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Google announces new Pixel 3a, Android Q and privacy enhancements in its products

A few hours ago the conference introducing the Google I / O 2019, the giant developer event of the Mountain View giant. The news presented this year may not be as extensive or cool as in 2018, but nonetheless noteworthy: among them, we have new "cheap" smartphones with premium cameras and a lot of improvements in the way the Google deals with user privacy which at least indicates that the company is concerned about the image it has built over the last decade.

Below, we highlight some of the main news of the day.

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

Confirming expectations (which may or may not be a euphemism for Many Google has escaped the tradition of introducing a successor to Pixel 3 and instead presented a cheaper version of the cult but on the very popular smartphone. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL unite the low-cost, honesty of the old Nexus with a hard-to-match gimmick: the phenomenal cameras of their most expensive brothers.

Google Pixel 3A

Per $ 400 (3a) or $ 470 (3a XL), the new smartphones feature the same common Pixel 3 cameras Night sight included), widely considered to be the best on the market at least until the arrival of the Huawei P30 Pro. Intermediate handsets with high-end imaging capabilities are rare to see in the world of smartphones, where cameras are often the first components to come. suffer in cost cutting.

What's more, the devices don't look ugly, though they don't stand out: here we have 5.6 or 6 inch FHD + resolution OLED screens lined with a so-called “Dragontail Glass” (no, no Gorilla Glass). The processor is intermediate Snapdragon 670, and we have 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage with no major options or card expansion. Batteries have 3,000mAh or 3,700mAh, and Pixels 3a have a very interesting advantage over more expensive brothers: the reinclusion of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The design is very similar to that of the more expensive handsets, but with plastic body (period, polycarbonate) in two finishes and digital reader on the back. The edges of the screen are slightly larger, however, but there is no cutout or hole in the panel for the 8 megapixel front camera. No wireless recharging here, either.

Google Pixel 3A

Pixels 3a are now available for sale in the United States, unlocked on the Google site or in partnership with Verizon. They are available in three colors: Just black, “Clearly white” and Purple-ish (a kind of very light lavender).

Android Q

Google took the day to release the third beta of Android 10.0 “Q” (they haven't yet announced what dessert to name this version) and show news of the new system among them, a somewhat new, say, familiar navigation system. who has ever used an iPhone X or similar. See the demonstration of The verge:

New Android Q Navigation System

Another novelty to be highlighted is an impressive accessibility tool: the Live caption It is a feature that displays subtitles in real time for any audio or video playing on the smartphone and it is available even without internet, as Google is progressively relying on connecting to its servers to perform processing tasks on its own. gadgets.

In addition, Android Q brings a so-called Focus mode, which disables certain user-distracting applications, as well as a new tool that provides possible responses that you can give to messages and offers them in your notifications. Google is also promising faster security updates for all manufacturers, made available by Google Play itself. And we have a Dark Mode (Dark mode) own, of course.

Android Q should be available in final version in the second half.

Assistant

Following the privacy tactic, Google Assistant now handles most of your orders directly from your smartphone, unlike Siri. This has a very positive side effect: the assistant is up to ten times faster, offering answers and obeying commands with an unprecedented readiness on any platform.

O SlashGear posted a video featuring Google's impressive demo at the event:

The assistant is smarter, too. She can now (with her permission, of course) know where close contacts live, so you can ask, for example, a Uber to her mother's house with a quick voice command.

Duplex technology, which recently debuted on phones, now able to access the internet as well Google has demonstrated a scenario where artificial intelligence has reserved a vehicle rental for the user through the company's website, providing the necessary data and digitally confirming the information. .

Google Assistant renewal should be released first on Pixel smartphones by the end of the year.

Waze

Still within the news of Google Assistant, the helper is finding the way to Waze. This will allow you to access the assistant directly from the browser, requesting directions, arrival forecasts or reporting traffic jams and accidents all by voice. Integration should be released in the coming weeks.


Waze app icon - GPS & Live Traffic

Maps and YouTube with annimo mode

Until today, only Chrome had an anonymous way to call it this, a function in which history and browsing data are not recorded or linked to your Google account. Maps and YouTube are now gaining similar features.

Apps incognito can be enabled from your context menus, and work just as you'd expect: with the feature enabled, history and browsing data are not saved to your account or device. Anyway, always good to remember, the novelty does not prevent sites and servers from capturing your data.


Google Maps app icon - Traffic & Food


YouTube app icon

Foot navigation with augmented reality

This is a feature initially available only on Pixel smartphones, but it is very, very cool: the navigation feature after Google Maps gets a little help from augmented reality and the user can simply point the camera of his smartphone to the street for the system to indicate where it should go with arrows and routes marked on the ground.

Google Maps with augmented reality on foot navigation

Google was able to build the feature by comparing Street View images with those captured by the smartphone; With this, it is possible to determine the exact position of the user and complement the operation of the GPS. The news is already being made available to users of Pixel smartphones and is hoping to expand as soon as possible.

Google Lens

Finally, Google's visual reading capability is more refined: The platform now offers “visual answers to visual questions”. That is, by pointing the camera at the menu of a restaurant in a foreign language country, Google Lens not only translate the dishes, as it can show photos of each of them, characteristics and opinions of other diners.

Google Lens

In museums, the app recognizes works or exhibits and shows pertinent information and additional content; You can even point the camera at magazines like Bon Appetit and watch recipes come to life on your mobile screen. Lens is also a new ally of visually impaired people: the system can read aloud warnings, signs and other information.

Finally, Google's smartphone search is also gaining augmented reality features: by searching for certain content, the app can display real models of related “real world” elements like a white shark if you're in the middle of a search on sea ​​animals, for example.

via TechCrunch