Google takes the wraps off the developer’s event about which a lot of speculations were going around. The first event in the developer season lived up to its much-hyped expectations with new hardware debut- Pixel 3A, new Android Q OS, and a slew of updates rolled out on Google products. These are the biggest highlights of the three-day event.
Artificial intelligence technology remains a star in the plethora of hardware and software updates, which clearly indicates how seriously the company is looking towards technology innovations embracing machine intelligence.
Let’s take a few glimpses of all the important announcements covered during Google I/O developer’s conference
The new additions
Breaking the silence over game streaming service, the Google Stadia is announced. The project has raised the bar of game streaming services by allowing the gamers to switch to different devices instantly so that they can enjoy the same game experience anywhere unless they have an active internet connection.
Stadia offer a seamless experience across all the devices, quite powerful against the gaming consoles in the market, and enable upgrade implementation on-the-fly. The first-party game studio is announced, but the third-party support for other gaming platforms is not cleared up.
The features that bring stadia into limelight are: Google assistant support that provides the required assistance (By giving advice or overlaying tutorial video on screen) to the gamers when they have a need of; integration with YouTube that allow the gamers to jump into the game while watching YouTube video or the trailer; with state share, both YouTubers and gamers can share playable moment from a game off the bat that helps in transporting the video clip to the friend in the very moment.
The Budget Pixel 3A and 3A XL
During the keynote, the long-rumored inexpensive phones- Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL are officially launched. The entry of the two mid-range smartphones makes the debut in the line of expensive and high-definition cameras of well-famous Pixel. The company takes the initiative of launching the phone with flagship features that’s in a budget of the middle-class group to increase smartphone sales.
The Pixel phones with good processing power, excellent cameras, and portrait mode on both rear and front camera have also received new time-lapse camera mode, Night sight, and Super Res Zoom. The headphone jacks are also available with the phone ranging from $399 to $499.
A lot of downgrades and aesthetics changes such as no waterproofing, no wireless charging, and uploading limited resolution photos on the cloud are brought to make the device lower priced.
Unveiling New Android Q
The successor of Android pie- Android Q is officially announced and get available to 21 different devices from 12 OEMs, but we haven’t received the name of the OS even at the event (What the Q stands for). The latest OS take the center stage whose a couple of features we have already seen in the early betas in the pieces.
The features that Android Q beta 3 will offer: notification clearing gets changed where swipe right will dismiss the notification and swipe left give some options like- snooze, mute, or block; wi-fi sharing becomes easier and secured with QR codes; native screen recorder to record what’s going on the screen; providing support to the foldable devices; native support for 5G is offered.
The smart reply is implemented system-wide to all messaging apps leveraging the on-device machine learning technology, where the smart recommendations are made to the user analyzing the context of the chat.
Focus mode is a new flavor added to digital wellbeing mode of Android to reduce mobile addiction. It allows the users to select the apps that they want to keep silent during a specific period of the day. In addition, family link, the new update link the parent and kids account so that parent can view and control the time that kid is excessively spending on the apps.
The eye-friendly dark theme is confirmed to be a part of Android Q. The theme can be easily activated by the users to turn the screen from white to black, which saves the battery life by 60% on OLED screens.
The range of protective layers such as encryption, biometric authentication, and clean and strengthened codes are incorporated in Android Q to keep the security and privacy at high.
Nest Hub & Nest Hub max
Harnessing its existing Google home hub that company rebranded under the name of nest hub, Google introduced nest hub max- the 10-inch display device with higher resolution and built-in nest camera. The sibling of Google home hub has EQ sensors to change screen color according to the room’s lighting conditions, two microphones to pick up the voice commands, and stereo speakers for the best audio.
The nest camera is the best addition that enables video calls through Google Duo, track movements using auto-framing technology, and AI-powered face match personalizes the user experience by detecting the user and then pulling the information after syncing with the Google account. The camera can’t be physically turned off, which means the camera is continuously recording what’s happening inside the home. However, the green dot is the indication of camera recording that can be shut off by muting it.
The obvious benefit that new product brings to the table is high-end security, video calling, and controlling smart devices at the voice command. The smart displays are expected to land in July.
The Live Caption Is The Biggest Catch
It’s the buzziest announcement that aims to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or in other situations. In order to improve inclusivity, the live subtitles will be added to the video when it’s playing in real time. Leveraging local AI technology, the speech-to-text translation will be done and the users will get accurate captions instantly.
