Google has announced a series of new products as it looks to compete with Apple on tablets and smartwatches. It has unveiled a low-cost smartphone, high-end earbuds, and a watch due later this year, plus Android updates.
During the keynote that kicked off the IO Developers Conference, Google outlined its intent to build a broader range of privately-branded devices rather than relying on third parties like Samsung with its software.
“We’re going into the ecosystem,” said Rick Osterloh, head of consumer devices at Google. “We want people to know where Google is going with devices as an organization over the next few years.”
Pixel 6 A
The Pixel 6a is Google’s new smaller, mid-range Android phone, costs from £399/$449/AU$749), and ships on July 28. It has a 6.1-inch screen and the same recycled aluminum chassis, two-tone colors and a camera strip across the back as the company’s high-end phones.
It has Google’s high-end Tensor processor, 5G and the Pixel 6 Titan M2 security chip, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It will be backed by software updates for at least five years, making it one of the longest-lived Android phones.
The 6a has a pair of 12MP wide and ultra-wide cameras on the back, which support the same enhanced skin tone and magic eraser features as the top Google models.
Pixel Buds Pro
Google has announced its first Bluetooth earbuds with noise canceling, called the Pixel Buds Pro, which will ship on July 28 and cost £179 ($199 / AU$299).
The earbuds use Google-designed chips, algorithms, and speakers, and compete directly with Apple’s more expensive AirPods Pro. They have IPX4 sweat resistance and the same smart features as previous Google earbuds like hands-free voice assistant, walking directions, and instant translation capabilities.
Buds Pro can connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, such as a phone for calls and a laptop for music, including iPhone, Mac and PC. They last up to seven hours with noise canceling, and up to 20 hours with their charging case.
Google showed off its first WearOS-branded smartwatch, called the Pixel Watch, which will ship in the fall. It has a circular domed design and is made of recycled stainless steel, and is equipped with optional 4G connectivity. It features many Google apps and services including Assistant, Maps, Payment, and Play Store for third-party apps.
It will also include a suite of Fitbit health and activity tracking services, following Google’s purchase of the company, which completed last year. The watch will work with most Android phones, not just the Pixel.
Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Tablet
Google has unveiled its upcoming Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones later this year. It will feature premium polished glass and aluminum bodies and the company’s next-generation Tensor processor, which will ship with Android 13 in the fall.
Google also announced its intention to return to manufacturing Android tablets in 2023 as a companion to Pixel phones. The premium Pixel Tablet will have Google’s Tensor chip and take advantage of Android 13 with additions to improve screen partitioning and space usage on tablets, including updates to 20 Google apps, with third-party apps like TikTok, Zoom, Facebook and others gaining new hardware-optimized designs. Tablets.
Android 13, Maps, Search & Assistant
Google has rolled out some new software features coming later this year, including the ability to request that search results containing your contact details be removed, automatic summarization of key points in Google Docs and Chat, and the ability to speak to Google Assistant only from While looking at the Nest Hub Max smart display.
Later this year, Google Maps will gain a new immersive view that combines street and aerial imagery to create digital models of cities including London, Los Angeles and New York. Users will be able to virtually roam through cities at different times of the day with overlayed information, such as weather conditions, traffic and how busy the place is.
Android 13 will also be released in the summer as a free update, bringing with it more customization and privacy options including the ability to force apps to ask if they can send you notifications before doing so, similar to iOS, and additional location access restrictions for apps.
The Google material you color from Android 12 will be expanded across more interface, including custom app icons. More than one language can now be used on the phone at the same time, such as English in a social media app, while Spanish can be used in a banking app. The new Google Wallet will be able to collect payment cards, loyalty cards, transportation tickets and boarding passes in one place, with different types of identity such as student IDs and US driver’s licenses later this year.
Users keen to try out new features can test the software in beta form on Pixel phones from Google and other third-party manufacturers.