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Google Unveils New Pixel Tablet, Gives Peek At Augmented Reality Glasses

Google’s annual developer conference returned this week with CEO Sundar Pichai’s two-hour keynote highlighting the company’s upcoming releases.

An updated Android 13, artificial intelligence efforts, new Pixel mobile hardware, including a new watch, and a brief tease of what could be the new version of augmented reality glasses were all on tap at Google I/O, Alphabet’s annual developer conference, Wednesday.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised a new Pixel tablet powered by Google’s own Tensor chip to be released sometime next year. Scant other details were released on the tablet, but Pichai said the device would be the “perfect companion for Pixel with a larger form factor.”

Artificial intelligence has been a huge theme this year as many companies, including Intel, jockey for position to take advantage of emerging technologies. Google promised to begin making its AI language model open source. The company also said auto translations would be coming to its mobile YouTube App and unveiled an eye-activated Nest Hub Max and real-time grocery shopping assistance on a Pixel.

Also on the Pixel front, the company unveiled its midtier Pixel 6A, starting at $449 and available for preorder July 21. The phone will keep the Pixel 6’s Tensor chip but will take a good-is-good-enough approach for its camera, dropping the megapixel count from 50 megapixels to 12 megapixels. And while Google took plenty of shots at Apple last year for its lack of a headphone jack, the 6A will drop the feature as well.

The company teased the audience with a few renders of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which will be released in the fall. The cameras will feature a slightly different layout than the Pixel 6 line. But the company is keeping other details and specs under wraps.

Google confirmed more details of the already leaked Pixel Watch, which will feature updated Wear OS 3 and Fitbit integration to keep track of health metrics. There is no word yet on cost, but the company said the wearable will drop sometime this fall along with the flagship Pixel 7 smartphone.

Goole also unveiled Pixel Buds with active noise cancellation. The $199 earbuds will have an estimated seven hours of battery life even with noise cancellation turned on. The company boasts two-device support with Bluetooth multipoint and a custom audio chip. Preorder is expected to begin July 21.

Google’s last attempt at AR glasses may have failed in the consumer market (enterprise versions are still in use), but the company isn’t giving up as competitors are getting their own AR and virtual reality wares ready for the metaverse. Google gave a brief tease of new glasses capable of real-time translation during live conversation. The goosebump-inducing spot did not convey any specs or release info or even if this product will be marketed at consumers.

Android 13 will simply iron out and expand features already found on Android 12. Google is adding Material You themes, allowing users to personalize their apps. The beta version is available to test out right now.

“All of this is in service to our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” Google’s Pichai said during his keynote address.

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