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Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, threw up some incredible announcements this year. The search giant revealed big developments for Android, Google Assistant, Google Photos and artificial intelligence.
Below we’ll look at those key development announcements.
Google has shown how AI can make life easier with a new feature coming to its AI and AR recognition tool, Google Lens. The feature is an advanced highlighting function. It allows you to point your smartphone’s camera at a book, highlight the text with your finger, and copy it to your phone instantly.
Google Lens is getting another new feature called “style match”. This allows you to point your camera at an outfit and then buy the items online. By using object-recognition technology, Google Lens recommends products that are identical to or like those you point your camera at. This feature is huge for e-commerce.
Gmail can now autocomplete entire emails for you with a new feature called ‘Smart Compose’. By hitting a new Smart Compose tab, Gmail will autocomplete your emails for you. The feature uses AI to auto-suggest the rest of your message as you type. Think auto-correct for sentences instead of words.
You now no longer have to say “OK Google” every time you want to talk with Google Assistant. A new feature called “Continued Conversations” has smartened the way Google Assistant handles conversations. You can now use the command “OK Google” to get a conversation going and ask as many questions as you like.
Google Assistant will soon sound more natural than ever thanks to a speech pattern breakthrough. CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that the company has made a breakthrough with Google Assistant, which allows it form sentences in a natural way. There’ll be a new voice for Google Assistant too – R&B star John Legend.
Pichai also revealed an experimental AI feature for Google Assistant called ‘Duplex’. Duplex is effectively an advanced scheduling assistant. It can make phone calls on your behalf and the AI system will automatically schedule appointments for you based on what you say during your phone call.
The upcoming Android P will have a feature called ‘Digital Wellbeing’ which is designed to help you spend less time on your phone. It will use AI to better understand your habits and help you ‘switch off’ and ‘wind down’. It’s designed to help you balance your digital life with the real-world.
Android P will also have a “shush” mode which lets you activate “do not disturb” mode by flipping your phone over. By putting your smartphone facedown, you will automatically activate “do not disturb” mode. The do not disturb feature on Android stops notifications, alerts and calls from making noise.
Better Photo Tools
You can now do a whole lot more with Google Photos. An update to the free application means you can now colourise old black and white photos. You can even add colour or remove colour from photos in certain areas. Also, good news for business users – you can now transform photos of documents into PDFs instantly.
Multiplayer Cross Device AR
You’ll soon be able to experience multiplayer augmented reality between an iPhone and Android phone. An update to Google’s ARCore called Cloud Anchors allows AR information to be shared across multiple phones. It opens a new opportunity for developers to create games with a walk-round AR experience.