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Google I/O 2023: all the news from Google’s big developer event

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Google had a lot to prove coming into I/O 2023 — and the company showed up with a ton of AI announcements to show it would be a serious player in the field.

There was a new large language model, AI features in Docs and Sheets, and generative features in Android. And Google demoed a major overhaul to Google Search that puts generative results front and center.

The company also announced a wave of new Pixel devices, including the Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7A.

Read on below for all the details.

  • Google’s new image search tools could help you identify AI-generated fakes

    Image: Google

    In a world increasingly filled with photorealistic images that have either been altered with AI editing tools or created using a generative AI bot like Midjourney or Stable Diffusion, how do you know if a picture is real? One thing that could help is a new tool Google is rolling out this summer for English-language searches in the US called “About this image.”

    It’s similar to the “about this” drop-down that appears on links in regular search results but is now available in Google image searches. When you perform a “reverse image search” by uploading an image of unknown provenance, you’ll now see a menu option that lets you find out when that picture and others similar to it were first indexed by Google — as well as where on the web it first appeared and which sites it’s appeared on since.

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  • Emma Roth

    May 10

    Emma Roth

    Google launches an AI coding bot for Android developers

    A screenshot showing Studio Bot
    Screenshot: Emma Roth / The Verge

    Google is launching a new AI-powered coding bot for Android developers. During its I/O event on Wednesday, Google announced that the tool, called Studio Bot, will help developers build apps by generating code, fixing errors, and answering questions about Android.

    According to Google, the bot is built on Codey, the company’s new foundational coding model that stems from its updated PaLM 2 large language model (LLM). Studio Bot supports both the Kotlin and Java programming languages and will live directly in the toolbar on Android Studio. There, developers can get quick answers to their questions or even have the bot debug a portion of their code.

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  • Google will help Play Store developers build out their listings with generative AI

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google is making generative AI tools available to Play Store developers in an attempt to make it easier for them to build out their app listings. It’s one of a pair of AI-powered features Google is announcing for its Android app store at its I/O developer conference today, alongside a new review summary feature that will use AI to summarize app reviews. Other features include a machine translation feature for listings and new options for promoting apps.

    The search giant is characterizing the generative AI tool as an experimental feature that’s designed to make drafting a listing easier. “Just open our AI helper, enter a couple of prompts like audience and key theme, and it will generate a draft you can edit, discard, or use,” its blog post reads. Google says the feature is available “starting today” for English text.

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  • How to preorder the Google Pixel Fold and Pixel 7A

    A black Pixel Fold phone, unfolded on a table with its larger inner screen facing upward and turned on.
    Suddenly, June can’t come soon enough.
    Image: Google

    After the rumors, leaks, and an early tease, Google has now properly introduced both its new flagship foldable and midrange slab phone offerings: the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7A. These were some of the showcase device announcements at the tech giant’s Google I/O 2023 keynote, accompanied by other Android and AI-related news.

    The Pixel 7A continues Google’s formula of taking some of the best features from its latest generation of flagship phones, leaving out extras that cost a premium and dropping the cost to a more budget-friendly price. And speaking of premium, the Pixel Fold is a new ultra-flagship addition to the Pixel lineup, one that represents Google’s first attempt at a foldable phone and takes a page from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 in the “it’s a regular-ish phone that also unfolds into a small tablet” department.

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  • Where to preorder the new Google Pixel Tablet

    The Google Pixel Tablet resting on a bookshelf next to a flower vase.
    Google’s forthcoming slate starts at $499.
    Image: Google

    After teasing it at last year’s Google I/O, Google finally confirmed at this year’s developer conference that it’ll release its first-gen Google Pixel Tablet on June 20th. Pricing starts at $499, and if you want to be one of the first to get your hands on the new Android tablet, you can preorder it starting today, May 10th, from Amazon, Google, and other retailers.

    Powered by the same Tensor G2 processor found in Google’s Pixel 7 phones — including the new Pixel Fold and Pixel 7A — you can use the tablet for a range of tasks, from making 1080p video calls to sharpening blurry images. With the Google TV app and Chromecast built in, you should also be able to easily cast content from your Pixel phone to the tablet. The forthcoming slate comes with 8GB of RAM, too, much like Apple’s latest iPad Air, but its base model comes with twice the storage capacity. It will ship with Android 13, though Google says it will be updated to Android 14 later this year.

