Google I/O is one of the most awaited developer conferences which is held every year. This year, the conference was held at Mountain View, California from May 8th to May 11th. With everyone adapting AI, it is more than obvious for Google to get assimilate in it. It seems Google is all set to become one of the leading companies with AI focused products and apps. In the annual developers conference, it felt like Google is progressing and making changes to its products, hence preparing itself for an upcoming competition.
The developers conference was all about new features, improvements in the products and announcements about them. So, let’s dig in to know what could we expect out of Google I/O 2018.
Here are the key points:
1. Gmail Got Revamped
Recently, Google has introduced reinvented Gmail, with new UI with new features as an add-on. It has been given a touch of AI with features like Smart Compose and Smart Reply. With Smart Reply, you get suggestions for auto replying. With Smart Compose, Gmail is able to complete the email automatically. All you need to do is keep on hitting Tab button and Google will help you in composing the email by autocompleting it. You can get it now on your computer as Google is launching this feature along with all the other Gmail experience. The feature will come to users in a few weeks. The G suite customers will be able to use the features in near future.
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2. Google Photos Gets More Equipped:
With Google Photos, you get to rectify and make changes to your images with inbuilt tools. Moreover, with AI-powered features, it will be easy to create movies, collages and more. With new AI-powered features like brightness correction, photo colorization and more, Google is aiming to attract a big pool of users. With the new version, Google Photos will give you suggestions to make changes to the photos such as brightness level, rotations, color changes and others. The more you rely on Google Photos to keep your photos and edit them, the more data is collected by Google to improve itself at Image Recognition. Moreover, you can color your old black and white photos with Google Photos. The app can identify images and documents and can help you convert them into PDF file.
3. Google Lens Gets Powered By AI:
Google Lens first got introduced in I/O 2017. With Google lens, you can identify unknown buildings, plants, and more. All you need to do is point our phone’s camera at the subject. With the latest update, it can recognize text too. It will not only recognize it, it understands it. For example: if you are at a restaurant and looking for something new to try, you can point your camera to the menu, and a particular dish that you are wondering whether to try or not. Google Lens will identify the dish and also tell its ingredients. Along with this, Style Match is also a new addition. The feature can help you choose the items, be it shirt or bag, which would go with certain clothing. Just point out the camera at the item for which you want a match. It will show you possible matches that you could try on!
With Machine learning, cloud TPU and AI, Google Lens will be able to provide you information about things around you. The new version of Google Lens will come to the devices in a few weeks.
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4. TPU Machine Learning:
Google is not only incorporating AI in software but is using in hardware. Google talked about Tensor Processor Unit in I/O 2017. Now Google is launching its third generation this year, TPU 3.0. According to Sundar Pichai, CEO, TPU 3.0 pod is 8 times more powerful than last year’s version and with approx 100 petaflops in performance. To get better in creating AI hardware and handling machine operations, Google is joining hands with all the major companies in the field.
5. New Voices Add To Google Assistant:
Recently Siri and Alexa got update, then why Google Assistant will stay behind. Google announced that now Google Assistant will get six new voices, with one of the famous singers, John Legend. The IT giant disclosed that it has been working on making the conversation between an AI and human more interactive and humanly. To add the subtleness, you will now notice natural pauses and dialogues as well. Now you don’t have to use the wake word “Ok Google” every time you start a conversation. This new version with both male and female voices works on Wavenet, a tech machine learning technology. The update will launch in a few weeks.
6. Google Maps Gets Google Assistant
Now Google Maps will get Google Assistant, on both iOS and Android. With this addition, Google is aiming to provide better suggestions to users. Maps are not just about taking directions, it helps you to get to know local places more by giving suggestions. Now Maps is integrated with the camera, and computer vision technology , it actually makes sense. For example: If you are driving and using Google Maps for directions, you can ask Google Assistant to share an estimated time of action, without touching your phone. The feature will be live in the coming weeks.
7. Google Assistant Will Make Calls For You:
Google Assistant will make calls for you to book a table in your favorite restaurant or a beauty salon. The feature is called Duplex by Google. We are sure, there is a lot more to come. The IT giant is planning to test the feature in the summer. With the new improvements in Virtual Assistant, Google Assistant will respond to the requests and commands more humanly.
8. Google News Is Now AI-Powered
Google News is also getting redesigned and getting more influential with being AI-powered. Google News will “allow users to keep up with the news they care about, understand the full story, and enjoy and support the publishers they trust.” Google News will come with new features “newscasts” and “full coverage”, which will provide an outline and a broad view of a news.
9. Android P
There have been talks about the new version of Android for quite while. Finally, the beta version of the OS is out. Thera is a couple of handsets which could get the upgrade which includes Pixel(obviously), Nokia, OnePlus, Vivo, Sony, Essential, Oppo, and Xiaomi. With Android P, you could notice visual changes, unlike Android Oreo. The changes made puts Android in competition with new iOS updates. With Adaptive Battery feature, you can use your existing phone’s battery to its fullest by snatching power from less used apps.
10. Android JetPack
One of the new and major updates, Jetpack for developers defines how they write applications for Android. Jetpack renders next gen of Android Support Library, which is used by every Android App virtually on Google Play Store to get basic functionality. It can also to be the next step towards the work in architecture components. Jetpack combines previous Android Support libraries and components into a new set of components with a few additional items. It will manage background running tasks, paging, UI features such as layout settings for Android Wear and more. The best part is that using Jetpack is optional for developers as Google’s product management director for Android informed that the tech giant will release all updates for support libraries as well as Jetpack.
11. ML Kit Introduced
Google announced a launch of a new software development kit for app developers, ML Kit, on both Android and iOS. This will lower the bar and developers would be able to excel in ML. This kit will enable them to incorporate pre-built, Google-provided ML models into apps. The models support face detection, landmark recognition, image labeling, text recognition, and barcode scanning.
So, these are the important things that were the hot topics of Google I/O conference 2018. Everything that Google talked about gives a glimpse of its products’ future. It looks like Google will bring AI to everything that it owns. It will be exciting to see how all new features and products, that Google has exhibited, will work in real environment.