Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Google I/O Recap, YouTube Clips, Membership Gifting

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Peggy K's Creator Weekly Newsletter
This week was Google I/O, Google’s annual developers conference. There were tons of announcements, with some cool new technology on the horizon.
I’ve summarized what I found most interesting below. Note that I’m not a developer, so I’ve focused on new hardware and software for consumer users. 
Since there are so many updates this week, here is a quick list of my top picks: 
  • New video and audio improvements in Google Meet meetings
  • Live Sharing in Meet meetings, letting participants share controls and interact on third party sites (like watching YouTube videos from a playlist). This won’t be available until the end of the year. 
  • Cool new AI-based tools that make things better for everyone, including better recognition of skin tones, and under-development Augmented Reality glasses that display live translations or captions
  • Updates for YouTube creators including Clips available on all channels and Channel Memberships gifting in beta.

Google I/O Roundup
New Pixel hardware and Android updates
New Hardware: There is a whole Pixel ecosystem, with the new Pixel 6a available in July, Pixel 7 available in the fall, a Pixel Watch, also available this fall, new Pixel Buds and an Android tablet that will be available in 2023.  Learn more.
What’s the big deal? The Pixel 6a, 7 and tablet will be run on Google Tensor, Google’s “custom-designed mobile system on a chip.” 
The Pixel Watch will run on Wear OS and integrate Fitbit’s tools.  Learn more.
Google is designing for a “multi-device world” with new Android features that let you copy on one device and paste on another (for example from your phone to your tablet), built in Chromecast on more devices, fast pairing on more devices. Learn more.
And, of course, there was a preview of Android 13.
Explore the world
Google is developing Augmented Reality glasses that display live translation or live captions, which “makes language visible.” It’s very cool technology, but probably won’t be available any time soon. Watch the video.
Google Translate added 24 new languages, including several indiginous languages of the Americas. This brings the total to 133 languages available to translate. Learn more.
Google Maps is getting a new immersive view, starting with Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. This will let you explore the city, even if you don’t have the latest greatest mobile device.
Google will be expanding multisearch so that you will be able to take a photo or screenshot and then add “near me” to the search to get local results. The example used was a photo of a dish, then using that to search for restaurants that serve it, all without even knowing what the dish is called.  Learn more.
Scene exploration is a tool that will be available in the “future” that will let you pan your camera around to get information on multiple objects. Imagine being in a grocery store, and panning the shelf with wines to see an AR-like overlay of ratings and the ability to highlight items that match selected criteria. Learn more.
Everyone’s Skin Tones
Google worked with Harvard Professor Ellis Monk to develop the Monk Skin Tone Scale. That helps AI to “see” everyone, no matter their skin tone. This is open sourced for the Machine Learning community. You can learn more at skintone.google .
This is being used to improve Google Search results. For example if you search for “bridal makeup”, there is an option to filter by skin tone in the image search results. 
This is also used in the new Google Photos “Real Tone” filters. Those help improve photos with people no matter their skin tone. They will be available in Google Photos on the web, Android and iOS in “the coming weeks”. Learn more.
Play with AI
AI Test Kitchen (aitestkitchen.withgoogle.com) is an app where people will be able to play with various AI demos and give feedback. This is being made available gradually, so you may need to check back on the site to get access.
Google Meet meetings look and sound better
Coolest announced feature: Live Sharing. This will let meeting participants share controls and interact directly with third party sites like YouTube.  Examples include using playlists, managing video playback, playing games and more. Learn more.
Portrait Restore uses AI to improve video quality, helping fix issues with low light, low quality webcams or poor connectivity. Meet does the processing “in the cloud” so it works even on lower performance devices. Learn more.
Portrait Light simulates “studio-quality lighting”, with the option to adjust the angle and brightness of the (virtual) light source.  Learn more.
De-reverberation improves audio quality by filtering out echoes. No one will know you are in the meeting alone in a big conference room.  Learn more.
Automated Transcriptions of Meet meetings will be launched later this year.  Learn more.
Get more out of Spaces
Google Chat Spaces will be getting automated summaries, so you can get a digest of conversations you missed.  
Tools for Web Developers
There were a number of Google I/O sessions aimed at web developers including using Core Web Vitals and understanding other performance metrics, progress phasing out third-party cookies, and new web platform features.
Smart Home Devices Getting Smarter
Matter is coming to Google Nest devices and Android. This is a new industry standard for interoperability of smart home devices, developed by an alliance that includes Google, Apple, Amazon, and hundreds of smart device companies. This should mean easier setup of devices, especially if your home has a mix of Google Nest, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and other devices. 
Google also has a new smart home hub at home.google.com with links to compatible hardware.
Security and Privacy
Google Messages will be getting end-to-end encryption for group conversations later this year. There will be an open beta. Sign up to test the Android Messages app. Learn more.
Google has expanded their policies to allow Search content removal requests for more types of results with personal information, including your physical address, email address or your phone number. Along with that, they are rolling out a new tool to make removal requests easier.
My Ad Center will be a new hub for you to control the ads you see on Google. If you have personalized ads enabled, you will be able to let Google know what categories and brand you want to see fewer (or more) ads from. Note that you can do some of this today in a much more limited way at adssettings.google.com.
Google Docs, Sheets and Slides will be getting new phishing and malware protection later this year. If you open a document with malicious links, you will see an alert and be directed off that page. Learn more.
When you view web pages in the mobile Google app, Google will soon show a tab with more information about the source.
Google is working towards “a world without passwords”.  The link is to a video aimed at developers, but at a level where even I can understand it. Learn more.
And Google is continuing to auto-enroll accounts into 2-step verification and take other steps to protect accounts from phishing attacks. Learn more.
More of this week's updates
YouTube and Video
YouTube is beta testing Channel Membership Gifting with more creators. The recipients of a gift Membership get one month of member access. If you are a creator with Memberships enabled, you can apply to participate in the beta by filling out this form.
Clips are now available on all YouTube channels. Learn how it works.
The YouTube Shorts editor is rolling out a Green Screen option on iOS devices. This lets you use the “Cut” option to use an eligible YouTube video as the background for your Short. Videos used will be attributed back to the original channel.
Web Publishers
You can now import a custom theme from one Google Site to another.
European news organizations will be able to access the Extended News Previews Program tool in Google Search Console. This is to comply with the EU Copyright Directive, which gives publishers new rights when “longer previews” of their works are used.
Social Media
There is turmoil at Twitter, with two significant members of their management team - Head of Consumer Product Kayvon Beykpour and Revenue Products Chief Bruce Falck - asked to step down and Elon Musk seems to be getting cold feet about his acquisition of the company.
Instagram is testing “digital collectibles” features. Once you connect your digital wallet to your account, you can choose NFTs to share and both the creator and collector can be automatically tagged in the post.  
LinkedIn launched real-time captions for audio events. And if you enable “creator mode”, you can add a personal link to your profile. 
Productivity and Meetings
Search for Google Meet content in Google Drive by using the app:”Google Meet” search parameter. That can help you find meeting recordings, chat transcripts, poll results, attendance reports, meeting notes created in Google Calendar and more.
If you have a Google Workspace account (including Google Workspace Individual), you can set up an appointment booking page with booking time slots on Google Calendar. While anyone can book an appointment, you can now require people to verify their email (or be signed into a Google account) to book a slot.
Google is developing new functionality in Google Chat that lets you programmatically create new Spaces and add members. This feature is in Developer Preview for Google Workspace customers.
Image: Google logos of highlights of Google I/O. Copyright Google. 
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Peggy K
Peggy K @peggyktc

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