Today was the last day of Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, where, lately, they’ve been announcing new versions of Android, new home automation products, and updates to their AI offerings. This I/O was no different. Android O is now in beta, Google Home got a bunch of new tricks, and Google’s AI is getting smarter and faster thanks to some new tech Google’s come up with.
To save you from having to watch the entire live stream, here’s the things you need to know from Google I/O.
Google has announced their own Bixby-type camera integrations. Essentially Google Lens allows your phone’s camera (and Google Assistant) to identify things in the real world. From automatically adding the wi-fi network and password by taking a photo from the site of your router, to bringing up restaurant ratings from a photo of a storefront, to identifying species of plants, it’s all very transcoder-like to me and pretty cool.
Remember when Google was pushing the Pixel saying it came with the exclusive Google Assistant built-in? And then they released it for other Android phones? Yeah, well, now it’s available for iPhone, too.
Google Home has followed suit in the whole making calls from your speaker thing. Amazon did it recently and now Google has allowed Google Home to make calls to any US or Canada number (but not receive them just yet). It will also be able to display info on any Google enabled screen–think, Google show me funny videos or Google show me my day and it’ll display them on a Chromecast TV, or your phone, for example.
A big gripe of Google Home was solved with this new update, allowing it to function as a bluetooth speaker which was blocked before, so that’s good.
And, finally, Google Home was given a bunch more integrations with Hulu, SoundCloud, HBO Now, and a few others.
I used to like an app made by Facebook called Moments that would ping me and ask me to share photos of friends I had taken with them (not on Facebook but directly through the app). Saved me from the normal yelling I get from “taking tons of photos but never posting them”. Well, turns out Google Photos can now do the same. It’ll recognize people’s faces in the shots and then ask you if you want to share them with those people and then shoot them all off easily.
Also, Google Photos now has a Shared Library option that allows you to add photos to a library that multiple users can all see and add to (think of a family all wanting to share photos with each other). Google made sure to point out that you can control what it shares though from things like specific dates or even only images with specific people in them, etc. What could go wrong with automatic photo sharing, amirite?
Lastly, Google mentioned that Photos will have an added editing tool to remove unwanted items in your photos (sort of like the app TouchRetouch I show you in this video of the best photo editing apps). Here’s Google’s example.
Google didn’t give many specifics but they announced that with the help of partners like Lenovo and HTC, they’ll soon be launching standalone VR headsets that don’t require a phone or a computer to use. I, personally, love the idea and if the price point is good it could really help the market grow beyond the tiny footprint it currently has. Again though, no details other than that so we’ll have to wait patiently until someone releases something.
Android O is now available in beta for anyone with a Pixel or Nexus but it’s definitely in its early stages so keep that in mind before installing it. I’ll probably install it on my Pixel soon and was thinking about doing a complete walkthrough of all the new features. Let me know below if that’s something you guys would want to see.
And there we go, there were other things announced, but for the most part this is biggest stuff. You can check the source link for the full keynote if you have a couple of hours to kill though.
Let me know what you think and thanks for reading!