At Google IO this year, the company has revealed its plan of making the interactions with technology more conversational and interesting. The company unveiled a number of features from Home to Daydream, and some new services take will sure stand as big competitors to their rivals. Here are the top five announcements from the event:
1) Google Home
Amazon’s Echo received great praise for its performance, and Google planned to get in the competition. With the Google Home, a small device that performs like the Amazon Echo itself, it is controlled by Google Assistant. The device is a control centre for your home and the voice will act as the right remote control. One can control and set alarms, manage a number of to-do lists, connect smart home gadgets, sync home networks and much more. It can also control stuff outside homes including the opening of garage doors, order fragrant flowers, and the like.
2) Google Assistant
With the next-generation Google Assistant, Google is giving a new chat app since the new technology enables it to parse context in a way that a human can understand. One would not have to leave the app and speak to it just as a human. This assistant is sure to work as the version of the conversational AI that is part of Google Home.
3) Messaging Apps
- Google Assistant provides the Allo tool an edge. Start conversations with @google is easy, one can even make dinner reservations through OpenTable. One can call the Assistant to be part of a conversation, and even respond back. One can expect possible replies to things based on “suggestion chips.” Google even will gauge the responses based on how you write. This is a mobile-only app that also includes the usual messaging features, emojis, custom stickers, and can even draw on photos. All messages in Allo are completely encrypted.
- Google also revealed another app called Duo that is actually a video chatting app splitting iMessage and FaceTime capabilities to exist separately. It includes a selfie-cam video preview that helps in efficient communication. Duo is mobile-only, though, and connected to one’s phone number, as does FaceTime. The tool will be available for both iOS and Android platforms soon.
4) Google VR Headset
Google is expected to announce a VR headset which will boast a number of polished features compared to the Cardboard, and will be extremely affordable compared to HTC Vive.
Google showed off a design for smartphone-powered VR headset in Google I/O that looked like a mini Oculus Rift. There is an inbuilt motion controller with the touchpad. The approach is something just like its Android platform approach wherein the VR platform will be baked into Android N. Google is also providing companies with the required backbone of software and even guide them on the hardware side.
All the reference designs of their phones are just like Nexus devices, so one can expect a new Google VR headset with the evolution of other tools.
5) Android Wear 2.0
Android Wear is also expected to get the biggest overhaul since its advent in 2014. With the new features embedded in Wear 2.0, developers can now relate data on apps to appear on the main watch face. The new changes are ushering in a new experience with the working of the watch. Now the new changes will help the watches to work independently irrespective of their phones. Wear 2.0 is also introducing an API for Complications that will allow app developers to transfer raw data to watch faces. Google is also adding two new input methods to the watch namely, a swipe-style keyboard and even a handy handwriting recognition mode.