Home Technology Google I/O: Here are the major announcements from Day 1

Google I/O: Here are the major announcements from Day 1

The first day of the Google I/O developer conference is behind us, which means it is the time we ponder what future direction the tech giant would be steering towards. And going by all the announcements it made during the keynote address, it seems exciting days lie ahead. Mentioned here is a snapshot of all that Google announced during the two-hour address to the press.

Artificial intelligence: It is AI all the way, and the company is keen to inject the stuff into all things they are into at the moment, or maybe beyond that as well. Be it Google Search or Google Maps, while those have already been benefiting from the company’s AI prowess, more is on the way.

Google Assistant to become the universal assistant: Google is now keen to rope in third-party developers to integrate its Google Assistant into almost anything that is technically feasible. So be it the dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, TVs and so on, you can hope to catch up with the familiar Google Assistant in almost all facets of your life. This will also allow Google to have a head start in the IoT race currently in the formation.

Google Assistant to make iPhone debut: From being exclusive to its own Pixel to being launched on the iPhone, it indeed has been a nice journey for the voice-based assistant from Google. Users of the iPhone that had so far been limited to using only Siri will have another excellent option of a personal digital assistant as well.

However, Siri will still have the edge given that it will have deeper integration with the iOS than what Google Assistant can ever hope for. So there will be no ‘OK Google’ to invoke the assistant. Instead, you have to invoke it specifically by tapping on the app. Meanwhile, Google Assistant has been made compliant with the French and German languages as well.

Google lens: This is going to be just another service where AI would be playing the central role, along with the camera too. Essentially, the service is designed to offer you more information about any object that is held in front of the phone’s camera.

Be it a flower or a banner that you come across in the street, Lens would draw upon all it knows of the world around you to provide you with the most relevant information pertaining to what the camera lens has captured.

Gmail auto response: This should be good news who hates typing. For the new ‘Smart Reply’ feature will now provide you with up to three responses that you can select for any specific email. Of course, those would be generalized but will be relevant to what the particular email contains. You can also add your own text to customize it further.

Google Home’s scope enhanced: You can now tell the smart speaker to dial a specific number for you, and it is now smart enough to follow your instructions. The even more interesting addition to its capabilities includes its new found ability to stream music over Bluetooth.

Google Photo now smarter than before: Of course its AI that is at play here so that the app can now suggest which photos you can share and with whom.

YouTube Super Chat: You now have the option to have your comment stand out from the virtually endless stream of comments that a YouTube live stream might generate. However, you will need to pay for that and your comment will thus be deemed as a ‘super chat’ message. This way, you have a sure-fire method of getting the creator’s attention.

Google VR headset: Google wishes to deal with the one major shortcoming of almost all major headsets currently available, that of the headset requiring to be tethered to a PC or smartphone for their operations. Google wishes to change that by developing a VR headset that will have all the required stuff built into it for their standalone operations.

The new headset is likely to be built in partnership with Lenovo and HTC and is expected to be launched by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Google will also be collaborating with Samsung and LG to further enhance its Daydream VR headset, the company announced.

Android Go: As per this initiative, those handsets with memory less than or equal to 1 GB will have access to apps that are less memory intensive. This is aimed to ensure acceptable levels of performance in even low-end budget devices and will debut as part of the upcoming Android O release.

Better job search on Google: Google will now be linking its job search listing with those on LinkedIn. This way, any job you search for will also carry those from LinkedIn and relevant to your location.