Google I/O 2021 May 24

While I/O 2021 is over, Google today released a pair of interesting talks about “Getting your app ready for Google TV” focused on integrations. One highlight was a comparison between Android and Google TV.

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Google I/O 2021 May 21

One task for Google in 2021 is making I/O more than just a developer conference that strictly takes place over video livestreams. Google’s answer is a “virtual event experience” and digital space called I/O Adventure.

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Google I/O 2021 May 20

[Update: First widget] Flutter SDK will be ready for the new ‘Material You’ design language

During the Google I/O 2021 keynote, the company shared their vision for the next generation of Material Design. Google’s Flutter team has committed to the massive cross-platform app framework being ready for “Material You” when that design language launches.

Google I/O 2021 May 19

Yesterday, the team behind Material You said that the new design language will be a “multiyear journey that will evolve all of Google’s products and ecosystems.” At the “What’s new in Material Design” session, Google designers provided an in-depth preview of Material You and its guiding principles.

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At the “What’s new in Material Design” session this morning, Google shared that its apps are starting to use Google Sans Text. We’ve seen it pop up in some products already, but the company at I/O 2021 better detailed the font.

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Just last week, Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) was rebranded ahead of the first devices launching later this year. Google, at I/O 2021, announced support for Matter on Android and Google Nest devices.

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Google considers Android 12 its “most ambitious privacy release to date” with more user control over the microphone and camera, as well as a settings dashboard. Another feature is a new Nearby device permission in Android 12 for companion apps when setting up watches and headphones. 

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Web browsers used to feature feed aggregators, but those built-in capabilities have since been phased out. Google is now looking to reverse the trend with Chrome trialing a “Follow” feature that more or less brings an RSS reader to the New Tab page.

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Google hits the highlights of its I/O keynote in official 9-minute recap [Video]

Yesterday’s Google I/O keynote was over two hours long, but it went by quickly thanks to the deluge of news the company threw out to the public. If you missed the keynote or just didn’t have time to watch the entire thing, Google has a recap of its I/O 2021 keynote that hits the highlights in just nine minutes.

Wear OS made waves at I/O 2021 with talk of a unified platform in partnership with Samsung, new apps, Fitbit integration, and Android 11 update. However, in the short-term, Google mentioned today that the next Wear OS platform update will be available in the “coming weeks.”

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Google I/O 2021 May 18

At I/O 2021, Google announced that its wearable platform would do a better job of highlighting first-party services, among other tentpoles. This includes YouTube Music, Google Maps, Pay, and Assistant, with a brief preview of those Wear OS apps provided today.

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The Wear OS emulator in Android Studio now includes a preview of the upcoming Android 11 based update for Wear OS.

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Sad as it is to say, people of color are often an afterthought when it comes to cameras and that includes even Google’s. This year, at I/O 2021, Google has announced an effort to create a more “accurate and inclusive” camera for Android smartphones.

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Last year Google debuted a machine learning with its unique “Blob Opera” and, thanks to some incredible remakes posted to YouTube, they ended up going somewhat viral. Now, Google is sending the Blob Opera on “world tour,” and it kicked off with a fun opening performance at I/O 2021.

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Widgets are already getting a big visual revamp as part of Material You and Android 12. Google is now bringing widgets to Assistant and considering driving-optimized ones for Android Auto.

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As it turns out, the acquisition of Fitbit by Google really was about improving Wear OS for the better. Today at I/O, Google announced a revamp to Wear OS that hinges on Fitbit’s health expertise, and it includes essentially copying the step tracking and motivational badges that watches like Sense and Versa use today.

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Google Search is a powerful tool for finding answers, and soon, it’s going to be an even better tool for trying to figure out skin conditions from home.

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Google expands temporary Speaker Groups and ‘Stream Transfer’ to Android TV OS

Android TV is getting a few notable updates at Google I/O this week. Alongside the beta for Android 12 and the overdue replacement for the ancient Android TV remote app, Google is expanding two useful features to Android TV, officially. “Stream Transfer” and “Stream Expansion” speaker groups are coming to Android TV devices.

Google at I/O 2021 announced today that there are over 100 million compatible Android Auto cars on the road, while providing an update on growing support and new features like instrument cluster integration.

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Following this morning’s big redesign unveil, developers can now watch all the Android 12-related sessions at Google I/O 2021. There are 25 videos in total with Tuesday decidedly the Android day of the developer conference.

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Android TV 12 Beta available today for ADT-3 as Google TV emulator launches

Major updates for Google’s Android TV platform have historically been a lot slower than smartphones, but things took a big step in the right direction with the unexpected early release of the Android TV 12 Developer Preview. Now, Google is debuting the Android TV 12 Beta and giving developers a useful Google TV tool.

Google announced a number of car-related additions from Fast Pair to Android 12 digital car keys at I/O 2021. On the Android Automotive front, there was a first look at the upcoming Hummer EV infotainment system. 

