Google arranges a grand conference every year, and every time it is graced by lots of tech writers and industry people. Some very unexpected and thrilling announcements are made every year, and 2017 was no less. The Google, I/O 2017 in Mountain View, California, was an insight into the company’s plans for the next year and it has good news for the Android fans.
Sundar Pichai’s keynote presentation at the conference dropped many announcements. Here is the most important of them all:
The Google Lens remained the focus of the Pichai’s keynote presentation, but it won’t be available anytime soon. When it is, you can point at things with your phone camera and the app will identify the object in real time. That is not exciting enough, is it? If you point your camera at the back of the Wi-Fi router, it will identify that it is the password, and connect to the network itself. The idea gets bigger. You can get instant reviews or menus, scan a menu in a different language and get it translated.
Google Lens will first become a part of its assistant and the photos app, but there is no date of the official launch yet.
Visual Positioning System
The Global Positioning System (GPS) has become the breath of our lives of it has limitations of its own. The accuracy limits of the GPS will be met by a visual positioning system (VPS). The idea will use a 3D visualization technology, Tango and look for recognizable objects around you with the accuracy distance of a few centimeters. The head of virtual reality at Google, Clay Bavor said that one of the applications would use the VPS for finding product locations in a shop. “GPS can get you to the door and then VPS can get you to the exact item that you’re looking for,” he explains.
Very few of the available smartphones have the Tango technology, so the availability of VPS, until more Tango phones are released, is no good anyway.
Google Photo Tools
Google Photo might be getting the best upgrades of all. The app will suggest you share photos with people in the picture, connecting a person’s information to their face. If you want to get the pictures of a family vacation together online, you can put them in Shared Libraries, and control who sees them. It even offers physical printed photo books for $9.99 that you can make with your phone.
Google Home Gets Better
Amazon Alexa is the most popular home assistant around, and Google Home lags closely behind. At Google I/O this year, the company announced an addition of many more features. It can make phone calls from every family member’s own phone by recognizing their voice.
The assistant will offer more information than you ask for. Looking at your Google calendar, it will know if you need to be somewhere, and if there will be heavy traffic on the way. This “proactive assistance” may not be appreciated by everyone as people prefer their assistants to speak only when spoken to.
A software development kit SDK will also be released by the company to allow developers to integrate Google’s assistant with their products.
Standalone Daydream Headset
The Go0ogle Daydream Virtual Reality (VR) headset was announced at the I/O last year where you can drop in your phone and have a VR experience on a lower budget. Well this year, the announcements say your Samsung Galaxy devices will work with it which previously only worked with Gear VR running on Facebook-owned Oculus VR. The Gear VR is manufactured by Samsung itself so making its devices compatible with the Daydream does not sound like a good idea but looks like Samsung cares more about its phone than the headsets.
Google will also launch a couple of standalone Daydream headsets that will not require any phone at all. The company is partnering with HTV and Lenovo to make the devices.
Google Assistant for iPhones
Siri is definitely not the best of voice assistants, but if you can not live without your iPhone, you gotta stick with it. Not anymore. The Google Assistant is now available for iOS so go ahead and download it. It won’t be nearly as good as it is for Android, though.
This is not all there is to the Google I/O 2017. Watch the keynote for yourself and find out what more the company plans to offer.