Day one of Google’s annual three-day developer conference brought together industry experts from all across the world and a spate of announcements from Google. During the keynote address, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company has reached the milestone of getting two million Android users.
Google is already thinking about how to get the next two billion users. It plans on using a lightweight version of its popular mobile operating system to expand into developing countries. Named Android Go, the system can work on cheaper phones with lower specifications.
Held in San Francisco, Google I/O 2017 also announced the company’s future roadmap for many of its technologies and showcased more practical applications of existing technologies.
The company is introducing Google for Jobs, a search engine that can use technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you look for all types of jobs. The company has tried to sidestep being seen as a direct competitor to existing job search engines such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor by announcing a partnership with them. Google for Jobs will allow you to find the right job by pulling listings from numerous other career websites in one go. The job search engine will be launched in the United States in the coming few weeks while more countries might also be added in the future.
Google Lens was one of the most popular announcements made during the conference. The company is using artificial intelligence (AI) to make your phone smarter. The application uses image recognition to identify an object that is showing up in front of your camera lens in real-time. A useful application of this technology is that if you point your phone camera at the wifi password written on the back of your router, it can connect you to the network automatically without you having to input the long password yourself. The company has not mentioned a release date for Google Lens yet.
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Improvements are also being made to Android devices to make them better than ever. The new Android will have a better battery life, start faster and be more secure.
Everyday 1.2 billion photos are uploaded on Google Photos, which has 500 million users to date. The application has introduced tools such as suggested sharing, shared libraries and photo books that can be printed, to encourage people to do more with their pictures. It also uses AI and machine learning to remove unwanted objects from your images.
Google’s virtual reality Daydream headset that was launched last year worked with your smartphone strapped in the device at eye level. Google will now be launching two standalone headsets that are not powered with smartphones. Their new VR headset will now be compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices too. No release date has been given yet.
The company has used its Tango project to come up with a visual positioning system (VPS) that overcomes the accuracy limitations of the global positioning system (GPS). VPS claims to use sensors to work out your location within a building with an accuracy of up to a few centimetres.
More features are being added to Google Home to compete with Amazon’s Alexa. The smart speaker can soon be used as a phone for outgoing calls in the United States and Canada. Using its voice recognition capability, different family members will be able to use the device to make hands-free calls from their own separate numbers. Google Home will now offer more “proactive assistance” and can be used as a Bluetooth speaker. It also offers visual responses by displaying requested information on your Chromecast-connected tv or phone.
Starting today, Google Assistant will be available for use in not just Android phones but iOS as well. No need to say goodbye to Siri yet since it won’t be able to replace it as the default application but be available as a separate option altogether.