Google I/O 2017: A sneak peek at the plethora of services

by May 19, 2017 0 comments

Kicking off the three-day Google annual I/O Developers’ Conference in Mountain View, California, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a slew of new products and services including upcoming projects for Android, Web and iOS developers.

Obviously, Pichai started with the numbers. Google now garners 800 million monthly active users on Google Drive, and more than 2 billion people are using Android devices. Isn’t that impressive?

Artificial Intelligence, being the theme of the conference, Google announced new offerings across a broad range of services and devices, from the management of photos to providing help from virtual assistants and conducting job searches, all with a layer of AI. It all starts with Google Lens.

Leveraging Google’s computer vision and AI technology, the tech giant introduced Google Lens. A new recognition engine, Google Lens enables intelligent mixed reality – performing text and object recognition and feeding it into other apps to act upon, such as using the camera to view your router serial numbers and automatically provide related links.

For example, Google Lens can connect users to a home’s Wi-Fi network by snapping a photo of the sticker on the router. Google Lens can also look at a flower and identify if for you. You can also point the Google Lens at a restaurant and get instant reviews or menus, or even scanning a menu in a different language, have it translated, and being able to ask “what does that dish look like?” and be shown a photograph of the meal.

Google Jobs:

Google introduced Google for Jobs, an app that takes data from the job posting sites and makes it easier to search, using machine learning and AI to help narrow and personalise the search for you (such as figuring out your commute time).

Gmail on Android and iOS is getting Smart Reply which will use machine learning to try and predict possible answers to the email you’re looking to send. If you like one of the options, just tap, and it’s pasted into the body of your email to tweak or add to right away.

Google Assistant:

Confirming the rumour, Google Assistant is now available on iPhone, along with support for Whirlpool and GE appliances. Instead of talking to your digital assistant, you just need to type a text. Moreover, with Google Lens, you’ll also be able to add events to your calendar by opening Assistant and just taking a picture of a marque or poster.

Google Home:

Google Home is about to get more proactive now. Instead of just answering to your questions, the Google Home speaker will now throw information directly to your phone on both Android and iOS. So, if you ask for directions, it can send them to your mobile device. It also works on a TV via the Chromecast. When you make a request, it will show visual responses on screen. It’s a personalised experience based on linked accounts.

Google Photos:

Google wants you to be more social and share more photos with your friends. So the new update to Google Photos will recognise if you haven’t shared a photo and then suggest you to share them with your friends. The new Shared Library feature also lets you automatically share images with people, like a spouse, significant other, or best friend. The software will recognise the faces and create the album for you. Using machine learning and AI the app will also remove unwanted objects from pictures.

Daydream:

 

After announcing DayDream VR last year, a phone-based virtual reality push, now Google is working on standalone VR headsets, working with HTC, Lenovo and other third-party hardware makers. Google also announced it would be launching two standalone Daydream headsets that wouldn’t require you to add a smartphone to make it work. No release date as of now.

YouTube:

 

The ability to stream live and pre-recorded YouTube 360 videos will be coming soon to the YouTube app on your smart TV. Previously announced Super Chat, which lets you throw money at the person running a live stream, will now let you make stuff happen in real life.

Android O:

Even though Google has already released the preview version of Android O, the next version of Android, we were expecting some more information at I/O conference.

O will come with auto filling usernames and passwords inside of applications, which means that you’ll be able to use the data stored in Chrome to login in apps like Twitter or Facebook. Improved language support using G Board, which allows users to type phonetically and have the translate feature automatically make the shift. With improved speed and security, Android O also adds “Picture in Picture” which will allow you to minimise apps like YouTube into small windows that you can move around the screen, essentially multitasking but with more flexibility.

Google also announced Android Go, Android Go, a slimmed-down, less-demanding version of the operating system to power entry-level devices. Android O will begin rolling out later this year, but developers can try the preview at android.com/beta now.

Google introduced Google Play Protect—a comprehensive set of security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Play Protect detects and removes apps that might be harmful. And with more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, Google’s machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks. Also being launched is ‘Find My Device’ as part of Google Play Protect, allowing you to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. Google Play Protect is available out-of-the-box on every Android device with Google Play.

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