During the keynote of its three-day developers’ conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai focused on Google’s plans to bake artificial intelligence and machine learning more thoroughly into all of its services.
In that vein, the company also unveiled a bunch of new products, including two messaging apps and a smart speaker.
Here’s what caught our eye:
You'll be able to ask Home general questions through search or get tailored info like local weather or what the traffic is like on your route to work. It can also play music and integrate with other smarthome devices, like Google's Nest thermostats.
The device won't start shipping until later this year and its price is still unknown.
Google thinks Home will be smarter than Echo though, thanks to another new product it announced: A conversational chatbot called Google Assistant that leverages all of the company's skills in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing.
Assistant will work across all of a user's devices to have an 'ongoing two-way dialogue with Google.'
It's like an amped-up version of the company's previous virtual assistant, Google Now, that will pull information seamlessly with other Google services like Search, Maps, and YouTube.
Assistant also powers Allo, a new smart messaging app that Google says will learn about you as you use it.
The app can tie to your phone number or Google account, and it looks like Facebook Messenger with the ability to share stickers and photos.
What sets Allo apart though is its ability to serve up 'smart replies' and let you chat with Assistant -- for example, if your friend sends you a picture of their pup, Allo could auto-suggest the response 'cute dog!' and you could call up local restaurant suggestions just by chatting '@google.'
Allo wasn't Google's only messaging app though. It also announced a video calling app called Duo, a device-agnostic competitor to Apple's FaceTime.
The coolest part is a feature called Knock Knock, which gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer.
Down a more experimental route, Google previewed its vision for Android's future where users can access apps without downloading them.
Android Instant Apps will let people tap on a URL and open an Android app instantly without having to install it.
They also introduced the new Google Apps API which will make it easier than ever to integrate Google apps into 3rd party solutions
Salesforce, SAP, and Trello have already signed up to integrate with Google App APIs into their products. The first of the Google App APIs Google released are Sheets and Slides (Google's spreadsheet and slideshow software). APIs for the rest of Google's software suite will be released soon.
Google also expanded their education API called Classroom so it can be more tightly integrated with Google's apps.
Daydream entails a hardware reference design for manufactures that's like an upgraded version of its original cardboard headset where you slot in a smartphone for an easy, affordable path to virtual reality.
Any device manufacturer can build an Android phone that's compatible with Google Daydream, so long as it runs the forthcoming Android N operating system and meets some minimum specifications.
In a move that productivity lovers will enjoy, multi-window multitasking is baked right into Android N.
Android N is chock full of new features, including speed increases and stronger encryption, but one of the biggest is multi-window multitasking.
Multitasking works seamlessly: with one app open, tapping the square button in the bottom-lefthand corner of the screen lets you open another. N will also come with the latest emoji.
Google just totally revamped Firebase, the backend platform for helping developers build better apps that it acquired a year and a half ago.
Firebase is a set of tools that helps app makers create and monetise their apps. Google introduced analytics tools to let developers see what users are doing inside their apps and how their paid app campaigns are performing across a bunch of different platforms. The entire platform is completely free to use.
The main focus of Android Wear 2.0 is to de-emphasise the watch's reliance on the phone. Apps can be run right from the watch, letting you stream music and send messages to people without needing the phone to be around, or even on.
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