Google I/O 2018: Top announcements and highlights

Google I/O is one of the world’s biggest developer conferences and a highlight of the tech scene every year. At the event, the company showcases its latest technologies, makes announcements about upcoming releases, and talks about other products in its vast pipeline. This year, Google I/O took place May 8-10 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., near Google’s headquarters.

Google I/O 2018 brought together various developers, tech-experts, and media from around the world under one roof for talks and hands-on learning experiences with the company’s latest innovations and technologies. As in past I/O conferences, attendees got a first look at Google’s latest developer products and tools.

At Google I/O 2018, the tech giant unveiled a number of exciting new technologies and products. As it did at last year’s conference, the company made some grand announcements about new products based on futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, and more.

Google I/O 2018

Let’s drill down further to find out what Google is up to for the upcoming years. Here are the top announcements made at Google I/O 2018.

Google Duplex

Google Duplex is one of the most exciting announcements made at Google I/O 2018. This is an advanced and upgraded Google Assistant, which can actually make phone calls on your behalf. Google said that it is still working on this technology, which is made possible using advanced text-to-speech, deep learning, AI, and various other technologies.

During the demo at the event, the company demonstrated Google Duplex actually calling a hair salon and a restaurant to make reservations. The conversations were quite natural and it was evident that Google Assistant was able to understand the context and the nuance of the call or booking, as you can see in the YouTube link below. Google plans to further develop Duplex this summer for even better precision and perfection.

[tg_youtube video_id=”JvbHu_bVa_g”]

On top of this, Google Assistant will now come in six new different voices including the famous musician John Legend. Google has confirmed that these new voices will be rolling out to the Google Assistant later this year.

Make way for Android P

With Android P, Google is all set to ditch the three-button navigation to implement iPhone X-like gestures to operate. Android P is a major overhaul of Google’s mobile OS and comes with an all-new refreshed look and packs in a lot of design changes and smart features.

Google has started rolling out the Android P beta version to some of the handsets, starting with Google’s Pixel series of phones and other manufacturers such as Nokia, OnePlus, Sony, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi. The company has also highlighted various features of Android P and is claimed to be smarter than the existing Android Oreo in various ways.

Google I/O 2018

Android P comes with a better battery life which Google calls “adaptive battery,” to reduce battery consumption by 30 percent. Google is also implementing AI and machine learning abilities to implement adaptive brightness to adjust a device’s brightness as per the user’s personal preference. Android P will also come with an all-new navigation interface to make multitasking and other essentials easy to understand and operate.

Android P also comes with a dashboard to tell users how much time they are spending on apps. For example, the dashboard can give you the total time a user spends on YouTube. The company said its plan is that they want users to spend more time with friends and family by setting limits on the time spent on apps.

The stable version of Android P is set to be launched later this summer.

Gmail gets better and smarter

Gmail has already undergone a lot of drastic yet useful changes this year. Now it is all set to become even smarter and better with machine learning and AI.

Gmail will soon come with Smart Compose, which is going to help users create, draft, and finish sentences in emails using machine learning and AI. It gives predictions and word suggestions when typing an email. And since Google already has a lot of your data, word predictions and auto-correct are bound to be a lot more smarter and accurate.

Better routing with Google Maps

Google is all set to introduce Google Assistant in Google Maps for both Android and iOS. The idea behind this is to offer a better user interface and interactive mode while commuting. On top of this, Google will be implementing augmented reality in Google Maps to give better directional cues on top of the real world. During the event, Google has also stated that they are planning to add more social elements in the Maps.

Google I/O 2018

Google Assistant in Wear OS

All the smart wearables in the Google’s lineup will now be accompanied with Google Assistant, which Google says will add the user experience. Users can have a conversation with their smart wearables and ask questions or directions.

Google Lens rolling out for more Androids

Google has announced that Google Lens will be in the official camera app for more Android phones later this year. Currently, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the only smartphones that come with Google Lens in the default camera app. Currently, other Android users can use the Google Lens feature integrated into the Google Photos application. With Google Lens, if you point your phone’s camera at a book or anything having some textual data, you’ll be able to highlight and copy the text directly.

Google I/O 2018

After Google I/O 2018: What’s next?

Apart from these major announcements made at the event, Google also showcased its upcoming plans and other major upgrades to existing tools and software. Google Photos will be getting a ton of smart features based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company is clearly focusing on better user experience and, accordingly, Google Assistant will be receiving an all-new visual look.

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