Google just closed its opening speech of I / O 2018, and today's event was full of news. CEO Sundar Pichai gave an initial kick to recognize that the technology industry should always be responsible for the tools and services it creates. From there, the big announcements began and kept coming. We have a new and ambitious Android update on the way. John Legend is lending his voice to the Google Assistant. Gmail can almost write emails on its own. AI was a big issue in everything.
Goodbye, navigation of three buttons. Hi, Digital Wellness Board. Android P shakes much of what we have learned about Google's mobile operating system. It has a renewed appearance. Key interactions such as changing applications are now achieved through gestures similar to the iPhone X. And there is a new Board that intends to clearly show "how is spending time on your device, including the time you spend on applications, how many times have you unlocked your phone and how many notifications have you received? You can even set time limits for individual applications if you want to reduce the compulsive surveillance of your phone at any time of inactivity.
Android P will arrive later this summer, but a public beta is available today for a handful of smartphones from Google, Essential, Sony, Nokia and more.
New voices of the Google Assistant
The virtual assistant of Google is receiving more variety of voice. Users can choose from six additional natural sound voices in addition to the original one they are probably familiar with. Google calls that original voice "Holly". Oh, and a John Legend voice will also come to Assistant later this year. Seriously.
Perhaps the most amazing moment of today's presentation came when Sundar Pichai played a recording of the Google assistant calling a hairdresser and making an appointment in a conversation that legitimately sounded like two humans talking to each other . There was no sign of a robotic voice or that the employee in the room recognized that they were talking to AI.
Smart screens with Google Assistant this summer
Amazon's Echo Show is about to face some competition from similar devices running Google software. Google announced that the first smart screens with embedded assistant will start shipping in July. A demonstration on the stage showed that the screen showed Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube TV as just an example of the content that Google offers that Amazon can not, since companies still hate each other.
Gmail can now write emails for you (almost) on its own
Google is expanding its useful Smart Reply feature with a more ambitious idea: Smart Compose. Smart Compose uses AI "to help you write emails from scratch, faster." Do you find it frightening to have Gmail creating emails without your participation? Do not worry, because the company does not go that far. Instead, the new feature will make suggestions for complete sentences as you type. Smart Compose is coming to the new Gmail for consumers first in the coming weeks; G Suite users should wait a few months.
Google Maps is becoming more social and chases Yelp
Maps is becoming a full social experience that points directly to Yelp and Foursquare. A new For You tab allows you to follow specific neighborhoods to see new restaurants and businesses that are trending among other users. And you can even coordinate with friends in real time to make a "short list" when choosing a place to eat in.
And it is adding augmented reality addresses
Is this Google Maps as it should always be? I think so. If it works with precision and reliability, it will be a great help for people navigating in a new city. Point your camera in one direction, and Google will link AI with Street View data to provide you with an interactive AR experience step by step when on the move. There's even a cute fox that helps keep you going.
Google Photos gets even smarter editing powers
Google Photos is gaining new features like the ability to separate subjects from the background in photos and highlight the color or change the background in black and white. Photos can now also color your old photos, even if you did not take color photos to begin with. Both capacities use AI. And when he's just going through his gallery, Photos will analyze his photos and make recommendations for quick solutions like "fix brightness".
Google News – now curated by AI
The Google news application is being revised and its editorial focus is now largely fueled by AI. The company says that it "uses artificial intelligence to analyze all the content published on the web at any time and organize all those articles, videos and more in the stories, find the ones that may interest you and put them in your information." The news They will also offer "a variety of perspectives" to get you a little out of your bubble.
Google Lens can copy real-world text on your phone
This is something that Google has shown previously, but now it seems that the feature is ready and is actually coming to Google Lens. You can point your phone's camera to real-world text, for example, an annotated Wi-Fi password, and then paste it into a text field on your smartphone.
And now it will also help you buy fashionable things. Google Lens is not yet perfect for identifying accurate clothing, but Google believes it can get close enough. The company is introducing a new "style matching" feature that will scan something the camera is aiming at and help you buy it from Internet retailers. It sounds like a dream come true for Pinterest fans. But will Amazon be among those stores?