Google I/O 2023: What’s new? AI, Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7a

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Here we are, another year and another Google I/O developer conference. The company has unveiled (officially confirmed) a number of new products including the Pixel 7a smartphone, the anticipated Pixel Fold smartphone, the Pixel Tablet with speaker dock, and Android and AI enhancements.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Let’s dive in and see what’s new from Google for the next few months!


Before we begin, you can try some of the new AI (and other features) on the new Google Labs page.

Generative AI

Given the recent hype around AI, Google I/O 2023 started out with AI and how Google has been using it to make its products “radically more helpful” for users. The next step for Google is using Generative AI across all its products, including Gmail, Search, Workspace, and more.

Using Gmail as an example, users will be able to use Generative AI to enter a prompt, for example, “create a response requesting a full refund” in the prompt will generate a pretty decent response which you can then tweak or enhance through further prompts.

Another example Google presented was Google Maps. The company is expanding Immersive View to be available for your entire route instead of just a specific location. Once you’ve selected a route, Immersive View will allow you to preview the entire route. Other additions include being able to check air quality and weather. Unfortunately, it will only be available for 15 cities around the world including London, New York, and San Francisco by the end of the year.

Google Photos is also getting more improvements thanks to AI advancements. Magic Eraser has been using this in the past and has evolved to Magic Editor with even more editing options including the ability to move objects within a photo while retaining the background. The tool even has the ability to complete items that were cut off in the photo like balloons.

Google has four goals going forward when it comes to AI:

  1. Improving your knowledge and learning
  2. Boost creativity and productivity
  3. Enable others to innovate
  4. Building and deploying AI responsibly

Bard AI

Bard is being further integrated with Google tools like Gmail, Google Lens, Maps and more. When using Bard, you’ll be able to ask Bard to show results on Google Maps, create captions for photos, export to Google apps like Docs or Sheets, and much more. Bard will also be able to tap into other third-party services as well over the next few months. The first that Google showcased was using Bard to create photos using Adobe Firefly.

Starting today, Google is removing the waitlist and Bard will now be available for use in over 180 countries, as well as in Japanese and Korean besides the default English. Support for 40 languages will also be rolling out soon.

Duet AI for Workspace

AI is also coming to Google Workspace to increase real-time collaboration. After being tested in Google’s Trusted Testers program since March, Google has made vast improvements and the tool is being used for everything from building job descriptions and default spreadsheets to blog posts and emails — and much more. Starting next month, these new features will be available to Trusted Testers, and rolling out later this year as Duet AI for Workspace for end users.

Of course, Google is going to be using AI more when it comes to their search tools. Instead of breaking up search queries into smaller chunks, Google Search with AI lets you use even more complex queries and includes many more search results and types from the Generative AI under the hood. As a result, Google is making search “Smarter and Simpler” for users for everything from informational purposes to trip planning and shopping.

You can try some of the new AI (and other features) on the new Google Labs page.

Android 14 (and AI)

Google is introducing more AI into Android, hoping to make it the “most expressive OS” ever. Using Generative AI and Android’s guided customization, users will be able to make conversations through Messages more expressive, fun, and playful. At the OS layer, Material You uses dynamic colour to theme your device. With Android 14, there will be more customization options for your lockscreen, including customization based on AI which adds 3D and motion effects to photos for cinematic wallpaper. Both emoji and cinematic wallpapers are coming to Pixel devices next month.

If you don’t have that “perfect” image you want to use as wallpaper, you can use Generative AI to create and set custom wallpapers. Generative AI wallpaper will be coming later this fall.

Pixel 7a

The Google Pixel 7a is the latest smartphone to join the Google Pixel lineup. As has been the case over the past few years, the 7a is a mid-range smartphone based on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Powered by the same Google Tensor G2 chipset as its flagship siblings, the Pixel 7a uses Google AI to provide responsive performance and “best-in-class” photography with a 72% larger camera than the Pixel 6a. In addition, the 7a is Google’s most durable A-Series device to date.

