Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, is taking place now in Mountain View, California. The company has laid out a lot of new features in the keynote, and we’ve been sifting through the wreckage to find the coolest things to talk about.
Android O…h Yes baby
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The biggest I/O news is probably Android O, which is not technically new — Google released a pre-alpha release of developer O a couple of months ago. But now it has moved to beta testing and is filled with many new features.
While we’ve already covered what’s new in O in more detail, here’s an overview of what to expect from the next major version of Android:
Fluid Experience: picture-in-picture, smart text selection, home screen notification dots, and in-app autofill are all a big part of what O has to offer when it comes to user experience.
Vital Functions: is Google’s plan to improve security with Google Play Protect, speed while optimizing load times and battery life by intelligently limiting background app activity on O devices.
Android Go: Google is improving the Android experience on lower budget devices with a new project called Go. Every version of Android starting with O will have a «Go build» that will be optimized for just 512GB. random access memory This is amazing.
Android O Beta: As with Android Nougat before release, Google released an official beta/preview for users to test it out.
This is a quick and dirty version of the list, so see our full post for details.
Google Lens gives you a glimpse of the world around you
The lens is marvelous a beautiful product that will be included in both Google Assistant and Photos, which will be able to recognize and identify objects, signs and more.
In the demos given in the I/O keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai showed how a lens can identify a flower — not just a flower in general, but a specific breed. It’s mind blowing. He also demonstrated more practical uses, such as setting the Wi-Fi username and password on the phone on the side of the router to which the phone is identified. and automatically connected. Very cool (although to be honest, if you’re using the default username and password on your router, you really should change it).
Of course, this also affects where Google Goggles left off years ago — it can translate characters or other text into languages other than your own.
With photo integration, Lens will be able to provide contextual information about any photo in your library, not just what you currently photographed. It’s unclear how much functionality the lens will actually have in photos, but it’s still exciting nonetheless.
Google Photos is getting smarter
Google claims that Photos is the fastest growing product in history — faster than YouTube, Gmail or even Chrome. It currently has over 500k users and is set to get a lot smarter with features like:
Suggested exchange: We all forget to share photos with people when we have to, but Photos will have our back. Soon it will start identifying people in photos and asking if you want to share them, then let you do it with one tap. bam.
Shared Libraries : This will allow users to share their photo library — or just parts of it — with another photo user. So you can share every photo you take with your spouse, or just leave it on your kids photo. Either way, you never have to worry about forgetting to give the other person another chance.
Photobooks: how are the printed pictures? Good, because Google is going to offer them through Photos. You can curate your images and then print them into a hardcover or paperback photo album. Cool.
Deleting Smart Objects: we all took pictures with how- what messed up and otherwise a great shot. Google Photos will soon be able to detect these obstacles and automatically remove them . In the demo shown in the keynote, an image was taken through the chain link fence, and «Photos» intelligently removed the fence. insanity.
Here is the photo before removal:
… and here it is after:
It was just a promotional demo, so we’ll see how well it actually works, but it’s pretty exciting if it works even half as well as it claims to.
Google Home, the Google Assistant in the Presenter Project, is getting more powerful with some of the upcoming updates. There’s a lot to love about where House is going, but we’ll try to keep it short and sweet.
Integration between devices. In its current state, Home is not entirely aware of the other Android devices in your home. That will all change — not only will it learn about other devices, but it will be able to communicate with them and send visual data to things like the TV on a phone. boom.
Reminders and calendar appointments: it’s something that should have been available at launch, but Home will finally be able to make appointments and reminders.Finally
Proactive notifications: Home will begin to pay attention to events such as calendar appointments, and in advance will notify you if there is a conflict — for example, traffic backup and much more. It will blink letting you know there is a notification you need to listen to.
Calls: Home will be able to make free phone calls in the US and Canada. Excellent.
In addition to that, Google has some great things for the Assistant itself in general, including:
Interaction with text: in its current state, you can literally only talk to the assistant. But soon you will be able to long press that home button and print in Google Assistant, which will be good for those times when talking is just not practical.
Assistant on iOS: Android users aren’t the only ones who will be able to use the Assistant now, as the company has just released it for iOS. Congratulations iPhone users, you will love it.
Actions on Google go to phones: Google Home can do a lot of things that other Assistant devices, like your phone, can’t. Things like controlling smart home devices and the like; You know, actually useful things. This will change because these actions go to the Assistant on Android and iOS. Your Google Assistant is about to become a lot more useful.
Full SDK for integrating Assistant with other products: it’s more of a developer, but for the consumer, it means the Assistant could be included in more products — everything from your refrigerator to your car could run Assistant in the future.
Even though there is a lot going on behind the scenes (after all, Google I/O — is a developer conference) is a collection of the best looking things that consumers should look forward to. Overall, I’d say the takeaway from this year’s conference is that Google is looking to create a more unified user experience at its core, and seems to be focusing that push on Assistant. I, for one, think it’s a great move and I hope it unifies the OS across all devices.