Big announcements post Google I/O 2017

The Google I/O 2017 finished last week and the team has brought in some big announcements to its users. On concluding the event, CEO Sundar Pichai and his team laid out a future road map for Android, Google Assistant, Google Home, virtual reality and much more. The company has now settled into a pattern of releasing information about what it is doing and what it wants to do for developers rather than trying to wow consumers.

2 BILLION ON ANDROID

The first major announcement was that Android has surpassed 2 billion active devices. The mobile dominance of the OS is still continuing and the CEO revealed that the monthly active Android device exceeds 2 billion. The numbers include smartphones, tablets, Android wear, TVs and other Android devices.

GOOGLE ASSISTANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR WORLD

Google Assistant now can see and understand the environment and the world around you, said Google. This can be done with the help of the camera in your smartphone and with a technology called Google Lens that will analyse your surroundings and display relevant content on your screen. You will see a restaurant rating when pointing your phone at it.  You can aim it at a flower and it will identify the species and you can even pull up a band’s music or videos by pointing Lens at a concert poster.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS ON PHOTOS

Photos app will now recommend that you share photos you have taken with people that it recognises as being in the shot. Google calls this Suggested Sharing. It is also introducing Shared Libraries, which allow families to collectively add images to a central collection more easily.

STANDALONE VR HEADSETS

This is one exciting release at the keynote. Google’s VR ambitions are expanding beyond Daydream, which involves strapping your smartphone to your face. The company announced that upcoming headsets would not require a smartphone or PC to power the user’s VR experience. You just put it on and it works. The headsets track virtual space with something Google calls WorldSense, powered by technology from its Tango augmented reality system. We never know when this vision will become reality.

'O' BETA

Google is launching its preview programme for Android O, and the first beta is being released. The big new features improved notifications, picture-in-picture and more.

ANDROID GO

Android Go, a version of the mobile operating system built for entry-level devices that’s optimised for being used in data-restricted environments. Android Go, which is built on Android O, comes with a rebuilt set of Google apps that require less memory, storage and data to run.

Android Go also has its own version of the Google Play Store, which features apps that are best suited for the developing world. The OS is able to run on cheap smartphones with as little as 512 GB of RAM or less.


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