Regardless of whether people listening podcast, watching videos, or chatting on video chat apps, the captions will appear in a black window on the top of the interface. It’s impressive in other use cases such as people can have a video chat or listen audio when they are in public (where listening is difficult) or in the meetings (where the volume is turned down to zero).
The live relay tech is a boon for the deaf users that allows them to easily interact and helps in training the speech recognition models with non-standard speeches of millions of people which further enhance inclusive recognition technologies and makes AI assistants better.
Android Automotive OS
To bring seamless connected experience to the car, Google has built a platform for the media app developers to begin crafting new entertainment experiences for the drivers. The framework helps the android app developers to manage the complexities such as the variety of screen sizes, different input methods, distinct driver safety guidelines, and varying degree of OEM customization that makes the app development a complex process.
The new Google assistant driving mode make the driving great fun by providing the improved user interface with large buttons and personalized suggestions. For instance, the user will be prompted for the dinner reservation and show the directions to navigate the restaurant easily. Well, the new feature added to Google assistant has nothing to do with the automotive OS, but the fun element makes it worth to include.
The new attempt is taken by Google to push the security updates to Android phone at speed by cutting down the involvement of middlemen (manufacturers). Previously, there is a long route that Goole follow to send updates where the updates are issued by Google, then the company has to wait until manufacture approve the update and ship it to the end users’ phone, which eats up a lot of time.
To distribute the small security patches through the Google play store, the 12 different modules are created that are capable of updating the major flaws or small bugs as early as it’s spotted. However, the status quo would remain the same when potential flaws or major updates need to be shipped.
Google Maps Let you search privately
In the event, a large chunk of time was spent on talking about privacy-centric features and the update made to Google map is one of them.
Unfortunately, Google continues to track the users despite the location history settings are turned off. In order to stop continuous tracking and data recording by Google, the incognito mode is added to both the web and on the app where the users are allowed to use Google map without getting their location data and history tracked.
The users can disable the Google map to track the data by turning off “Web and App Activity” setting for more private searches. Also, the users can either delete the data after three or 18 months, or it will be then deleted automatically on a rolling basis.
Google Lens will do more
The slew of improvements is made to Google lens image recognition technology. The lens-enabled app is powered to highlight the popular dishes in a restaurant menu, and when the user taps on any dish, its photos and comments can be reviewed using Google map. Besides, when the bill is scanned, the users can split the bill with others and the tip can be calculated automatically.
Also, the people in the museum when points the lens-enabled app on the arts, the curated information gets pop-up on the screen to know more about the art without needing the assistance of any guide.
Translate and text filters are integrated to translate the text into speech in real time, which will help the people to understand and sign in a foreign language. The most talked- augmented image feature also become a part of the lens where the lens will scan the 2D image and augment the various type of content.
Google Duplex become available on the Web
Google duplex have thrived the people by making a call, booking dinner reservations, or haircut appointment on their behalf. Now, Google assistants take away another tedious work of filling forms with its web extension. The duplex will roll out on the web in the coming fall.
See how it works? When you want to book a car after confirming the next official trip, the Google duplex automatically pull out the information from Gmail by scanning the upcoming trip detail, and previous car reservations to search for the type of car and extra accessories that user prefers and then enter the information to book the car that perfectly syncs with user’s car rental expectations.
Augmented Reality making inroads into Google Search
The company is continuously working to modernize the search engine. This time, the breathtaking technology- augmented reality is incorporated in search results. The new AR search feature allows the users to see the 3D model of the objects appeared in the search results and then AR tech allows them to place the objects in the camera app.
For instance, when the user searches for the shoes, they can view the 3D model of shoes in the camera app and then (augment) scale the size or change colors based on how it looks on the specific dress.
Further, Google has gone a step further to make Augmented Reality a more realistic experience for the users with a more advanced application of the ARCore. The AR technology with ARCore is sure to provide a resourceful approach for the businesses across industries.
Google Assistant gets faster
Google assistant has got a bigger upgrade that will make it perform 10 times faster than the latest one with a couple of new features.
The voice model is reduced from 100GB to 0.5GB, which has made it small enough to store and run it directly on the phone rather than in the cloud. The zero latency achieved with next-gen assistant enables it to respond to the range of multiple queries and help it multitask better. Also, there will be no need to say the phrase- “Okay Google” again and again.
The developers have it on deck! The mix of amazing additions, improvements for good, and some unfortunate news (support stopped for old APIs or frameworks) that company announced in Google I/O 2019 after pouring in the months of efforts, time, and resources.
Now, it’s developer’s turn how they measure innovations and tackle software modernization embracing new features, fixes, and tweaks to thrive the world with user-centered applications.