should arrive gradually, first for new phones.

2 – New Google Pixel 6a phone

In Google’s launch pack is the new mid-range Pixel 6a cell phone. Among the highlights of the device are simultaneous translation features and camera improvements.

Edit images easily: With the help of artificial intelligence, the phone can erase items from a scene and improve blurry photos without the need for extra editing apps.

Fidelity for different skin tones: Another feature announced — and long demanded — is the promise of greater color fidelity between people’s skin tone and the images captured by Google’s smartphone camera.

why it matters: the updates will improve the user experience when using the resources, in addition to reinforcing the importance of more diverse technologies that do not discriminate against people.

Other product launches: The company also gave a preview of the Pixel line products that should be launched in the second half of the year. Among them, highlight the Google Pixel Watch, the new wireless headphones Google Pixel Buds Pro, the Pixel Tablet and the high-end smartphones Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. No device of the line is sold in Brazil.

3. Search

The company has invested in improving the most faithful interpretation of colors in other services. One of them is the finder, with the Monk Scale feature. It will provide a new filter with a range of different skin tones.

why it matters: the feature aims to make it easier to find the most relevant results for each person based on their skin tone. It will be possible to configure, for example, so that the search for images brings results for black skin in situations where makeup tips are sought.

4. New languages ​​in Google Translate

The company announced that its translation service will have 24 new languages ​​(as of last week there were 133). Among the new languages ​​is Guarani, a language of indigenous origin spoken by seven million people in the world, many of them located in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.

Quechua and Aymara languages, spoken by native peoples of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina will also be added. Outside Latin America, Google added krio, a dialect of Sierra Leonean English, Lingala (spoken by 45 million people in central Africa) and mizo, spoken by 800,000 people in northern India.

why it matters: the growth in the number of languages ​​in the translation service reduces the distance between peoples, allowing access to information, especially for the most isolated populations, since the resource is online and free.

5. More immersive Google Maps

Whoever enters Maps will be able to access an area at different times of the day and weather conditions, enter restaurants to “feel” the energy of the place and fly over different points of the city. The idea is to bring the new Maps closer to Google Earth functions.

why it matters: this effect can impact the way people decide their stays, their visits to tourist attractions, even the choice of bars and restaurants, allowing them to experience places before moving. It will also improve the way people program their itineraries, especially travel ones.

Immersive Vision will initially launch in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo later this year. Other cities should be included soon, according to Google.

6. Search engine with text, voice and image

Called Multisearch, this update implements improvements in the way we search for content on Google. In other words, it will allow searches with images, text and voice at the same time.

why it matters: the function will make it possible for people to find useful information about what they see, hear and experience in a single click. It will be possible, for example, to use a photograph, or a screenshot, and add the option “near me”. With this, the person will see options for restaurants or stores nearby that have what they are looking for.

With multisearch, Google also intends to launch the “explore scenes” feature, so that the user discovers information about the objects that are in a scene, using Lens.

Updating this tool will still allow anyone to request that their personal information be removed from search results.

7. More security and privacy

All Google Account users will be automatically enrolled in the two-step verification process — more than 150 million people were enrolled last year — an extra layer of security for accessing online services.

In addition, the company is introducing a Security Status feature, with alert icons in the user’s profile picture and guidance to improve security.

Regarding online payments, when using the autofill feature, at the time of purchase, Google will replace the real card number with a virtual one, which will be different for each transaction.

why it matters: the actions aim to reduce the number of phishing and malware attacks on the platform’s services.

8. Translation and automatic generation of chapters to videos

YouTube was not left out of this year’s news. One of them will be the possibility of automatically translating the audios of the videos into 16 languages. For now, the feature will only be available to those who use the app on mobile phones.

why it matters: The This function will expand access to multimedia content — lectures, courses, presentations — in different languages.

Google has also improved the ability to automatically generate chapters, which allows you to jump to different parts of the video.

9. Decide which ads you will receive

Google will launch, later this year, the My Ad Center. The feature will give you more control over ad preferences. That is, people will be able to choose whether to remove certain types of advertisements or whether they want to see more.

why does it matter: this is a recurring demand from platform users. Now, people will be able to receive the ads according to their interests, through the selection of categories and companies.

10. Workspace service improvements

Chat and meet will receive a function called ‘summary’ — already available for Docs- – for both individual and group conversations, allowing people to receive a summary of their dialogues.

In addition to the summary, the meet will allow the transcription of meetings, and will receive sound and image enhancement, connection and sharing of advanced content.

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