Each year, Google aims to wow the technology industry with its Google I/O developers conference. The company usually announces impressive products to get consumers and developers excited for the future, and we’re happy to say nothing has changed this time around.
At this year’s Google I/O developer conference, the Android maker made several big and important announcements, and we have to say, the future looks kind of interesting for the search giant.
Sadly enough, the company decided to announce several new services and products during its 2-hour keynote, and that’s a bit of a problem. Like Microsoft, we’d prefer if some announcements were spread out across multiple days. Let’s take a look at some of what Google shared at the conference.
Back in March, Google released Android O in the form of a developer preview, but on Wednesday, we learned of new features on the horizon. First up, Google improved notifications by allowing for extended taps to preview unread notifications.
For those who want to have an easier time logging in, the search giant added a new auto-fill feature that should work with third-party apps. Furthermore, there’s something new that Google is calling Vitals. It’s an enhancement suite, and the firstfeature to come from Vitals is called Google Play Protect.
It’s a virus scanner of sorts, so it should protect Android users from some viruses and malware found in the Play Store.
The most important new feature found in Android O is probably picture-in-picture. It allows for users to shrink a video into the corner of the screen. The video will continue to play while the user performs other actions.
[See More: 5 Changes Google Made Recently That You May Have Missed]
For quite some time Google has tried to create a lightweight version of its popular operating system. The first iteration was called Android One, but it failed. However, the company is taking another shot at glory with the announcement of Android GO.
We should learn more about Android GO before the end of the year.
One thing is for certain, Google doesn’t want anyone to use the Amazon Echo, and would rather if well switched to its alternative product. To give consumers a reason to make the big switch, Google Home now supports proactive assistance. This means the Home device will automatically light up and alert users to certain events without warranting a physical action.
One of the new additions has a lot to do with hands-free calling. Simply ask Google Home to make a phone call, and the system will do it without hesitation.
To make for a better product, Google has added visual response support. Bear in mind that the Google Home product doesn’t have a screen, but the search giant has managed to find a way around this issue.
To kickstart a visual response, the product simply connects to your TV to show what the user wants to see. Slick? Definitely.
The Google Assistant is the heart of the company’s artificial intelligence push to consumers, and as such, the updates announced at the Google I/O developer conference is probably the most significant.
It’s now possible for users to type Assistant in their smartphone, a feature that will likely find itself useful in public. Not everyone wants to be talking to your phone on the train or in the supermarket.
Ever wondered what type of insect is crawling on your wall? Google has got you covered. Users can take a picture of objects and ask Google Assistant to share its knowledge on what the item is.
When it comes down to developers, they can now add support for Google Assistant in their apps. This isn’t a new feature since it was only available to Google Home. Today, Android and iOS developers can get in on the fun.
VR and AR at Google I/O
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are slowly taking off. We’ve seen what Microsoft is working on with Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens, so what about Google? Well, the company is working with two hardware manufacturers to build Daydream VR headsets. They’ll be wireless and no need for connection to a computer.
As for AR, the search giant announced Visual Positioning Service (VPS), something similar to GPS but for AR devices. This new piece of technology should help with indoor guidance systems, and next generation Augmented Reality experiences.
Overall, Google had a decent conference. Nothing truly impressive, but good enough. Now, let’s prepare ourselves for the next Google I/O event in 2018.