The 2018 edition of  Google I/O, an annual festival for developers and techies, was held last week, from 8-10 May, in Mountain View, California. It generated attention worldwide, and as expected, Google made some exciting announcements here, having to do with their products and services. The centre of attraction was the launch of the Android P. operating system. But there were other highlights of the event, too. Here is a list of what Google-heads can now look forward to.

Android P.

This is the beta version of Google’s  popular OS. The Android P. operating system can make your smartphone even smarter. It prioritises battery power for apps and services to help you squeeze the most out from your phone’s battery. It also comes with an adaptive brightness feature, enabling your phone display to adjust its brightness according to the surroundings. Another new feature, “App Action”, simplifies your engagement with apps, by giving suggestions according to your past use. The new “Do Not Disturb” mode mutes not just phone calls and notifications, but also all the unwanted visual pop-ups on the screen. The “Wind Down” mode can switch on the night light automatically when it gets dark, and turn on the “Do Not Disturb” mode. The “App Action” feature also reminds users of an ideal bedtime of their choosing. The Android P. Beta is now available on Google Pixel and a few other devices, including Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6 and Essential PH‑1.

According to a Google spokesperson, “Since we first launched Android 10 years ago, we’ve been focused on how to build a platform for everyone. Android P. is an important step toward bringing machine learning to everyone with an operating system that learns from you, adapts to you and helps you with everyday tasks.”

 Google Assistant

The Google Assistant has also been upgraded with many new features. Google has expanded its language pool, and added six new voices to the Assistant with tone subtleties like pitch, pace, and all the pauses that convey meaning, to make the electronic voice sound more natural and unique. Thanks to the feature “ Continued Conversation” you don’t have to say “ Ok Google” for every follow up request. The assistant will be able recongnise your voice if you are talking to someone or giving a command to it, and will respond accordingly.

Google Assistant also gets visual facelift this time, with an enhanced user interface. Now you can see daily snapshots which will depict your whole day based on the time, your location and recent interactions with the Assistant. According to Scott Huffman, VP, Engineering, Google Assistant, “We’re also bringing a new food pick-up and delivery experience to the Assistant that isn’t constrained by a chat-style interface, so you can order your favorites from Starbucks, Doordash and Applebee’s, in addition to existing partners like Dunkin’ Donuts and Domino’s. The new visual design will be available in the Google Assistant app later this year.”

Now the Google Assistant will also help you manage business calls and will assist you to coordinate online booking services. The new technology “Google Duplex” can understand complex sentences, and can handle business calls. It can easily understand the context so once the appointment is booked, the Assistant will automatically add a calendar reminder for the same and will allow you to cancel if required.

Google News

Google has now launched new features in Google News that uses the best of artificial intelligence to complement the best of human intelligence. The updated Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to provide the user with the latest news online, all organised into storylines. The new “Full Coverage” feature will allow you to see how the story is reported from a variety of sources. The newly added feature “For You” will provide you with five stories curated especially for you, including a mix of local news and the latest developments in the topics you are interested in.

Google Photos

Laden with new tools to beautify or edit your pictures, Google Photos is now available in updated version. Now you can edit your pictures with a whole new set of tools. You can add colour or brighten your photos while keeping the background in black and white shades.

Gmail

Google’s latest update for Gmail includes a feature called “Smart Compose”. It is powered by artificial intelligence, to help you draft emails from scratch, faster. With this feature you will get suggestions to complete your sentences while drafting an email. It helps you save time by avoiding repetitions, and grammatical and
spelling errors.

 

 

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