Google shifts mobile focus to apps and digital assistant

Google shifts mobile focus to apps and digital assistant

It's just day one, but there are deal breakers for any iPhone user.

The Google Assistant is the heart of the company's artificial intelligence push to consumers, and as such, the updates announced at the Google I/O developer conference is probably the most significant. It will let third-party device makers inject the conversational technology into devices like dish washers, door locks, and vacuum cleaners. It also has existing digital payments systems, a network of warehouses and multiple delivery options to get purchased goods to shoppers. Google is finally admitting defeat, and has redesigned its default emoji to look a little more recognisable, according to Fast Company.

Altogether, unless you are deeply in the Google ecosystem, using Google Assistant on the iPhone is a pain compared to Siri. For example, if there's heavy traffic, Google Assistant might prompt you to leave home earlier in order to make a scheduled meeting on time.

Google machine vision capabilities are being used to enable services such as recognizing who is in pictures and what they are doing as well as translate languages in signs viewed through smartphone cameras, demonstrations showed. You can send an email through Gmail (say who you want to send the email to, and it'll open the Gmail app; ask for directions with Google Maps instead of Apple's maps, etc).

In view of latest threats from rival AI speakers, the Home speaker gets the ability to do free calls in United States and Canada. It will certainly be interesting to watch what Google can really accomplish in this space with the resources they have, now that they're fully committed to it.

In addition, it is working with several partners on a range of virtual reality headsets that do not require connection to a computer or a phone. Samsung for instance is trying something similar with its new Bixby Vision feature on the Galaxy S8 phones. With an illustrious release of chatbot at the last years I/O, this would definitely be a much more impactful launch.

New features include hands-free calling for users in Canada and United States and proactive assistants, which can predict actions following daily behavioral pattern. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don't have to lift a finger. It bakes features directly into Google's mobile operating system that are designed specifically for cheap phones, including software to manage cellular data costs.

The brand also releases Android O Developer Preview 2 and interested people can try the beta release of Android O by enrolling to the beta programme.

Picture-in-picture mode will allow smartphone users to be more productive on the go (imagine watching a video while texting about it with a colleague), and battery life will get a boost with some underlying improvements to the software. Remember Android One? It was sort of an initiative to bring more affordable Android devices running stock Android.

Well, it turns out we'll only be going downhill from here, as Google explained at I/O that from now on, developers will be able to block their applications from being installed on rooted Android devices.