Google's major conference has come and gone. Its keynote speech gives consumers a sneak peek at Google Assistant and the next version of Android. This will help developers get their integrations, services and apps ready before the search engine giant releases its new stuff. What is Google planning for 2018 and beyond? Read on to find out.
What happened at Google I/O 2018?
While the primary focus of the Google I/O conference was on the developers, every tech enthusiast in the audience had the opportunity to see what the future holds for their favorite Google products and the upcoming Android P. This year's developer conference focused on software and new mobile technologies that will be released later in the year.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
The keynote was kicked off by CEO Sundar Pichai, who talked about Google's mission and how it is linked to AI. He stated that AI will help industries like healthcare predict certain events.
Pichai also stated that machine learning will play a major role in enhancing closed captioning's ability to figure out who is talking when there are multiple people speaking on-screen.
However, tech enthusiasts were extremely excited when the Google CEO announced the following features and upgrades:
- Google Assistant will soon get 6 new voices, including one from singer and songwriter John Legend. Users will only need to say "Hey Google" to start a conversation with the product, instead of each time it is addressed. Google Assistant can now process more than one request at a time, and it can make phone calls to book reservations and appointments for the user with a feature called 'Duplex.’
- Google Maps can now suggest restaurants and other noteworthy locations for the user, differentiate between car and motorbike routes, and add businesses to the map by combining satellite images and AI. Augmented reality will be integrated into Street View so that users can easily track the direction they are facing or heading toward.
- Google News will display its top five stories as soon as the app opens. Advanced AI will push stories that it thinks are relevant to the user.
- Google Photos will have the Suggested Actions feature which offers to add color to images that are black and white, convert documents to PDF, tweak the brightness on underexposed photos, and instantly share images with the people who are in the picture.
- Gmail will get the Smart Compose feature that will utilize machine learning to suggest phrases when writing an email.
Public beta of Android P
The test version of Android P is currently available on Oppo, Sony, Mi, OnePlus, Essential Phone and Google Pixel handsets. The search engine giant announced that they will release the first retail version around summer this year.
Beta testers enjoyed the refreshing look of Android P, where most interactions such as switching between apps were done by gestures. A new Dashboard feature shows how long the user has been on the device, including the number of notifications received, how many times the phone was unlocked, and the time spent in a particular app. Users will also be able to set a time limit if they want to stop themselves from habitually staring at their phones.
Availability of Google Lens
In last year's event, Google announced AI-powered technology called Google Lens which uses a mix of machine learning and the smartphone's camera to detect a specific object, know what the object is, and provide results based on what it knows about the object.
At the time, this feature was available only in Google Pixel phones, but the search engine giant announced that more smartphones will soon have this feature built in.
Google continues to innovate and improve on its products, and we are here to help you make sense of all the tech so you can adapt it to your lifestyle. Get in touch with us today so we can discuss this tech and how you can benefit from it.