Google I/O 2018: Android P Rolls Out, Assistant Gets Smarter

Google I/O 2018 Keynote Highlights

  • Android P beta rolls out to 11 phones (but we still don’t know what P is)
  • Google Assistant gets continued conversation feature
  • Google smart displays coming in July to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show
  • Google Duplex allows assistant to make calls to a real person, like a real person
  • Google Maps can send ETAs to friends, integrates street view with directions
  • Android Dashboard helps relieve phone addiction
  • Google Lens integrated with camera app, can read and save real-life text

Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O 2018 is taking place in the United States on May 8 & 9, 2018. Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google kickstarted the proceedings with his keynote speech, revealing everything the technology giant has been working on since last year.

You can watch the live stream in the link below:

Also Read: Google I/O 2018 Keynote: Where to Watch and What We Expect to See 

At the event Google revealed its new Android flavour - Android P, although it still didn’t tell us what P stands for. It also revealed a host of other features that will make its way to Android users later this year.

Keynote comes to End

And we’ve come to the end of the Google I/O 2018 keynote. Strangely Pichai didn’t do the honours of closing the session. But that’s it from us with this live blog. Stay tuned for detailed analysis and stories of what Google had to reveal on Tuesday.

Google's Self-Driving Car Project - Waymo

Probably for the first time, we’re seeing a segment on self-driving card at the Google I/O keynote.

Self-driving cars are coming, and we can’t stop them, literally! 

Google believes they have found the right formula to let cars drive without any human intervention. Well, Google, that might work in countries like the United States but in India? Nope.

Waymo cabs are coming soon. 

Google is so confident with its self-driving cars, they’re going to offer cab services with Waymo cabs, which can be booked via the Waymo app. The Black Mirror episode is finally reaching its real conclusion.

Google Lens Spreading Its Wing

All these brands can make the best of Google Lens for its camera. 

As expected, host of brands now partnering with Google to expand the reach of Google Lens.

New features coming to Google Lens for cameras. 

This means all the camera features that were only available to Pixel phone users till now, will come to OnePlus, Motorola, Sony and Nokia among others in the coming few weeks.

Navigation With Street View comes to Maps

Street view for navigation. 

If you’re wandering around on the street, Google Maps will soon let you identify your destination with 360-degree view of your directions. They will also visually able to recognise popular spots around you and guide you towards it even.

Analyse Phone Usage With Dashboard

Dashboard wants to make sure users know how much their glued to their phones. 

Google seems concerned by how much people have become addicted to smartphones.

And as strange as that sounds, Google looks keen on making sure the users know what they’re doing with their phones all this while. Users can also make use of feature like Do Not Disturb which now pokes visually with the Shush. Digital wellbeing seems to be top on Google’s agenda at the keynote this evening.

All these features releasing via Android P Beta with a slew of devices, including the Google Pixel.

Android P Beta is coming to all these devices right now. 

Time for Android P

Some improvements that you’ll get with Android P. 

After all the heavy-duty stuff, it’s time to know what Android P will be called. Dave Burke says that it has been 10 years since the first Android-powered phone was revealed.

Android P and its features will be revealed. 

Looks like Google wants Android phones to become better with battery management (about time). Android P will cater to that, make sure only the apps you need, will function all the time.

Adaptive battery feature built-in with Android P. 

If you’re lazy (or a couch potato already), Google is hell bent on making you now. They’re bringing this feature called App Actions which will be able to predict which app you’d want to use, depending on how user patterns. This will also be powered by Google machine learning kit.

App actions will be available on phones with Android P. 

App Actions with Slices allows only relevant parts of apps to be shown on the screen.

For instance, if you plug in headphone to your phone, the phone will open up the music app, playing the album which you had paused the last time.

Google Revamps News

Google will be investing over 300 million in the next three years to ensure news that reaches to the people has strong credibility.

Google News gets revamped. 

Google is keen to partner with media establishments, journalists to provide them with in-depth information on various subjects. They also want the latest version of News to conduct programs and work on sanitising the news for everyone’s sake.

Google wants news to reach with all the information available. 

With Google Newscasts you can scroll sideways and find related content that goes with the news like tweets, podcasts or videos in your news feed.

This feature, Google Newstand is releasing to all users on Android, iOS and Windows in over 127 countries from Tuesday onwards.

