One of the highly anticipated Tech Conferences of the Year- Google I/O ’18 has concluded with many exciting announcements and updates on Google’s Products. So, let’s dive in and find out what’s interesting in this year’s Google I/O.
This year, Google mainly focused on integrating AI into its products – beginning with Google Assistant, which is now getting a new Full-Screen UI and six new voices, including the voice of John Legend.
Google Assistant is on the brink of becoming a real assistant with features like Continued Conversations through which it listens and responds continually, just like a human.
Google is also integrating Assistant in a number of it’s apps like Maps, Keep and third-party apps like Todoist, Any.do, Starbucks etc.
But the highlight of all the additions to Assistant is Google Duplex.
It is the new technology brewed in-house by Google that takes AI’s natural conversations to a whole new level. By the use of this tech, Assistant can book you an appointment at a hotel or place an order on behalf of you and notify you when a reservation is made. What’s impressive is, Assistant speaks to the hotel or salon over a call in a natural tone, even using certain pauses like Uh, Hmm, Uh-oh!
Google Photos is also getting better using Google’s AI. Suggested Actions are being rolled out to Photos, which makes use of AI to give your photos a magical touch of Google’s Post-Processing. Assistant can pop out your picture in colour by blacking out the whole background using a feature called Color-Pop.
Google Maps is also getting a revamp. A new UI including a For You tab is added to the original Maps. For You tab personalises the places that you might be interested in visiting based on your previous location patterns using AI.
There is a new Augmented Reality Navigation mode in maps for easier navigation.
Google is making use of your camera to track your location even more accurately using a new feature called Visual Positioning System.
Then comes the new iteration of Google News, which aims to fix all the journalism issues by gathering all the best news together and putting them up as news series and personalise the best articles based on your choice of interest. Users can subscribe to their choice of news providers like NY Times.
There’s a daily briefing of Top 5 News based of your interest and breaking news around the world in the first screen of Google News.
Gmail has already got a new UI, and now it’s testing a new feature called Smart Compose. Through this feature, Gmail can suggest the next word or sentence when you are composing a mail.
At last, comes Android P (Peppermint/Pineapple Pie? Keep guessing!)
Android P Beta is launched, and for the first time, it’s available for 8 OEM Flagship Phones compared to previous versions, which were only accessible to Nexus/Pixel Devices (Thanks to Project Treble).
First off Android P is set to be a Major Overhaul concerning design and features after Android Lollipop which is going to make your phone pretty smart than before!
One of the significant features includes “Adaptive Battery”, which calculates the amount of battery left based on your usage and adapts the battery settings to you by optimising the apps you are not using frequently.
Then there’s a quirky new feature called Slices. The Slices API enables app makers to integrate parts of their app directly into Android search and also the app drawer.
Apart from that UI has changed a lot including the notification tiles, one-button navigation bar, gesture-based app launcher, recent live previews and so on… (Probably more features will get added by Android P’s Public Release).
There’s a new department Google is focusing on in Android P, and they call it as Digital Wellbeing. They aim to fix the balance between digital and real life using little tweaks and detailed analysis using AI on our phones.
There’s a Wind-Down mode which turns screen grey when it’s time for bed, A Shush Mode which puts the phone in the full do-not-disturb mode when its faced upside down on a table.
There’s also a new section in Settings called Android Dashboard, which analyses all your app usage and gives a detailed pie chart and suggests you use a particular app less time.
All these features are minimal but pretty neat! And that winds up all the best things announced in Google #io18. It also Turns out AI is going to play a significant part in our lives from now on, For sure AI is on the Rise!
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