The most complete record of Google I/O 2021: Android 12 ushered in three major upgrades, but the protagonist of the audience is not it

The Google Developers Conference, which bounced back due to the new crown epidemic last year, is back this year.

Just this morning in Beijing time, the Google Developers Conference (Google I/O 2021) was held online. At the three-hour conference, Google delivered keynote speeches to consumers and developers.

For ordinary users, the part of consumer keynote speech is obviously more attractive and viewable. Apart from the services that are difficult for us to use, there are only three major things that really deserve your attention:

  • AI learning is stronger
  • A more personalized Android 12 is here
  • Wearable system ushered in a big update

AI empowered everywhere

At this year's Google Developers Conference, the focus of the first half of the speeches fell on the keyword "AI".

Machine learning has been used since the opening of the experimental music program co-starred by Tune-Yards and Blob Opera. The AI ​​choir Blob Opera will adjust the accompaniment style and rhythm in real time according to the content sung by the female lead singer. This performance is slightly abstract , But it makes people feel unclear, and can feel the power of machine learning intentionally or unconsciously.

Next, Google also applied AI to existing applications such as collaborative office, voice assistants, and Google Maps.

First, Google’s collaborative office component, Google Workspace, launched a new Smart Canvas function, optimized for team video conferencing experience. AI will judge the position of the main character in the video, allowing you to stay in the center of the screen at all times, and even automatically increase Features such as screen brightness.

▲ New version of Workspace interface

Next is a brand new AI platform called LaMDA. It’s not yet clear about its relationship with Google Assistant. Google uses thousands of human conversations to train it. Although this feature is still being developed and improved, it’s just a demonstration at the press conference. It seems that the demonstrators can already chat with LaMDA. They have back and forth as usual, and occasionally make some funny jokes. However, this kind of performance is enough to integrate the voice assistants made by competitors. A few blocks away.

▲ Dialogue with LaMDA playing Pluto

This may mean that we humans will one day be unable to distinguish whether the opposite person is talking to us, whether it is a real person or artificial intelligence.

In the follow-up introduction, Google also applied machine learning and AI to Google maps, search, photo albums, security and privacy, and it is not an exaggeration to make it an AI empowering conference.

Recommend greener and safer driving routes in Google Maps; screen for real and useful information from complicated news information; and collect photos with similar information points into a book in Google Photos.

There is the credit of artificial intelligence here. What AI realizes is to provide people with a kind of convenience, thereby improving the efficiency of life and work. We should use the time saved to enjoy life.

The most personalized Android system in history

Almost every Google Developers Conference will focus on the update details of the major version of Android, and this year is no exception.

Previously, the network heat transfer Android 12 will have new visual elements, including notification panels, widgets and other components, all with a new design.

These rumors were confirmed at this conference. Indeed, the appearance of Android 12 is much higher than the previous generation.

Google said that the new UI has been refactored from the lock screen to the desktop, including touch dynamics, notification styles, and light and shadow dynamics. The new icons and small components are designed with rounded corners on a large area, which looks more sleek.

Google believes that Android 12 is the most personalized operating system ever. This is because its main concept is "Material You", that is, the style is determined by the user. This is an important upgrade based on "Material Design".

The user can decide the theme color of the UI, the shape of the widget, the light and shadow, dynamics and so on in the material palette. After the adjustment, the devices with the same account will automatically synchronize to ensure the consistency of the style.

Although the color extraction function is quite common, Google is still excited to say that Android 12 can use the color extraction function to automatically extract the most suitable color combination from the wallpaper that the user replaces, and apply it in the UI.

And Android 12 not only redesigned the visual image, but also simplified many interactions. In other words, the simpler animation will make the user feel smooth when operating.

After simplifying the system, Android 12 not only responds faster, but also has a higher energy efficiency ratio. Google said that the CPU time required for core system services has been reduced by up to 22%. Reduce the large core CPU usage of the system server by up to 15%. This will have a positive impact on mobile phone battery life.

If we say "deep personalization" is one of the three major labels of Android 12 . Then the other two are "in-depth protection of personal privacy" and "multi-device interconnection and collaboration."

"Privacy" has become a must-mentioned key word in every technology conference. Android 12 has also made many improvements to protect privacy.

The first point is the brand new privacy board. The user can see when an app has accessed which type of data on the privacy board, and suspend the app’s permission to obtain private information at any time.

The second point is that when the app uses the microphone or camera, there will be a privacy indicator displayed in the upper right corner, which is similar to iOS, as a small colored dot. The user can turn on or off the permission of the app to use the microphone or camera in the quick settings.

The third point is to ensure privacy and security through technical design such as Android's private computer core. It can be understood that it is a privileged space in the operating system, which only retains data for learning and use by the device, and will not upload it to the network.

After talking about privacy, Google started talking about Android 12's progress in multi-device collaboration. Google hopes to use mobile phones as the core to build computers, cars and other devices into a network that can collaborate with each other. This sounds a lot like Huawei's 1+8+N strategy.

For example, a mobile phone equipped with Android 12 can achieve better interconnection capabilities with ChromeBook, such as remote control and file management. Another example is the interconnection with Android TV, using a mobile phone instead of a remote control to input text. Another example is the interconnection with the car to realize operations such as opening and closing the door lock and starting.

These operations sound familiar. It can be said that domestic manufacturers have already taken the lead in multi-device interconnection.

Finally, the update time of Android 12. Google said that current mobile phone users from 11 manufacturers, such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo, can already download the Beta version for first-hand experience. The official version will be launched this fall.

Nice to see you again, Wear OS

When it comes to wearable devices, especially smart watches, most people think of Apple Watch first, but don’t forget that Google is an earlier player in this field.

Since the earliest Moto 360, Google’s smart watches have earned people’s attention, but unfortunately they have won many hardware partners, but they have not been able to form a rope, and subsequent software iterations are gradually showing signs of decline. The change from the earliest Android Wear to WearOS also failed to counterattack.

▲ Picture source: technicon

In January of this year, Google completed the acquisition of Fitbit, another veteran wearable device player. It has been silent until now. Everyone is looking forward to it. Looking forward to Google’s release of new wearable hardware at today’s developer conference. However, this At the second meeting, Google did not launch new hardware products, but announced a new wearable platform with Samsung.

There are not many announcements at present: new UI, new performance and Fitbit health monitoring function.

The focus is on the introduction of Fitbit’s health monitoring system. Google is aware of the general trend in the development of wearable devices, sports monitoring and health tracking. Fitbit uses 130 million devices sold so far to obtain a large amount of data for various The crowd conducts data analysis and adjustments to obtain as accurate and true sports and health data as possible. Now these experiences can be fed back to Wear OS, allowing Google's wearable devices to make a difference in health.

Of course, the new features on the new platform will also be used in the new products of other hardware partners.

But in a sense, the future Samsung Galaxy watch may become as important as Google's Pixel phone series.

On the whole, this year's Google Developers Conference is still dominated by software and services. Especially under the influence of the epidemic, how to use AI to facilitate the work and life of the public has become a characteristic theme of the conference.

One statistic is worth mentioning. Google was pleased to announce at the meeting that the number of active Android devices in the world has reached a new milestone this week-3 billion units.

Speaking of equipment, the previously leaked Pixel Buds true wireless headsets and the next-generation Pixel series models that everyone is looking forward to were not unveiled at this conference. Should wait until the autumn hardware new product launch conference.

The biggest highlight of this conference is Android 12. We will also explain its design changes in detail later, so stay tuned.

This article was jointly completed by Huaxinyan and Wang Zhishao.

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