Google I/O 2018, which is the company’s annual developer conference, started on May 8 with a keynote by Sundar Pichai. On the first day of the three-day conference, several announcements around Artificial Intelligence, Google Assistant, Google Photos, and more were made. A new feature for Gmail called the Smart compose has been rolled out as well. The feature essentially predicts text, helping people to seamlessly compose mails. Smart compose, which will be a part of Gmail’s redesign, will be rolling out to users this month.
Google I/O 2018: Google Assistant
A total of six new voices have been added to Google Assistant, including that of John Legend. The American singer’s voice will be rolled out later this year. According to the company, Assistant is available on 500 million devices globally, like smartphones, TVs, smartwatches, and more. It works with more than 5,000 connected devices, from dishwasher to door bells.
One of the most important features for the Assistant is that it is now naturally conversational. This means, users will not have to say ‘Ok Google’ each time. It can now understand natural back and forth continued conversation conversations, which users will be able to turn on in the next few weeks.
Google Assistant also gets Multiple actions and Pretty Please features. With the former update, users can ask for multiple things at once and it is rolling out now. The ‘Pretty Please’ feature will roll out as an option for families later this year. It has been designed keeping kids in mind, to encourage kids to say please more often.
Google Assistant is now more immersive, interactive and proactive. The company is bringing voice and visuals together for home. For example, users will be able to watch local shows, YouTube content, demonstration videos for recipe etc on smart speakers with display. The features are rolling out for Android in summer and for iOS later this year.
Google Assistant can make appointments for hair cuts for users, with doctor, or at restaurants. This is possible as the Assistant can understand nuances of conversations. The ability to make appointments on a user’s behalf will be rolling out as an experiment in the coming weeks. Google Assistant will be launched for navigation in Google Maps this summer. Food delivery option is also coming to Google Assistant.
Google I/O 2018: Google Photos
Google Photos is getting new features as well, which will be available in the next couple of months. For instance,’ suggested smart actions’ will suggest users actions such as share photos with friends who are in a user’s photos as well, suggest to fix brightness in photos, etc. Google will automatically convert and save documents as PDF that users save for later. Google Photos users will also be able to recreate Black and White photos into coloured. Google says that over five billion photos are viewed by users everyday on Photos.