Key features of the Pixel 7a include:

  • Display and Design: Beautifully durable, Pixel 7a was engineered to be the smarter smartphone. This device hosts a brilliant 6.1-inch FHD+ Display.
  • Google Tensor G2: Engineered by Google, the Tensor G2 chip makes Pixel 7a faster, more efficient, and more secure. It’s the same chip that’s in Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, powering Google’s AI for improved audio on phone calls, great battery life, and amazing photo and video quality.
  • Photo Unblur: Pixel 7a can help fix the less-than-perfect photos you didn’t take on a Pixel. From clearing up blurry pictures with Photo Unblur to easily removing distractions with Magic Eraser, you can make your old photos look better with just a few taps in Google Photos.
  • Wireless Charging: Charge Pixel 7a on Pixel Stand or any Qi-certified device. Pixel Stand is a convenient way to wirelessly charge your Pixel or Pixel Buds Pro. And while your phone is charging, it’s a mini display for photos.
  • Battery: Pixel’s Adaptive Battery can last over 24 hours. Turn on Extreme Battery Saver, and it can last up to 72 hours. And your Pixel charges super fast.

The Google Pixel 7a is now available on the Google Store starting at USD$499/CAD$599, and at carriers, including AT&T, so be sure to check out pricing and details in our article covering the AT&T release. When ordered through the Google Store, users can snag a free pair of Pixel Buds A-Series.

Pixel Tablet

It’s been years since Google released a tablet. At Google I/O this year, the company dished out more details about the new Pixel Tablet.

Key features and specifications of the Pixel Tablet include:

  • Tensor G2 with Titan M2 processor
  • 11-inch 2560×1600 resolution display
  • 3 far-field optimized microphones
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life when video streaming
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB storage options
  • Fingerprint sensor built into the power button
  • 4-speaker audio for stereo sound
  • 8MP front and rear camera
  • Camera optimized for video calls
  • AI-powered photo editing tools with Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur
  • Improved voice typing to make typing on tablets up to 3x faster over on-screen keyboards
  • First of it’s kind charging speaker dock which turns the tablet into a smart home hub
  • Redesigned Google Home app
  • Easy switching support for multiple users while maintaining individual privacy
  • First tablet with built-in Chromecast
  • The available case includes a sturdy stand

The Google Pixel Tablet is now available for preorder today on the Google Store starting at USD$499/CAD$699. The charging speaker dock is included for free (MSRP USD$129) and is expected to ship next month.

Pixel Fold

Rumoured for a while now, and teased last week, Google officially announced its first foldable smartphone at Google I/O this year, the Pixel Fold. Google’s first, it is currently the thinnest fold available on the market.

Key features of the Pixel Fold include:

  • Tensor G2 with Titan M2 processor
  • 5.8-inch Pixel phone when folded
  • 7.6-inch OLED display when opened
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256/512GB storage options
  • Powerful smartphone or immersive tablet depending on your current needs
  • Triple rear camera
    • 10.8MP ultrawide rear lens
    • 48MP main rear lens
    • 5x optical telephoto rear lens with 20x Super Res Zoom
  • 9.5MP Dual PD front camera
  • 8MP inner camera
  • Tripod mode for astrophotography
  • Best zoom on a foldable
  • Dual-screen interpreter mode
  • Updated Android features for larger-screen devices
    • The new continuity feature automatically adapts content from small screen to large screen when opened
    • Easy dragging for split-screen mode
    • Split keyboard for faster typing
    • Two-panel shade showing notifications and quick settings at the same time
    • Task view keeps multi-tasking windows paired
    • Can adjust split screen mode for best viewing
    • When watching YouTube, you can partially fold the device for use in tabletop mode
    • Support for switching displays within an app, i.e. camera can be switched to the smaller screen to use the rear camera for selfies
  • Fingerprint unlock with power button fingerprint
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass Victus cover glass
  • 5 years of Pixel updates

The Google Pixel Fold will ship next month and is now available to pre-order on the Google Store starting at USD$1799. Pixel Fold pre-orders include a free Pixel Watch. Unfortunately, the Pixel Fold isn’t coming to Canada at this time and will be released in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan.

Google I/O Keynote Video

In case you missed the Google I/O 2023 keynote, you can watch it in the video below:

What do you think about the new products and services announced by Google at Google I/O this year? What are you most excited about? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2024.


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