The long anticipated developer conference of Google was finally over on the 20th of May. Unlike Apple’s WWDC, Google I/O doesn’t focus too much on hardware releases. But there have been a lot of exciting announcements at Google I/O.
- Google Assistant – revamped:
Taking user-interaction to a new level Google Assistant can see what you see. Google assistant would be able to tap the potential of Google Lens (a Bixby Vision counterpart). This means that as an extension of Google’s image search option, Google Assistant can now make use of the phone’s camera. If you are looking for some information about any object or a landmark etc, you can simply point the camera to the desired subject and get relevant information in your hand. It doesn’t end there. Google Assistant would soon also be made available in more number of Android devices and not just smartphones. So the time when you would be able to control your TV with your TV and have your TV respond to you is not far away. The much loved Siri, Cortana and the others would have to buck up to face their tough counterpart as it is getting even better. And yes, it would be made available as a standalone app and iPhones too would get Google Assistant!
- Android O – beta rolled out:
As anticipated, the beta version of the next big update from Android was made available on the 17th, on the very first day of Google I/O. The rumored features, most of them, have been found to be part of this update. This includes the Picture-in-Picture mode for videos, categorized notifications and enhanced battery performance. One noticeable inclusion has been the Google Vitals which, as the name indicates, would bring some vital improvements. So your phone would be made faster and Google Play Protect would be integrated into your Play store to ensure that any risky apps are removed. Android O is also going to make Android Auto faster and better.
- Android Go:
As a surprise, but a welcome addition at Google I/O came the Android Go configuration news. Budget phones would no more have to compromise on the operating system. Those that come with lower RAM capacity would receive the Go configuration of Android O. This mainly targets at reducing the bulk and making it possible for the OS to run smoothly on lower specification handsets as well. Some of the notable inclusions would be the data saver mode in Chrome and YouTube Go. The apps in Play store would also be available in lite versions for these handsets.
- VR headsets would no more need your handsets:
Google I/O had also made everyone aware that there would be more number of smartphones released with Daydream compatibility. But our most favorite announcement in the VR/AR category was that there would be new headsets coming up from Lenovo and HTC incorporating Google’s Daydream and making it better with a splash of AR thanks to Tango incorporation as well. And the best part is that these headsets would be available as standalones that would not need a PC or smartphone to back them up.
- Google Home improvements:
Upgrading Google Home, Google Home speakers would soon be made available in several countries. These would be able to support hands-free calls, music streaming over Bluetooth and lots more. And that’s not all. These smart speakers would also be able to incorporate the intelligence of the upgraded Google Assistant and would be able to announce to you any upcoming reminders or Calendar events. Google calls this inclusion “proactive assistance”. Amazon Echo would soon have a competitor from the tech giant.
If you are among the millions that fell in love with Google Photos, the I/O 2017 brought some good news. To make this smart app even smarter, there is going to be a smart share recommendation. The photo recognizes your contacts in the photo and reminds you to share them with the respective contacts. Android Wear updates are something we expected. But there were no major announcements in this segment. This is however not a big disappointment because the recent update released for the wearables is hardly few months old. The interface of Android Auto would receive minor amendments especially in terms of the ease of navigation and notifications. Volvo and Audi cars are to come with Android Auto pre-installed combining the power of the new update of Google Assistant as well. There have also been numerous improvements in the existing tools and platforms and other changes discussed. So we have been assured of some interesting months ahead!