Google Pixel 7a: UK release date, Google Store price, Pixel Fold and Tablet - everything from Google I/O 2023

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Google is hoping that AI integrations will improve user experiences and open the door for future advancements

Google’s highly anticipated 2023 I/O keynote has concluded, with the tech giant revealing an array of exciting updates to its Pixel device lineup, alongside the announcement of some intriguing AI-powered additions to its existing services.

As the buzz around generative AI continues, Google is hoping new integrations of the technology will elevate user experiences and pave the way for future innovations. In case you missed the live event, we’ve gathered all of the biggest, major highlights from the Google I/O keynote.

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New Pixel devices

Perhaps the biggest announcement from the event was the introduction of three new products in Google’s Pixel series of smartphones and tablets.

The obvious highlight is the Pixel Fold, Google’s first foldable smartphone that features a 5.8-inch OLED outer screen that folds open to reveal a larger 7.6-inch OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It’s priced at £1,749 in the UK, and pre-orders direct from Google are available now, though Google didn’t seem to specify an exact release date beyond saying the new phone will be “shipping later this month”. The phone will be more widely available from 20 June.

Then there’s the Pixel Tablet, an 11-inch device priced at £599 which functions as both a tablet and a smart display thanks to an included magnetic charging dock that also doubles as a speaker. It’s available to pre-order from a range of affiliated retailers, and hits the general market on 20 June.

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Google’s line-up of ‘midrange’ devices also gets a new device in the form of the budget-friendly Pixel 7A, which is equipped with the powerful Tensor G2 chip, a 6.1-inch 1080p display (supporting up to 90Hz), and a starting price of £449. It’s available right now.

The new Google Pixel Foldable phone is displayed during the 2023 Google I/O developers conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre in California (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)The new Google Pixel Foldable phone is displayed during the 2023 Google I/O developers conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre in California (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The new Google Pixel Foldable phone is displayed during the 2023 Google I/O developers conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre in California (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

AI innovations

First and foremost, Google is a search engine, and has become synonymous with the way people search for information on the world wide web. The company continues to tweak and update how these core functions work, and at this year’s keynote revealed some interesting AI enhancements to what it is calling the “Search Generative Experience (SGE)”.

Much like Microsoft’s Bing, which recently added AI functionality to its results, Google Search will soon be getting AI snapshots, a feature which provides AI-powered answers at the top of search results for certain queries, offering more context to users. The information in the snapshot can then be narrowed down with further inquiries.

These AI snapshots will use an updated version of Google’s PaLM 2 large language model (LLM), which Google also announced at I/O, and which already powers 25 Google services, including its Bard chatbot.

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Speaking of Bard, Google announced its ChatGPT rival is now available to all users, with no need to join a waitlist. It also now supports Japanese and Korean languages, and offers an easier way to export your generated text to Google Docs and Gmail.

Google’s AI integration into existing products is also extending to its Android operating systems, with Magic Compose being introduced to the Messages app, enabling users to reply to texts using AI-generated responses.

Another exciting addition is the ability to create personalised wallpapers for your devices using AI. Instead of relying on a tired set of pre-made options, users will be able to describe their preferred background image, and Google’s text-to-image diffusion model will generate it.

Google Photos is also introducing an AI-powered editing feature that allows users to make edits to their photos, such as enhancing the sky, or removing objects and people in the background. This feature will be available in early access to select Pixel users.

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Wear OS 4

Google is already preparing for Wear OS 4, the next iteration of its operating system for smart watches. The updated operating system promises improved battery life, backup and restore capabilities, and enhanced accessibility features.

Wear OS 4 offers seamless smart home integrations, allowing users to control lighting, media, and receive animated camera notifications on their watches. Regarding a Wear OS 4 release date, Google only said that more information will be shared in the upcoming months.

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