Every May, Google holds its developer conference, called I/O, where they present all the news from its ecosystem and this year has been no exception. At tu.com we have followed the session live to be able to tell you all the news that the Mountain View giant has prepared for us.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the presentation was all the news that will come to Android in its next iteration, Android 12.
Google has carried out the biggest redesign of the Android interface in its history, according to its words, presenting vibrant graphics with much smoother transitions, where color is the protagonist and practically all the elements of the system are redesigned to fit the theme you choose . Customization takes center stage and you will be able to modify an infinite number of elements without having to work too much: Android 12 will adapt the colors of the interface to match the wallpaper you have chosen. Although this is not new, we have already seen it in some HTC terminals, it is true that Google’s work in this regard has been superb.. And all this without forgetting accessibility, with a multitude of adjustments so that people with disabilities can use the new operating system optimally.
Secure by default, private by design
It is no coincidence that one of the most repeated mantras throughout the afternoon was this: secure by default, private by design. One of the great goals of recent years for Google has been to improve the security and privacy of its products , and Android 12 brings us several new features to follow this path:
- New privacy panel where you can easily see the permissions and the applications that use them
- New “approximate location” setting to not reveal your exact location to certain applications.
- On-screen notifications when your apps access sensitive permissions like the camera or microphone.
- Quick settings in the settings panel to completely block access to the camera or microphone.
- Chrome will include a functionality that will allow us to change our password very easily if Google detects that it has been violated (because it has appeared filtered on some website).
- We all know about private browsing, and now Google will allow us to delete the last fifteen minutes of activity if we have not used it.
Google Maps will also bring us news that will improve its usability, such as improved navigation through augmented reality (Live View) where we can see the surrounding businesses in real time, their ratings or how crowded they are, something especially useful in the times we live In addition, it will soon start offering navigation guides indoors as well , starting with major airports and shopping malls.
The level of detail of the city maps will be even greater (starting with 50 cities and increasing in the coming months), including the location of pedestrian crossings or the ability to identify especially crowded areas or neighborhoods . All this with icons that will change throughout the day to suit us: for example, in the middle of the afternoon they will suggest bars for a drink, while first thing in the morning they will be cafeterias where you can have breakfast and at night, restaurants where you can have dinner. .
Another of the big (and most impressive) announcements was the convergence of Google’s wearable operating system, Wear OS, with that of the Korean giant Samsung, Tizen.
With the promise that all existing apps will continue to work in this new version, Google and Samsung bring the best of each operating system to create a “super operating system” for wearables with which to stand up to Apple’s iWatch . In the coming weeks we will learn more about this collaboration, which has been a bombshell in the industry.
Google Photos also received its share of new features, such as the automatic creation of cinematic photos from still images or the inclusion of a secure folder that you can protect with a password or your fingerprint to keep all your most sensitive photos , for example those of your little children.
A few years ago Google surprised with the announcement of Android Auto, with which the interface of our mobile was adapted to be able to be displayed on the screens of our cars. However, Google’s ambition goes further, and wants our car audio systems to use Android Automotive, the operating system adapted for this purpose. This means that the number of applications will grow significantly and we will not need an Android smartphone, but the system will be autonomous and we can use it with an iPhone, for example. Very soon we will have cars from Volvo, Renault, BMW, Porsche, General Motors and Polestar integrating this operating system.
Your mobile will be the key to your car
At tu.com we already talked about Ultra Wideband technology , and Google hasn’t missed the party. With Android 12 and thanks to this technology and NFC, you can open your car without having to take your mobile out of your pocket or carry the key with you.
One of the ads with the most “wow” effect was that of the Starline project. A mix of software and hardware will take video calling to sci-fi levels, being able to project the image of the person we’re talking to in 3 dimensions in front of us , almost like a hologram. The future of StarTrek will be a reality sooner than we think.
The Google Home application will absorb the old remote control application, so that we can manage the more than 80 million Android TV and Chromecast devices natively from our phone , from which we can navigate the interface, type on the keyboard, etc. …
The importance of AI
All these developments are mostly based on the advances that Google has made in recent years in artificial intelligence. Projects like LaMDA, quantum computer and others with which Google opened the session, although a priori they may seem complex and boring, are the cornerstones with which Google is able to build the vast majority of the innovations that it presents to us each year.
With LaMDA they showed us the ability of AI to maintain more fluid and natural conversations , which will allow Google Assistant to continue evolving to ever higher levels.
And if you are one of the adventurers and early adopters, know that the Android 12 beta is already available for Pixel devices and certain models from various manufacturers , including the Xiaomi M11 that we have available on the tu.com page , so If you want to try it, run, they’re over! (note that it is a beta and there are features that may not be 100% available).