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  • Wear OS 4 is coming and bringing better battery life along with it

    Screenshot of Google I/O introducing WhatsApp on a Wear OS watch.
    WhatsApp is one of the new apps coming to Wear OS.
    Screenshot: The Verge

    Wear OS 3 technically hasn’t finished rolling out yet, but Google’s not waiting to announce Wear OS 4. The new OS is meant to improve battery life and introduce cloud backups to the platform.

    It makes sense that Wear OS is getting some love now that the Pixel Watch is here. The jump to Wear OS 4, however, is a bit surprising. Sure, it’s been two years since Google announced the oft-neglected Wear OS platform was getting a total revamp via a partnership with Samsung. But the transition has been rocky, and Wear OS 3 really didn’t start taking off until the latter half of 2022.

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  • That Android wallpaper is so... you?

    Or AI? Both, actually. More details in this story.

  • The new Google Home app is finally here

    The new Google Home app is a complete redesign of the smart home controller.
    The new Google Home app is a complete redesign of the smart home controller.
    Image: Google

    Google’s new Home app is moving out of its invite-only public preview and will be available to everyone starting May 11th, the company announced Wednesday at Google I/O 2023. The smart home controller app has had a complete overhaul, including a much-needed new Favorites tab, an improved camera interface, support for dozens of new device types, and more controls for existing ones. And you’ll now be able to use an iPhone to set up Matter devices in Google Home.

    That last bit of news is one of the final pieces of the puzzle for complete platform support of the new smart home standard Matter, following Amazon’s rollout of Thread compatibility last week. Google has been a major player in developing the standard but has been slower than others to ramp up support since Matter’s launch last year. With the arrival of iOS 16.5, you’ll now be able to set up any Matter device with any smart home platform app on any smartphone. Previously, iOS devices could only use the Apple Home or Samsung SmartThings app to add Matter gadgets to a home network.

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  • Google’s Find My Device will soon use billions of Android devices to locate your stuff

    Many more devices will be integrated with Find My Device.
    Many more devices will be integrated with Find My Device.

    Google is expanding and modernizing its Find My Device platform, bringing it closer in line with location-tracking solutions from Apple and Tile. During today’s I/O 2023 keynote, Google’s Sameer Samat announced that headphones / earbuds, tablets, and other product categories will be added to Find My Device in the coming months. (Some of these are already supported, but you can count on seeing many additional devices.) More importantly, it will now become a vast network that uses devices owned by other people to ping your missing gadget and pinpoint its location.

    “It’s powered by a network of billions of Android devices around the world,” Samat said. Tile, Chipolo, and other third parties will participate in the updated program. “From the start, we designed the network in a privacy-preserving way,” the Google VP added, noting that device location data is encrypted and not viewable by the company.

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  • Google announces Pixel 7A with 90Hz display and wireless charging

    A marketing image of the four colors of Google’s Pixel 7A.
    The Pixel 7A comes in four colors and is available today.
    Image: Google

    Google’s latest value-focused Pixel smartphone is here. Today, at its I/O 2023 keynote, the company introduced the $499 Pixel 7A. In terms of design, it’s harder than ever to tell the “budget” A-series phone apart from the Pixel 7 released last fall. And amid heightened competition at the 7A’s price point, Google has added new features like a high-refresh display, wireless charging, and an upgraded camera.

    Just like the standard model, the Pixel 7A has an aluminum camera bar and metal side rails. It’s powered by the same Tensor G2 chip as the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, meaning you can expect the same software tricks like Photo Unblur and enhanced voice-to-text dictation. The phone’s 6.1-inch 1080p OLED display can now (finally) run at up to 90Hz, and those smoother animations put it on better footing against competing phones from Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, and other brands.

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  • The Pixel Fold is Google’s $1,800 entry into folding phones

    Google’s Pixel Fold opened in its tablet form, held up by a hand.
    The Pixel Fold is a smartphone that opens up into a small tablet.

