Google held their I/O 2021 conference this past week, where they announced a host of new developments from the company and its various software platforms and revealed that the company has some big changes coming this year. So many in fact, that it will be difficult to take you through them all, so instead we will try and bring you in on the highlights of all the impressive technology showed off – with a separate article focusing on some of the core Android 12 changes.
Google and Samsung merging WearOs and Tizen
With Google unable to make big inroads with its Wear OS, perhaps the biggest news to come out from the conference was them teaming up with Samsung to combine the features of its core OS with Tizen’s superior speed and longer-lasting battery life. This will increase the app features of both while also making it easier for app developers to focus on only one core OS rather than two, which is certainly a win for all.
All device makers will be able to add a customized user experience on top of the platform, and developers will be able to use the Android tools they already know and love to build for one platform and ecosystem.
And will Tizen and WearOs have different UI, Samsung will reportedly stick with its popular rotating bezel on future devices, but also incorporate other WearOS features into the mix, with a standalone Google Maps app that will work on the watches with a phone nearby and new offline modes for music from both Spotify and YouTube music. All features should be a massive boost for the smartwatch market.
Google is introducing a new “smart canvas” initiative for its workspace office software to work between different products, including the ability to start meeting calls directly from the different Google office software and allow for better sharing features.
New AI model
Google has also created a new AI model that will offer better voice assistant learning and lead to improved conversation, which will move beyond just you giving out commands, but allow you to start having an actual conversation with your phone so that you can pretend that someone out there actually cares about you.
Google Camera Features
There is a host of new Camera features coming out including improvements in the ability of imaging products to better capture and reproduce different skin tones accurately. Google also revealed software that will be able to make animated phots from stitching different still shots together – which they showed off in a rather impressive, but creepy way.
Google will also be adding additional security behind its photos, allowing for people to store photos behind an additional security locker that requires a pin or biometric activation – so that your partner can no longer spy on you and all the pictures you keep taking of your pets in lockdown.
Changing a site password directly within Password manager
And with many people using their Android device to access all manner of sites and therefore store critical password information on Android, Google has also worked on an impressive new feature that allows you to change a password for any site directly from its password manager rather than requiring you to go to that site directly. Something which should make managing passwords a lot easier.
Digital Car Key
Google’s previously advertised digital car key feature will also be finally making its way to the core Android OS, allowing people with supporting cars to unlock their vehicles with their phones. Though, with BMW the only supported manufacturer for now and only a few of their cars actually supporting this feature, it’s not something that is likely to benefit many Android users anytime soon.
New Health Tool
And lastly, at least of the big announcements – Google is also launching a new health tool that will be able to identify different skin conditions using just your camera. All you need to do is take a photo of your problem area, answer a few questions about your skin type and symptoms and then Google will be able to detail what the core issue is. Or in my case, just have t remind me that I need a suntan.
It’s great to see some remarkable innovation like this from Google and hopefully, these improvements will come their way to most devices soon.
Last Updated: May 20, 2021