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What was your favorite Google I/O 2021 announcement?

Google Io 2021 Keynote Android 12 Material You
Google Io 2021 Keynote Android 12 Material You (Image credit: Google)

Google I/O may be over, but it left us with a lot to look forward to later this year. Google made many big announcements at its annual developer conference, including the new Android 12 beta that was launched on some of the best Android phones including the Google Pixel 5. Wear OS is also getting a massive overhaul thanks to the effort of both Samsung and Google, among updated to smart home, AI, and plenty more. That said, we want to know what your favorite announcement was from Google I/O 2021.

Android 12 beta is here

Android 12 Color Extraction

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

After several months of digging through developer previews, Google has finally released the beta for Android 12, bringing us one step closer to a stable release. With the beta, we finally get a look at the new system-wide theming that we've been getting hints of, as well as updated widgets, bolder visuals, and a more efficient OS.

Google also announced new privacy features for the platform that should make it easier to control the data collected by your phone's sensors.

Wear OS is back in a big way

Wear Os 2021 Launcher Gif

Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central (Image credit: Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Samsung and Google have announced a partnership that aims to make Wear OS a true competitor to Apple's WatchOS. The companies claim that the new version is faster and more efficient, and developers will have plenty of tools to optimize their apps for the platform.

The announcement also introduced YouTube Music and Fitbit on Wear OS, and Spotify has committed to improving its own app with offline capabilities.

AI is getting smarter

Google Assistant Routines

Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Several new updates were focused on AI capabilities, particularly with Google Assistant. The new LaMDA software is aimed at helping Google Assistant understand natural speech better for more free-flowing conversations. Developers are also able to take more Assistant capabilities in Android 12 widgets and in smart displays to help build better games for devices like the Nest Hub (2nd Gen).

Can I have some privacy, please?

Google Photos Locked Folder

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

In addition to the new privacy features in Android 12 like the Privacy Dashboard, Google also announced additional updates for other applications. For example, Google Photos is getting a new Locked Folder to hide away your sensitive images so that they won't show up in your camera roll or smart displays. Google Maps is also getting helpful prompts to remind you when your location history is on.

On the security side, Google extending its password management system to help automate updating old or compromised passwords.

What were your thoughts about Google I/O?

Of course, Google announced a ton of things over the course of the three-day conference. You can check out all of our Google I/O coverage here, and we've also rounded up some of biggest announcements that you may have missed, but comment below to let us know what your favorite announcements were.

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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

3 Comments
  • Samsung coming to teach Google how it's done
  • Android 12 and its Material You themes. Nothing else comes close for me and I want a Pixel and will get the Pixel 5 in about 3 months as I'm too impatient to wait for the Pixel 6 as the 5 will still be worth getting, for the software, updates and a great camera that does all the work thanks to Google's fantastic computational photography which suits me best as I'm a point and shoot guy so the Pixel camera is perfect for me as I find manual controls too complicated.
  • Wow, that's so fascinating