    Following literal years of rumors and leaks, Google has finally announced the Pixel Fold, its first folding device. The $1,799 Fold is set to go head-to-head with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 with preorders starting today, May 10th, and will be shipping to customers in June.

    Though this is Google’s first attempt at a folding phone, there’s a lot to like here. As a general gadget or device that you hold and manipulate in your hands, the Pixel Fold is very nice — the hinge is stiff but not cumbersome, the screens look great, and it feels like the expensive object it is. Google’s apps and software appear to work well on it, and it’s likely that any future folding phone features built into Android will be done with the Pixel Fold front of mind.

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  • Google Pixel 7A review: a better deal

    Google Pixel 7A in coral on a wooden table showing rear panel.
    Nearly every aspect of the Pixel 7A has been improved.

    For the past couple of years, there’s been a very simple flowchart to follow when shopping for a midrange phone: if you want the best screen, get the Samsung phone. If you want the best camera, get the Google Pixel phone. This year, it’s even simpler: get the Google Pixel 7A. If you absolutely must have the best screen in the class, consider the Galaxy A54 5G, but for most people, the 7A is the best choice. 

    The Pixel 7A includes a handful of important upgrades, but on its spec sheet, there’s one that I think is the most important: a brighter, smoother-scrolling 90Hz screen. It’s not quite as nice as the Galaxy A54 5G’s 120Hz display, but it no longer means you’re putting up with a screen that’s just “meh” if you opt for the Pixel A device. We look at our phone screens roughly 20 billion times a day, so that’s a big quality-of-life improvement.

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  • Android’s new generative AI can reply to your texts and design its own wallpaper

    An image of a young woman with long braided hair backpacking while wearing a puffy reddish orange jacket on the wallpaper screen of a smartphone, next to some other options for wallpaper on a separate phone screen.
    Is this woman real? Google’s blog post doesn’t say.
    Image: Google

    Generative AI is all the rage — and Google has found two new ways to put the tech in the palm of your hand.

    First, it’s announcing Magic Compose, a new feature in Android’s default Messages app that’ll let you respond to texts with auto-suggested responses “based on the content of your messages” so they sound like you, or pull a Grammarly and make them sound more “concise” and “professional,” or even imitate a famous style.

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  • Google says 50 of its own Android apps are ready for big-screen tablets (and presumably Pixel Fold).

    Also, Spotify and Disney Plus. The Fold hasn’t been fully announced here yet. Stay tuned.

  • Google will share more on its Android-powered “immersive XR” collaboration with Samsung later this year.

    That’s all the news we got on the platform at Google I/O, which the two companies (and Qualcomm) announced in February. Google might need to do more than that to distract from the Apple-sized gorilla that’s expected to enter the mixed reality fray in just a few weeks.

  • Google says over 800 million people now have access to RCS.

    And exactly zero of them are my parents. But Google sure got some applause from this line: “We hope every mobile operating system gets the message and adopts RCS.” I agree! But I don’t have a ton of hope.

  • Gmail can now scan the dark web for your email address

    The Google logo in a shield, surrounded by security-themed illustrations.
    Stay ahead of potential threats by checking if your Gmail address has been published to the dark web.
    Image: Google

    A new security feature coming to Google accounts could inform you if your email address has been published on the dark web. At Google I/O today, the search giant announced plans to roll out a handful of new security features designed to better protect those using Google products and services, including spam protections for Google Drive and improved search history deletion in Maps.

    The company is expanding its “dark web report” feature to all Gmail accounts in the US over the coming weeks, which scans to check if your Gmail address is appearing on the dark web and advises on steps that users can take to bolster their online security. The password manager built into the Chrome browser already does a fairly good job of nagging you to keep your data protected, but this goes a step further.

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  • Google teases Project Tailwind — a prototype AI notebook that learns from your documents

    A presentation showing a UI for Project Tailwind, allowing users to add documents to a personal AI.
    Project Tailwind is just a concept for now, but it’s a very intriguing one.
    Image: Google

    Google has announced a lot of AI projects at its I/O conference this year, but the one that has me most excited is just a prototype: Project Tailwind.

    Essentially, it’s an AI notebook trained on your documents that you can query like a sort of personalized tutor or writing companion. Google framed it as a tool for students, but it could have a lot more potential for anyone who deals with a lot of text in their life.

