Google I/O 2018, Day 1: Key focus on Android and AI

The first day of the Google I/O 2018 consisted over 5,000 developers, designers, and managers gathered at Shoreline, Amphitheatre to witness the opening day with a keynote by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

 Let’s dive into the key announcements that were made!

Google I/O: Android P

Google launched Android P, the latest version of the operating system that runs on Android devices. The Android P beta is available for certain devices such as the Essential Phone, Google Pixel 2, Nokia 7 plus, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S. Users of these devices can update to Android P beta immediately. There are a bunch of features that Google added to Android P.

  • Shush: This feature ensures that there are no notifications coming in from your apps when your phone is turned face down.
  • App Dashboard: This is a dashboard that shows how much time you spend on your apps each day. This allows you to know which apps you spend so much time on.
  • App Timer: With the app timer, you’d get a notification when you spend more than the allocated time specified for engaging with an app.
  • Slices and Actions: A slice is a piece of app content and action that can be surfaced outside of the app without opening the app itself. They are UI templates that can display rich and interactive content from your app within the Google Search app.

Google I/O: AI in Google

Google AI

Google has worked hard over the last few years on improving every aspect of their products with AI and Machine Learning. This year they made some key announcements about new products and also the existing products that are improved with AI. Google announced that its research division has been rebranded to Google AI. This rebranding came as a result of Google’s continued focus on Computer vision, Natural language processing, and neural networks.

Google Assistant

The Google Assistant has been greatly improved. It will be available in 6 new voices including the voice of popular musician, John Legend. Furthermore, Google announced a new technology called Duplex, it is an AI system for natural conversations that’ll enable your Google Assistant to make conversations on your behalf like a lunch reservation at a restaurant, and setting up a meeting. 

Until now every time we need the Google Assistant to do something, we usually start every conversation with Hey, Google! Now, we don’t have to do that anymore because the Google Assistant now has support for continued conversations. Google Assistant also has a new feature called Pretty Please. This feature was added to help train kids to avoid being commanding when asking for favors. With the new Pretty Please feature, kids can be taught to always make polite requests.

Google Lens

The Google Lens is also updated with some amazing new features. Now, Google Lens allows you copy-paste text from a photo in the real world to your phone. It also provides the ability to take a photo and instantly provide information about the objects and landmarks in the photo. Google Lens introduced Style Match. With Style Match, you could take a photo of a fashion item such as a shirt, blouse, shoe, or a fancy lamp. Once captured, a blue dot appears on the photo. Tap the dot, and Google Lens will provide lists of items similar to it. What a time to be alive!

Google Maps

Google announced better navigation for Google Maps aided by AI. The Google Maps was difficult for users that are not familiar with the North, South, West, East form of directions. The new Google Maps provides a street view with a very obvious direction sign. With Google Assistant in navigation in Google Maps, it provides users a better description of routes. It also adds a navigation animal that allows the map user quickly identify the route to take.

Google News

Google is keen on getting users a seamless way of catching up with news all over the world. Google is rolling out a new AI improved version of the Google News product that provides an great way to catch up with events around the world. This improved product replaces Google Play Newsstand and Google News app. It will be available on Android, iOS and the web in 127 countries by next week.

Stay tuned for more updated from Google I/O 2018!!

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