If it’s not obvious yet, Bard, LaMDA, and large language models (LLMs) will be dominating the Google (and tech) landscape for the foreseeable future – at least the next year. There’s Bard expanding beyond Google’s trusted tester program and AI “insight” features in Google Search, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
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Expect similar features in Gmail (which already has Smart Reply and Compose) and Docs (AI summaries), while Chrome integration seems like a given at this point as competitors make their move.
Conventional wisdom would dictate that Google’s next big announcement is at I/O 2023, which is rumored to take place in May. However, with everything moving so fast, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if something occurred before then, especially if Microsoft is rumored to announce AI features for its Office family of apps (Word, Outlook, etc.) in March.
[Wait, it’s no longer called Office (as of November 2022)? Interesting in the context of Google renaming G Suite to Workspace in October 2020 to move away from traditional office connotations. “Microsoft 365” is the new family name and doesn’t quite evoke productivity for me, much less Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.]
Recommended Reading: This New Yorker piece offers a good metaphor for large language models (GPT, LaMDA, etc.) and image/file compression.
New: Privacy Sandbox is rolling out to Android 13 in beta. You’ll receive a system notification when this occurs and can find a new menu in Settings.
Finally: On Wear OS 3, Google Maps has been updated with always-on display support that shows the next direction. This was a particularly annoying regression, and hopefully, other first-party Google apps and experiences will follow in short order. Now Playing controls and Google Keep (shopping lists!) need this desperately.
Update: Work to replace Assistant Reminders with Google Tasks continues. It was announced in September without a specific availability timeline beyond “coming months.” We first spotted signs in June of 2022, while Google Tasks just got a Material You revamp…
Comment: Google Tasks redesign rolled out widely on Monday. It’s my first everyday app with a Material 3 bottom app bar, and the FAB placement within the container is… unexpected. Given M3’s lack of depth, colors help separate the button from the background. It’s rather flat, while the buttons to the left (which open bottom sheets) are a bit crowded together. Lastly, the top tabs don’t look very Material You to my eye, especially that underline, and the widget is very sparse.
What (else) is happening:
Deal alert: The Motorola MA1 wireless Android Auto dongle is $10 off on Amazon
New: Samsung’s One UI 5.1 can lift objects from a photo and cut out the background, just like iOS 16
Official: Google reiterates that Assistant light mode is gone on Android
Developing: Android Auto might bring back its weather icon, as Google considers better support on ‘Coolwalk’
Report: Google custom silicon work continues with ARM server chips
Update: Geekbench 6 arrives with Material You on Android, better ‘real-world’ tests
Rolling out: Gboard toolbar redesign greatly boosts customizability
From the rest of 9to5:
9to5Mac: Apple announces release date for Ted Lasso season three [Where is season two of Severance already?!?]
Electrek: Tesla shows new ‘Godzilla’ robot and in-depth look at latest electric car production line
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