The technology giant Google kickstarted its I/O 2017 developers conference, an annual 3-day conference for developers and has already announced an avalanche of new features. The Google I/O keynote was started by CEO Sundar Pichai and was carried forward by Google executives who mapped out the company’s future ahead with Google Assistant, Virtual Reality, Google Home, Artificial Intelligence and most importantly, the much-awaited Android O.
Here are some of the biggest announcements from Google I/O 2017, along with new features announced about Android O.
New Features of Android O
The biggest news at the Google I/O 2017 was the Android O. While some features were already known since the first Developer’s Preview, here’s everything that was announced at the Google event.
- Android O will now support picture-in-picture where the user will finally be able to keep a video playing while using another app or keep the map open while you use Chrome.
- Google will now give you a revamped notification update. It has launched a new feature called ‘Notification Dots’ where small circular blobs sit on top of your app icons if there’s a notification pending. Long tap on it and you’ll get a quick preview in the form of a speech bubble.
- With Android O, autofill will not just work with Chrome but within other apps too. Autofill app such as password managers will give you secure yet easy access to autofill your device.
- Text selection is going to get better with “Smart Text Selection” that improves copy and paste through the help of machine learning that recognises contexts on the screen. You can use it to pick out things like addresses and business names by double tapping.
- Android O is touted to improve battery efficiency by focusing on optimising battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability.
There is no update on what O stands for yet (we’re rooting for Oreo). But with these announced features, Android O is certainly a force to look forward to.
Android exceeds 2 billion monthly active devices
CEO Sundar Pichai revealed at the start of the keynote that more than 2 billion devices including smartphones, tablets, Android TV, Android Wear etc. now use Google Android.
Google Assistant to get smarter
Google Assistant has a new feature that uses Google Lens technology where it can analyse the world around you with the help of your smartphone camera. When you point your camera lens to a restaurant, it will instantly show up its ratings. You can also point it towards flowers to identify its species and for similar quick results. What’s interesting is that Google Assistant will also be available on iPhone and will give Siri a tough competition.
Google Photos adds photo sharing features
Google Photos will now be able to recognise people in photos and will make recommendations of sharing the photos with the identified people. This feature is called Suggested Sharing and you can accept or reject this recommendation. If you do agree the photos will be shared with the relevant people. It has also introduced Shared Libraries that allows families or groups to collectively add images to a central collection for everyone to access them better.
Google Home turns into a phone
Google is turning its smart speakers into a phone where Google Home owners will be able to place free calls to the US and Canada. You will also be able to use Home to control HBO Now, Hulu, SoundCloud, Deezer etc. and use it like a Bluetooth speaker too.
Google working on a standalone VR headset
Google will be using high-end headsets to power virtual reality experiences. Unlike its previous VR headset, this one is a standalone gadget and will not require a phone or PC to run the games. This might not be an immediate future but still rests in a soon to come zone.
Also Read: Google I/O 2016 Highlights
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