Google is conducting IO event for almost 10 years, where they announce their new innovations, launches, products and announcements. Google IO is a 3-day event [May 18th – 20th] happening at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. Google is celebrating a decade on IO this year. We could see some innovative announcements made by Google on its very first day of the event. Sundar Pichai has started by welcoming all. To add more, this is the first IO event for Sundar Pichai as CEO of Google. There were over 7000 attendees present in the IO event and millions of people were watching the live stream. The much-awaited event of the year has started yesterday and here is the list of features and announcements by Google on the day.
Google Assistant is the first announcement made in IO event by Sundar Pichai. It is an intelligent chat bot for users, which looks similar to the Siri-like setup. Assistant is smarter than ever as it answers the query in a conversational way. To add more, Assistant looks like a standalone conversational Artificial Intelligence[AI]. During the keynote event, Pichai demonstrated assistant by asking for movies playing tonight, then he added going with children and finally buying tickets for a particular movie all without leaving the app.
The next announcement is Google Home which has built-in Google Assistant, which will play music, answer your queries, set alarms, connect with audio and video devices, etc., You can also cast podcasts, videos, music from your android devices. It has an ability to connect with other Google Home devices, kept in other rooms in the house and you can have a blast at your home by pairing it each other. With the Google Assistant feature comes inbuilt in this device, it understands the query and answer in a smarter way. The design of the Google Home looks like a cylinder with a rounded top which has built-in wireless speakers. Google Home comes in a wide range of colors and it will be made available to consumers later this year.
Sign up for the updates for Google Home here.
Two New Messaging Platforms:
Google to compete with the other messaging platforms like WhatsApp, FB Messenger, FaceTime, etc., they have announced two new messaging platforms named as Allo and Duo.
Allo – a new messaging platform from Google. Allo is built with more intelligent features which make conversations with our friends easier and smarter. With Allo, you can chat with your friends, share images and more. Allo comes with three main features Expressions, Google Assistant, Incognito Mode and Security. It has stickers and a bunch of emoji sets to interact.
Allo Android Assistant:
As Allo, comes with a Google Assistant feature, you can call Assistant anytime during the conversation to reply to your friends. Assistant learn how you chat and how you respond to your friends and it will reply to your friends in a smarter way based on the learnings. You can also start a conversation with assistance from Allo with @google, to answer your queries and many things. During chats, Assistant will show you possible replies to your friends and Google name it as Suggestion Chips.
Allo incognito Mode:
Allo has incognito Mode which makes chats private. Incognito Mode has notable features like Private notifications, Expiring chats and E2E encryption for your messages. If you shut down the conversation, the chat will be deleted and can’t be recovered, which is the best feature for private and personal conversations.
You can Pre-Register for Allo here.
Duo looks like the best competitor for Apples’s FaceTime. Duo is very simple to use. Once you open the app, the video preview will be shown on the screen with the help of the front-facing camera. Also, it has the call waiting like feature, Google calls it as Knock Knock, which allows you to see the video preview of the next call before you’re answering. As of now it is limited only to mobile and here it differs from FaceTime. Duo works with your mobile number. Duo will be available for both Android and iOS.
You can Pre-Register for Duo here.
Hangouts will be still available as a standalone app.
Android Instant Apps:
Google announced Android Instant Apps, which allows you to try android apps without installing it. Already Google’s AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles are launched to deliver the content faster to the mobile users. But Instant Apps will be a great feature for users to try android apps and make a decision whether it needs to be installed or not.
Finally, Google has made an announcement about Android N in the event. But the name is not yet finalized for N. Google asking you to name its new version of android. Google has launched a special page for Android N name suggestions . You can go ahead and record your suggestions. At last, Google will pick a good name for it from the suggestions.
We’re trying to decide what to name the next version of Android. Got any tasty ideas that start with the letter N? #NameAndroidN – Google
After releasing the first developer preview in March, it has been spotted that more features like split screen, quick settings, and new emoji are available in Android N. Google confirmed that the version will be in beta mode until this summer and demonstrated the more features on the same. Android N holds split-screen functionality for multi-tasking, improved android runtime which is 75% faster, file-based encryption, seamless updates mechanism download the updates automatically and install them on your phone gets restarted next time, faster boot time, quick settings button, better battery performance, new emojis, an equivalent to 3D touch feature similar to iOS, double tapping, picture-in-picture mode, etc., In N, the phones CPU can be controlled with Vulkan API for sharper 3D graphics.
Google claims this is the first “beta quality” iteration of N. Get the new beta version of Android N from Google and experience, develop, fix the new features/bugs.
Android Wear 2.0:
Android Wear was initially announced in the year 2014. Now after 2 years, Google has announced its next version called Android Wear 2.0. Few notable changes have been made in this version which makes the users rely less on their smartphones. Some of the features like automatic exercise recognition, more third party apps support, etc.,
Google is adding two keyboards to make replays faster. Type user can choose either Handwriting or full-fledged QWERTY keyboard. You no need to take your phone to reply back.
Some of the standalone apps are also made available in next few days to make it independent from phones.
Android Auto has some cool new features this year. It has been a while for the updates, but still the updates are worthy. One of the popular traffic tracking app Waze is embedded inside the Auto app. In the current version, Auto can be connected to cars using a wired USB connection, but it has been upgraded and you can connect to your car over WiFi. This new version will work on the cars that don’t support. You can experience the full features of Auto from your Phone itself. The UI is simplified than before and more of voice assistance/interactions, which makes fewer distractions to the drivers. The update will be rolling out later this year.
After the success of Google CardBoard. Google is stepped into VR initiatives. Google announced its mobile virtual reality platform called DayDream which comes with Android N. DayDream is nothing but Virtual Reality for Android. The VR mode in Android N will have a bunch of apps in VR versions. Google has made VR versions of its apps like YouTube, Street View, the Google Play Store, Play Movies, and Google Photos.
Unfortunately, this feature will work only with the upcoming phones with special sensors and screens. Google call it as Daydream-phones. Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, and more companies already started production of phones compatible with this feature. You can expect the phones later this year.
On a side note, Google confirmed that there will be a standalone VR headset, to make daydream more effective. Also, new VR mode app marketplace will be launched for games and apps.
Developers can start developing apps and games for Daydream starting today.
Play Store for ChromeBooks:
It has been rumored that Google is merging chrome OS with android. As a first step, you can get android apps to Chrome OS and its official. Android apps on Chrome OS run inside a Linux container. So the developers no need to optimize their apps or games especially for Chrome OS. The Play Store will be available with an update to the Chrome OS dev channel in June.
Google confirmed that Android N update will be made available for Android TV with new APIs for recording live TV and support for 4K / HDR video. Also, 4K Android TV [4K- and HDR-capable Mi Box] box from Xiaomi was announced during the event. It will start selling Mi Box first in US locations and globally soon.
Google’s Own Processor:
The search giant revealed that they are building its own processor. This is a custom chip built especially for machine learning. Google call it as Tensor Processing Unit.
The thread will be updated soon with the next set of announcements. Stay tuned.