The Google I/O 2018 just ended and as always it left not only developers excited but us the consumers too. And here are my top announcements from Google’s developer conference.
Android P public beta
Google officially announced Android P will launch this autumn, and that the public beta is available now , this time around not for only pixel phones but 5 other phones that is the Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Essential Phone, Sony Xperia XZ2, Oppo R15 Pro and Vivo X21.
Google Assistant Upgrade
Goodbye to the annoying “Hey Google” and hello to a new continuous conversation mode that carries on a conversation where you left it off as if you were chatting to a real human. Also, hello to the new “Pretty Please” mode that is designed to teach kids, and some adults too unfortunately, some very important manners for use in daily life.
Ever get annoyed by Google Assistant messing up your request because you have an accent? Well thanks to improved tweaks in the recognition software, you don’t have to worry about that. Plus there is new support for more languages, with about 30 languages projected for the end of this year.
The most exciting upgrade to the Google Assistant is the addition of six new voices, and surprise surprise, pop legend John Legend is one of them. Due to a new AI system, Google can now program voices in a matter of days as opposed to recording them from scratch. We’re all just waiting for the Morgan Freeman voice so we can die happy people.
Every year, Google take pleasure in dropping a new feature that leaves us all absolutely astounded, and this year, they really upped their game with the Google Duplex that is designed to, get this, not only answer phone calls for you, but talk to the person on the other line for you.
I know what you’re thinking right about now: We’re entering an age of phone calls being answered by horrible robotic sounding computer voices that make us that little bit more suicidal every time we go to someone’s Assistant answering machine but fortunately that’s not the case. The Duplex voice is really really realistic, I mean Google really went all out with this one. Not only can it carry out a conversation like you would, it also uses the natural pauses we use like “ummm” and “uh” to make this a simply mind-blowing innovation.
We can’t wait until Google perfect this technology and start rolling it out to consumers.
Google Photos Upgrade
Google is introducing a smart sharing feature to it’s Photos app that uses machine learning to suggest shares based on previous sharing patterns. While this is a minor upgrade, anyone who has gone through the hassle of sharing multiple photos on multiple different apps will know just how useful this could be.
Also, in keeping up with the Adobe Acrobat app, Photos will now be able to recognize pictures of documents and convert them to PDFs. A welcome productivity feature which will please a lot of people.
Google Lens Integration
Google Lens is currently available in Photos and Assistant, but it’ll soon be integrated into the phone’s stock camera app. In addition to Google’s Pixel phones, it’ll also be integrated into the camera for many other Android devices from LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Nokia, Sony, TCL, OnePlus, Asus, BQ, and Transsion Holdings devices.
Now, more than just giving you basic information on things it is looking at, Lens will now give you complex and useful information like band schedules when pointed at a music poster etc.
Google News Reboot
The Google News Initiative committed a whopping 300 million dollars to revamp the Google News app to give a better, more intuitive and personalised news app.
News results will now come with briefings about the content of the stories and will be localized based on geographical location to give a more personalised and enjoyable news experience. This new update has been rolled out to some Android users as we speak, and the others will get it next week.
The Android Dashboard being rolled out with the new Android P test is part of the new “Healthy You” initiative and is now being geared at reducing just how much we spend on our phones.
There will now be a way of viewing how much time we have spent on an app as well as setting a timer to keep track of how long we have used an app.
Coupled with the “Pretty Please” mode in Assistant, this is bound to be a welcomed addition.
Google Maps Revamp
Google Maps is being integrated with Google Street View to give users suggestions based on location of restaurants, pubs or other attractions they should be interested in.
Google Maps is also going to make sharing of places of interest much easier to friends and family alike.
Gmail is getting a smarter prediction setting to make composing emails easier and faster. Google will now recognize familiar inputs like addresses and names and quickly fill them in for you, making composing emails easy and fast.