Like the events in previous years, Google I/O 2018, the Google's annual developer conference, released a bunch of new features and products. This year, AI technology is the main focus, which can be seen in nearly all products: Google Duplex, Google Assistant, Android P, Waymo self-driving car. Let's go over all highlights at Google I/O 2018.
1. Google Duplex
Google Duplex is the AI assistant that Google introduced at I/O 2018. The demo that shows how Duplex makes a dinner reservation is really impressive, and even kind of scary because Duplex sounds nothing like a computer. With the pauses, the ummms and ahhhs, Duplex sounds like a real person. What's more, the assistant can understand what the other person said on the phone and make a reservation fitting your schedule. All you need to do is say: Hey Google make me an appointment at Joe's Garage for Tuesday morning." Duplex will call the restaurant, make a reservation, and add it to your calendar.
But for now, Google Duplex is still under test and it will take some time before it becomes a real product.
2. Google Assistant
Google Assistant on Android phone is now more intelligent. 6 new voices have been added to the Assistant and one of the voices belong to the singer John Legend. Powered by WaveNet technology, the Assistant speaks in new voices by simulating the voices based on audio samples recorded by the real human. So the new voices are more lifelike and need less audio samples.
And now you don't have to say "Hey Google" every time you ask a question or make a command. The Google Assistant on your Google Home and Android phones can now understand follow-up questions, which let you ask several questions in a conversation without using the wake-up word for each question. Also, the assistant now understands two commands in one sentence. For example, you can say to the Assistant: "Hey Google. How's the weather today and turn on the bedroom lights."
3. Android P
Although AI has stolen the thunder, Android system is still a big part of the conference. Android P, the new system this year, has debuted its new Notification Center, Indoor Positioning, notch-adopted Display Cutout in its Developer Preview. At Google I/O, the public beta of Android P is released, with more new updates.
The old home/back/recent virtual buttons are abandoned and a new Gesture Navigation System is added to Android P. You can now use gestures to go back, return to home screen, switch between recent apps.
Android P also pays attention to digital wellbeing, adding a dashboard that can show you how much time you spend on different apps and an app timer that can limit your use of certain apps. For example, you can disable YouTube during work hours. When you are in bed, a new do-not-disturb mode - Wind Down can be enabled, which intercepts notifications and darken the phone when the bedtime you set has passed.
Integrated with AI technology, Android P's Adaptive Battery can save battery by turning off apps when it predicts you may not need the apps right now. Android P can also predict your next action. For example, when you entering Lyft in the search bar, you can get the option to book a ride under the search bar.
4. Google Lens
Google Lens is added to Android's built-in camera app, turning it into a terrific AR app. Google Lens can identify texts in photos and even copy or translate the texts. When detecting books, artworks, architectures in the photos, Google Lens can provide introductions to the objects; It also detects shopping items in the photos and offers links to shopping sites.
Google Lens will be available in Google Pixel 2, LG 7, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, OnePlus, and Asus.
5. Google Photos
Google Photos also embraces a few exciting updates, including recoloring old black-and-white shots, automatically adjusting the brightness of photos, detecting and rotating images in the wrong orientation, transforming the only background into black and white. Also, Google Photos can recognize the faces of your contacts on the phone and ask if you would like to share the photos with them.
Based on advancement on AI and AR, Google I/O 2018 brought a lot of exciting new features. It is sure that these new features will once again bring new changes to our life in the near future.