Here’s all the new Pixel features Google unveiled at I/O 2024

Google I/O conference should be renamed to Google AI, as a colleague of mine pointed out yesterday during the Mountain View live event.

And how could it not be: 120 minutes of AI this, AI that.

Not that we’re not impressed with what Gemini is (and will be) able to do. It’s just that some of us here at PhoneArena were anticipating a Pixel 9 teaser and an official Android 15 preview. Nope, it was all about artificial intelligence.

Eh, that’s the spirit of the times.

If you were wondering why Google released the Pixel 8a a whole week earlier than expected (Google’s budged bijou was unveiled on May 7, instead of May 14), it’s because the I/O presentation was AI-exclusive and it’d be extremely

New features coming to Pixel family

Well, truth to be told, the Pixel family got updated yesterday – not with new hardware, but with some new fancy functions and features.

First, the Gemini Nano model (the other two are the Gemini Pro and Gemini Ultra) is getting multimodal capabilities.

  • It’s expected the Gemini Nano with multimodality to debut on the current Pixel handsets “later this year”, as Google put it.

Simply put, multimodality will enable phones to process not only text input but also understand contextual information such as sights, sounds, and spoken language.Android is set to become the first mobile operating system to feature a built-in, on-device foundation model with the introduction of Gemini Nano. This innovation aims to deliver fast and secure experiences while keeping user information private.

Further down the line in 2024, Gemini Nano’s multimodal capabilities will be integrated into TalkBack, providing richer and clearer descriptions for people with blindness or low vision. TalkBack users encounter an average of 90 unlabeled images daily. This update will help by offering more details about photos from family or friends and descriptions of clothing styles and cuts when shopping online. Since Gemini Nano operates on-device, these descriptions are provided quickly and work even without a network connection.

  • Next, Circle to Search is getting better

Since its debut at Samsung Unpacked in January 2024, Circle to Search has been enhanced with new features such as full-screen translation, and its availability has been extended to more Pixel and Samsung devices.As of today, Circle to Search can assist students with their homework, providing them with a deeper understanding rather than just delivering answers, directly from their phones and tablets. When students encounter a problem they’re stuck on, circling the prompt prompts Circle to Search to offer step-by-step instructions for solving a range of physics and math word problems, all without leaving their digital materials. Later this year, Circle to Search will expand its capabilities to solve even more complex problems involving symbolic formulas, diagrams, graphs, and beyond.

What else?

Of course, the Google I/O 2024 event brought a lot more and the announced features will surely be available for Pixel phones (and other Android champs):

  • Search Generative Experience (SGE): Google will begin offering AI-generated overviews for search queries
  • Video search: Allows troubleshooting using videos in Google Search
  • Ask Photos: Context-aware prompts for detailed image searches in your gallery
  • Gemini 1.5 Pro: Enhanced AI with larger context window, accessible via Gemini Advanced app
  • Gmail Integration: Summarizes email threads and offers smart replies
  • NotebookLM: Adds audio overviews for learning through listening
  • Gemini Nano elevated protection and privacy
  • Imagen 3 and Veo: Advanced media creation tools

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