Android Dashboard For Users Sake

We all use our smartphone for more than 10 hours (or maybe more) in a day. Google wants to make sure we cut down on that (yep, that’s right). The search-giant wants people to enjoy life and for this they’ve got Android dashboard. For this, Google is launching a digital wellbeing site later this week.

Android Dashboard to control your phone usage. 

"Android Dashboard will show how attached you are to your smartphone – to show if you have been using it too much for your digital well-being." - Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google 

Assistants Takes Your Parlour Appointment too

If you thought Google is done showing what Assistant can do. Then you’ve got it wrong.

Assistant or a human, already? 

Assistant will soon let businesses take appointments and the way it talks, you’ll actually start wondering if it was machine talking or a human. Scary it is, but that’s where our future is headed, amirite! This feature will be rolling out in the coming weeks, says Pichai.

Food Delivery Comes to Google Assistant

Ordering from Starbucks comes to Assistant now. 

Assistant will now let you order food from popular food joints like Starbucks and Domino’s among others. Until now, it only showed you direction to the nearest Burger King or another restaurant. Not anymore.

Google Brings Echo Show Rival

Screen-laden Google Assistant devices from Google. 

Amazon’s video-laden Echo Show and Spot finally get some competition from Google. Unlike its rival, Google is relying on hardware help from brands like Lenovo, LG and JBL for now.

What all can you do with it? Use Google Assistant for starters, watch YouTube videos and surely you can make video calls Duo. The devices will start shipping from July

Google Assistant Can Carry On Chatting With You

Finally, it’s happening. Google Assistant on devices like Google Home will continue talking with you without using the wake word, Hey Google.

Google Home becomes conversational now. 

Amazon has been talking up this feature but Google seems to have taken the lead here. This way, the voice commands will now look more natural and that’s always been the plan.

Chatting with Assistant will become natural now. 

And if that wasn’t enough, Google wants to make sure the kids learn their discipline. They’re introducing Pretty Please – which makes questions a little more polite, especially to teach children good manners.

Google Assistant gets New Voice Avatars

The Google’s voice assistant gets new additions. Six new voices will be made available, and more than anything else, it’ll be able to understand more accents. Let’s hope the Assistant becomes smart enough to understand languages in a country like India.

And, Google is offering a surprise Assistant voice avatar. John Legend will soon be available to users, later this year though.

Google Assistant in six new voices. 

Photos Put into Action!

Pichai claims that over 5 billion photos are viewed on Google Photos every day. And just to make the product sweeter, now you’ll be able to tweak with the brightness of the photo, (again, with the help of AI) just in case it’s not looking right.

Billions of photos viewed every day. 

Smart Compose Comes to Gmail

Looks like Google is keen to bring all your mobile-friendly, social media features on Gmail. The popular mailing client will now be able to smartly detect the context of your reply to a mail, and help you with filling the blanks.

Smart compose on Gmail. 

All this will be enabled by Google’s massive machine learning computing solution. This feature will be rolling out in the coming months.

Google's effort to push AI into More Areas

Google will deploy artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnosis treatment in the healthcare segment. Another are where AI can help, is to assist doctors with pre-empting when a patient is likely to fall sick. With our set of data points for the user, we’re sure of becoming accurate with our analysis in the future.

Pichai highlighting Google’s focus on AI. 

Disability is another avenue where AI can play a big part, says Pichai. We are confident of enabling people with special abilities to function with our solutions.

Pichai is Here

The Google CEO is here and the keynote begins on a light note. Remember the Burger emoji saga with cheese on the wrong side? That’s how it all begins. Nicely done, Sundar.

The burger emoji conundrum was solved by Google. 

Expectations of technology vary depending on where you’re located. Whenever someone gets access to a smartphone, they get empowered. We have trained over 25 million people, and expect it rise connect over 60 million in five years.

Not Far Away from the Kick Off

15 minutes to go before Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google takes the stage to begin the Google I/O 2018 keynote. A lot is expected from the event (as always) and we’ll keep you posted on all the stuff that’s announced over the 90 minutes session.

Android P Will Get Its Name

It’s time to talk about the yet to be named Android P version. 

As far as the naming rituals go, Google I/O is the event where Android versions mature to become a full-fledged product, which is ready to interact with developers for mobile devices through the year.

There have been speculations about Android P getting named Popsicle, or even Peppermint this year. Going by the recent history of Nougat and then Oreo in 2017, don’t be surprised if Google has something sweet to offer.

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