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  • Google now lets you sign up for its Search and Workspace AI tests

    A photo of a Google executive presenting at Google I/O 2023.
    Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

    Google just revealed some big AI-focused updates to Search and Workspace at Google I/O, and you can now sign up to test them on a dedicated Labs page. They’re a little ways down the page: scroll until you see “Learn More” buttons, and you can click on those to go to the pages that actually let you sign up for the tests.

    Generative AI tools are all the rage right now, but they’ve also made some famously bad blunders. By letting users opt in to test these early products, Google can get feedback on the new tools by positioning them as “experiments” that may change and improve throughout development.

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  • Live blog: Google showcases Search, AI, and Pixel devices at I/O 2023

    Google Campus Ahead Of Alphabet Earnings Figures
    Image: Getty

    Google I/O 2023 is underway — and The Verge is reporting live from Mountain View, California. Follow along below for up to the minute coverage.

    At this year’s event, we’re expecting to see Google’s normal array of announcements: new features for Maps and Photos, design tweaks to the next version of Android, and a tease of future hardware. That includes some big news for the Pixel line, where we’re expecting to see the Pixel 7A and the long-awaited Pixel Fold.

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  • Google’s new Perspectives search helps you find actual human information online

    Image of the Google “G” logo on a blue, black, and purple background.
    Illustration: The Verge

    You know the Reddit trick, right? The one where, when you’re searching Google and you want an actual human perspective on which headphones to buy / where to go in Buenos Aires / how many crayons your kid can eat before they get sick, the best thing to do is add “reddit” to the end of your search results? When you do that, you get to skip past the morass of SEO-optimized nonsense websites and find actual human people talking about their actual human experiences.

    Well, Google has figured this out, too. So it’s launching a new section of its search results page, called “Perspectives,” that is designed specifically for this behavior. It aims to make it easy to find takes from individual people on subjects all over the web. It’s an expansion of work Google has been doing for a while, now front and center all over search.

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  • The AI takeover of Google Search starts now

    A screenshot of Google’s SGE generating an AI snapshot
    Google’s still careful to say SGE is an experiment — but it’s a front-and-center one now.
    Image: Google

    The future of Google Search is AI. But not in the way you think. The company synonymous with web search isn’t all in on chatbots (even though it’s building one, called Bard), and it’s not redesigning its homepage to look more like a ChatGPT-style messaging system. Instead, Google is putting AI front and center in the most valuable real estate on the internet: its existing search results. 

    To demonstrate, Liz Reid, Google’s VP of Search, flips open her laptop and starts typing into the Google search box. “Why is sourdough bread still so popular?” she writes and hits enter. Google’s normal search results load almost immediately. Above them, a rectangular orange section pulses and glows and shows the phrase “Generative AI is experimental.” A few seconds later, the glowing is replaced by an AI-generated summary: a few paragraphs detailing how good sourdough tastes, the upsides of its prebiotic abilities, and more. To the right, there are three links to sites with information that Reid says “corroborates” what’s in the summary.

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  • Sundar is pumped about AI.

  • Google rebrands AI tools for Docs and Gmail as Duet AI — its answer to Microsoft’s Copilot

    A photograph of a presentation slide saying “Duet AI for Workspace.”
    Google is adding generative AI tools to apps like Docs, Gmail, and more.
    Image: Google / The Verge

    In March, Google announced a bunch of AI features for its Workspace suite of apps in an effort to keep pace with Microsoft’s rapid integration of similar tools. At Google I/O, the company has new branding for this effort — Duet AI — but the features themselves are still not yet widely available to the general public. The company also teased a new feature called “Sidekick” that’s able to read, summarize, and answer questions on documents across different Google apps.

    Duet AI covers a range of generative AI tools for Google’s productivity apps. As we detailed earlier this year, that includes writing assistance in Docs and Gmail, image generation for Slides, automatic meeting summaries for Meet, and more. But at Google I/O, the only real news news is that writing assistance is also coming to Gmail on mobile, where it will be branded as “Help me write” — an upgrade to Smart Compose. To actually get access to these new tools, though, you’ll need to sign up to Workspace Labs and join a waitlist.

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