Google unveiled Android 12 as well as new features at its annual developer conference this week. As a reminder, the company canceled Google I/O last year due to the pandemic.
The biggest news is the Android 12. The company showed off a new look for Android 12, which is the latest version of its mobile operating system. It goes big when it comes to personalization. Customers will be able to change the color palette when the wallpaper is selected. The latest version of Android will allow devices to be more responsive with better battery life, as the new software will put less strain on processors. The company also rolled out a series of productivity updates, including an option to hold the power button to call Google Assistant, to make a phone call, etc.
Google also used Tuesday’s event to talk about privacy features. The new software provides customers with more transparency about the personal data accessed by various apps. A new Privacy Dashboard developed by the company offers a look into permissions’ settings. It also lets users revoke those permissions from the dashboard. And let’s not forget about a new indicator tool. It will automatically turn on when an app is accessing the user’s microphone or camera.
The tech giant is also adding a feature that uses Google Assistant to warn customers when their passwords have been compromised. Also, a new tool called Locked Folder in Google Photos allows customers to add photos to a passcode-protected space. Such photos won’t show up as users scroll through Photos or other apps on a phone. The feature will launch on the company’s Pixel smartphones first and other Android devices throughout the year.
Google and its WearOS
The company also decided to bring back WearOS, its wearable platform for smartwatches, with the help of Samsung, and the Tizen software platform.
In 2019, Google announced plans to acquire wearable fitness tracker company Fitbit for $2.1 billion. This week the company is showing off its vision for the future of wearables. The tech giant decided to offer more augmented reality tools to phones. With AR View via Google Maps, customers can hover over restaurants, and other places starting later this year. They can also take a picture of a math problem to learn the result.
This week, the company teased a new natural language processing platform called LaMDA. The new platform helps artificial intelligence to be more conversational. The company showed what it would be like to have a conversation with inanimate objects for the sake of education.