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The pandemic drove a surge in the use of video calling apps as millions of people went into lockdown to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. That drove Google to develop Project Starline, a futuristic idea that creates realistic 3D models of friends and family from a great distance away.

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Until new mass-market form factors arrive, augmented reality today primarily exists on phones. At I/O 2021, Google provided an update on ARCore and released the latest 1.24 capabilities to make possible more immersive experiences. 

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During the Google I/O 2021 developer keynote, Firebase — Google’s suite of development tools that make it all too easy to integrate apps with the cloud — shared a variety of announcements, including a new App Check security system, a revamp of the Remote Config tool, and more.

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Samsung is working to port Google’s Flutter SDK to Galaxy Watch and other Tizen devices

Samsung is working to make it possible for developers to create apps for Galaxy Watch, Smart TVs, and more Tizen devices with Google’s Flutter SDK.

Today during the I/O developer conference, Google launched version 2.2 of their cross-platform Flutter SDK and shared the framework’s incredible recent growth.

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Google Cloud’s Vertex AI enters GA for easier and faster ML model creation

All parts of Google were on display at I/O 2021 today, with Google Cloud announcing general availability (GA) of Vertex AI. The platform is aimed at making machine learning more readily available to both developers and businesses.

Jetpack Compose is set to get its stable 1.0 release in July, with Google sharing that the framework is getting ready for the new “Material You” design language.

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Today, Google took the wraps off of their vision for Android 12 and opened the beta testing period for the update. Ten OEMs have already committed to their devices participating in the Android 12 Beta, including Nokia, OnePlus, TCL, and more.

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Last year, Google pledged to use carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030 as its “biggest sustainability moonshot yet.” To meet that goal, Google said it would leverage new technologies and at I/O 2021 announced a “next-generation geothermal project.”

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Google Fast Pair coming to BMW, Ford cars, and Beats headphones

With Fast Pair, Google made connecting Bluetooth accessories as simple as tapping a single button on your phone. At I/O 2021, Google provided an update on Fast Pair usage and announced support for new devices, including cars.

At I/O 2021, Wear OS 3 was unveiled as a significant revamp — if not revival — of Google’s plans for wearables. There are three tentpoles to this effort, and it is the company’s best chance in years to be competitive in this market.

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Android 12 brings a redesigned UI, but it also pushes forward privacy as a goal of the platform. Now, Android 12 is introducing a Privacy Dashboard among other features.

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Google has made a huge push over the past two years to put Android TV in the hands of more customers, and it sure seems like those efforts are paying off. At Google I/O this week, Google has announced that Android TV and Google TV have, combined, more than 80 million active devices.

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Continuing the trend of phones replacing physical wallets and cards for more and more people, Android 12 is introducing support for digital car keys. Google showed off the capability at I/O 2021 this morning.

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Android TV has long offered the ability to control your TV from a smartphone, but that app has faded into obscurity over time. Today, though, Google is announcing support for a new remote-control option for Google TV devices that runs through an app on your phone.

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Google today unveiled a brand new look for its mobile operating system. The Android 12 redesign will launch later this year and updates many core parts of the user interface and experience.

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Google Shopping will soon support any site powered by Shopify

Google Shopping heavily expanded during the pandemic, giving struggling retailers an easier way to get their e-commerce efforts to the public. Now, Google Shopping is expanding to any site with Shopify.

During Google I/O’s main keynote, the company has shared that their flagship operating system, Android, now powers over 3 billion devices worldwide.

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“Material You” is Google’s “radical new way to think about design.” It’s a hyper-personalized approach to designing custom appearances for apps and other interfaces that adapts to users, starting on Android.

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Google Shopping has expanded greatly over the past couple of years, and soon, it’s going to add support for a handy feature in Chrome. Soon, Google Chrome will show shopping carts you’ve left open on various sites around the web.

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Google at I/O 2021 touted that it’s the only mapping platform with AR navigation. Building on that lead, Google Live View can soon be accessed without needing to get directions and just be used to explore the world with augmented reality. 

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In a privacy push at Google I/O 2021, the company has announced a couple of new tools that will be rolling out. First, the option to quickly delete the last 15 minutes of activity on your Google account and, second, a “Locked Folder” on Google Photos for Android.

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Google unveils 4th generation Tensor Processing Unit

At Google I/O, the company shared their next generation AI processing chip, the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) v4.

With Duplex, Google wants to handle tedious, multi-step tasks on your behalf. The most famous example is making a phone reservation, but the Assistant-adjacent technology is also used for walking through online forms. Google Assistant and Duplex can now help you change stolen passwords step-by-step in Chrome.

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Google Maps is set to gain a new “safe routing” option which will take you down less accident-prone roads.

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In unveiling “Smart canvas” at I/O 2021, Google called it the “next big step” in the future of work. The goal is to create a more integrated and interactive Workspace experience, especially in Google Docs.

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