The three-day Google I/O annual developer conference is going on these days. In the lead of CEO Sundar Pichai and several other executives, Google has laid out the future road-map of the company for Android, Google Assistant, Google Home, VR, and, a lot more. Here are the top takeaways from the I/O keynote:
#1 Android now has more than 2 billion monthly active devices
CEO Sundar Pichai revealed in the beginning of the keynote that now Android has more than 2 billion monthly active devices which include smartphones, tablet, Android Wear devices, Android TVs and various other gadgets using Android OS.
#2 Google Assistant is able to see and understand the world around us
Google Assistant turns more intelligent with the capability of analyzing the world around us with the help of smartphone camera. It uses a new technology termed as Google Lens. Now the Assistant is able to understand our surroundings and display relevant results on device’s screen.
For example, we can see that what ratings have particular restaurant received just by pointing our phone at the storefront. Aim it at a flower and the Lens will be able to reveal its name, species, etc. We can even find music of particular band just pointing the Lens at the concert poster.
The most useful feature of the Lens is that once the device is pointed at Wi-Fi credentials, it will use that information to log on that network. (Thank you Google! You saved me from inputting information every time I need connecting my device to new a Wi-Fi network.
#3 Google takes the Assistant to iPhone
Another best thing about the Assistant is that Google is extending it beyond Android to iOS. It means the company is going to launch a standalone iOS version of Google Assistant for iPhone and iPad devices. It’s features will be almost the same as available Google’s own OS. So if you were wishing for something like Google Assistant on your iOS device, your wait is over now.
#4 Google Home comes to a phone
Google is turning its smart speaker into phones and also, in coming months, all the Home device owners will be able make free calls to the USA and Canada. Google, by default, uses a private number for this but users have option to add their own mobile phone numbers to it. It extends support to all in your home as phone calls support Home’s multi-user setup.
#5 Google’s Home becomes more useful
The Home is already one of best devices in market but now Google is making it smarter by adding a suite of several new features and updates. It will now be able to control HBO Now, SoundCloud, Deezer and Hulu. Above all, Google is now opening up Home’s Bluetooth radio so that you can also treat your Home like any other regular Bluetooth speaker.
#6 Google Photo is also getting a lot of new additions
Google Photo is also getting a lot of new additions. The app now recommends you to share photos you have taken with people that the app makes out as being in the shot. It’s termed as Suggested Sharing by Google. The company is also bringing in Shared Libraries that lets families jointly add images to a central collection quite easily. Google is also emphasizing on controlling Shared Libraries, like sharing photo library of certain dates or certain events.
#7 Standalone Virtual Reality Headsets
Google is now taking its VR projects beyond Daydream’s current form. For now Google’s VR is only limited to strapping your smartphones to your face but as per the announcements made during I/O keynote, the company will soon introduce a new range of headsets from partners like HTC and Lenovo and these VR headsets would be able to run without being powered by a smartphone or PC.
#8 Android O beta is available now
Google is in the process of launching the preview of Android O and the first beta was released on 17th May. With this new version of Android, latest features being launched include – improved notifications, picture-in-picture, and more.
#9 Android Go to reach the next billion users
One of major focuses of CEO Sundar Pichai has been bringing the “next billion’ users to smartphone technology and to fulfill it, the company announced Android Go, a version of OS designed for entry-level devices that are optimized to use limited data.
Android Go is built on Android O and will come with a “rebuilt” set of Google apps that will run on less memory, storage and consume minimum data possible. Android go will have its own Google Play store version. The OS is optimized to provide support to low-end smartphones which have a RAM of as little as 512 MB or less.