Google IO 2017: the five most important announcements

Google IO 2017: the five most important announcements

Google IO 2017: the five most important announcements

Google Assistant, introduced past year, is now on more than 100 million devices, according to the team's vice president of engineering, Scott Huffman.

Like previous years, Google I/0 2017's highlight will be the official launch of new mobile OS v8.0 Android O series. Many believe, Google might officially detail the roadmap of its pet project, which is most likely to take-off around 2020. The company wants to offer better voice-based features to users, and transform the Assistant into a tool that's even more conversational than before.

Running the AI-powered Google Assistant, the voice-controlled Google Home lets users speak naturally to access a wealth of online services as well as listen to music and control smarthome appliances.

Chandra didn't reveal any sales numbers for Google Home, but revealed that the device will come to Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan this summer.

Standalone virtual reality (VR) headsets are coming soon to Google Daydream through partnerships between Google and manufacturers like HTC and Lenovo. Samsung is trying to some of that with its new Bixby Vision feature on the Galaxy S8 phones.

Machine learning will also power much of Google Photos.

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The biggest announcement at I/O 2016 was Google Assistant, which showed itself to be quite competent at processing natural language queries, and keeping up with context. However, the same report claims that it will only be available in the United States at launch.

CEO Sundar Pichai and other top executives brought Google's audacious ambition into sharper focus Wednesday at an annual conference attended by more than 7,000 developers who design apps to work with its wide array of digital services.

Although Google Assistant can't replace Siri entirely (or be launched via a long press of the home button, or a voice command), it comes with its own custom widget, which sits on the information panel to the left of the iPhone's home screen.

If the Bloomberg report is accurate (and I presume it is), the Google Assistant will join Cortana in seeking to lure users away from Siri, Apple's digital assistant. With Android O, the company is introducing Play Protect to show how Google uses machine learning to scan apps for viruses and malware. In the real world, that means you could, for instance, point your phone camera at a restaurant and get reviews for it.

Today's keynote took place at an outdoor theater near the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters. So Google might have news for us about this tech.

We've seen the concept of AI-first computing fleshed out a bit with Google's Assistant software that runs on the Google Home device and later versions of Android.

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