Things of Note from Google I/O 2022

I attended a Google event in New York city to watch the Google I/O keynote. Here are the things I found most of interest:

Pixel 6a

Google will be releasing a new low cost phone this summer called the Pixel 6a. The new 6a, like the prior models, incorporates many of the features of their flagship phones. This one will get the same Google Tensor processor as their flagship Pixel 6 phones along with what will likely be a great display and camera system. It’ll sell unlocked for $449 in July. If you like pure Android phones but don’t want to spend more than $500 I think this will be a winner.

Oddly they also announced a Pixel 7 phone even though we’re only a few months into the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The new phone will have a second generation Tensor processor.

You can see all of my prior Pixel device reviews here.

Pixel Watch

Google also announced the much rumored Pixel Watch that will launch around the same time as the Pixel 7. It’s a sleek Wear OS device designed to pair up with Android powered smartphones.

I’ve always found smartwatches to be big and clunky – and that includes my beloved Apple Watch which has largely followed the same design as the original from 2015. The Pixel Watch looks like a real improvement in overall smartwatch industrial design. It might very well be the nicest looking consumer product I’ve seen Google put together. I’m eager to see how this performs and looks in person.

Pixel Tablet

After abandoning Android tablet devices a few years ago, Google is getting back in the game. This includes releasing a new Pixel Tablet and also redesigning their core Android apps to work better on tablet devices. Those tablet app updates are apparently rolling out at the time of this writing. The Pixel tablet, however will not be released until sometime in 2023. It’ll be powered by Google’s Tensor chip.

Google Glass is Back?

The last thing that intrigued some of my fellow watch party attendees are these new translation glasses that were teased at the end of the presentation. The glasses will project a translation from a speaker into the lens for the wearer to read.

No doubt this is something that was iterated from the ill-fated Google Glass project from a decade ago. This use case seems to make a lot more sense. And these actually look like glasses! See my original coverage of the Google Glass here.

Google also had a bunch of other software feature announcements including continued work on their AI systems which are getting better and better each year. They will soon release an app called the “AI Test Kitchen” that will demonstrate the progress they have made with natural language interaction. It’s really fascinating stuff.

Hopefully we’ll get some of these things in for review!