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    May 17, 2017

    Five major Google I/O announcements that you need to know about

    google io 2017 announcements

    Direct from Google’s 2017 I/O, here’s everything you need to know from the company’s annual conference, including news on Assistant, Google Home and more!

    Google’s 2017 I/O had much to do if it were to beat the slew of announcements we were treated to from the firm last year, and it’s safe to say that the Mountain View company hasn’t disappointed.

    If you happened to miss all the action from our live stream of the event, here’s a quick run-down of five major things you might have missed!

    Read: WWDC 2017- What could we see from Apple this year?

    google assistant iphone

    Google Assistant is heading to the iPhone

    We recently reported that Google was mulling a decision to bring Assistant to the iPhone, and now the company has confirmed that its artificial intelligence will soon debut on iOS and will work in parallel with Siri.

    Assistant will further benefit from a software development kit (SDK) which will enable third-party apps to build specific integrations with, and the service will soon be able to accept type-based input generally, as is the case on Google’s messaging service, Allo.

    google home

    Google Home has gotten smarter

    Google has some work ahead of it to catch up with Amazon’s utter dominance of the smart speaker market, and the Mountain View company has been quick to mobilize its own answer to Amazon’s Echo series with its own Home unit.

    Home will soon benefit from new Proactive features and will light up to provide tips such as traffic alerts in addition to hands-free calling – users in the United States will be able to call US mobile numbers for free. While the platform isn’t due in South Africa yet, the device will soon land in Canada, Japan, Germany, France, and Australia.

    google lensGoogle Lens will be Assistant’s gateway to the visual world

    When Samsung debuted Bixby aboard the Galaxy S8 and S8 +, it made the apt decision to include ‘Bixby Vision’ – the ability for the digital assistant to assess items (to varying degrees of accuracy) through a smartphone’s camera.

    Google Lens, then, is the Mountain View company’s answer to this concept – Lens will similarly be able to identify items through using a smartphone’s camera, and Google demonstrated several nifty abilities with the device – including a feature which will let users join a Wi-Fi network by scanning credentials.

    Android O Developer Preview

    Android O brings sleeker, smarter features

    Android O seems to be geared towards making the Android ecosystem more fluid and interactive, and several of the operating system’s new features speak to this; Google debuted new abilities such as a refined copy/paste technique dubbed Smart Text Selection, through which Android can identify names, addresses, and mobile numbers and select them at once rather than relying on a user’s specification.

    Android O’s software smarts will rely on neural networking that will work aboard devices themselves, and will further grant new improvements to Vitals – specifically, Google’s aim is to build on three pillars – namely, security enhancements, OS optimizations, and greater developer tools.

     Android O will further feature official support for downloadable fonts and support for Project Treble.

    project treble android google

    Android Go gets moving in emerging markets

    One of Android’s key strengths has been its ubiquity on mid-range and budget devices, and where Android One premiered as Google’s first half-hearted device strategy for emerging markets, Android Go has stepped forward.

    Android Go offers access to lite versions of key Google apps specifically geared for devices with 1GB of RAM, or less – the thinking behind this strategy is that manufacturers will be able to produce devices at less cost and – further – sell smartphones at lower price points.

    Android Go functions as a ‘profile’ within Android O, and will enable specific functionality such as data management to reduce the cost of mobile data fees, and will include support for multilingual users by accommodating 191 languages as well as on-the-fly translation.

    Android Go devices will debut in 2018.

    Read: Project Treble: Google’s new plan to roll out Android updates

    Have your say!

    What are your most excited about from Google’s 2017 I/O? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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