Google kicked off its highly-anticipated Google I/O developer conference today and as expected, the search giant has announced a slew of awesome new things. From new Android goodies to an amazing new Siri rival aka Google Assistant to two incredible messaging apps, it’s all there. They even announced to let the internet decide the name of Android N!
Here’s a look at 6 of the coolest new things announced today at Google I/O,
1. Google Duo:
Meet Duo, Google’s way of handling video calls. It’s easy, it’s simple, and it’s real quick. Google Duo is a lightweight application that is expected to be released later this year with support for both Android and iOS. The best part about this application is the very simple interface – when you open the app, you’re created with a mirror that shows you how you look. Once you’re done checking yourself out, you just press a big circled photo of your contacts and the call connects!
A messaging app that is Google’s fresh start towards communication apps. Again, Google has revamped the interface by making it simple and easier than ever before. This messaging app combines together all elements of popular messaging apps to give you the all-round package. The app features the usual signup with Google or mobile number options coupled with the basic chat options. It does, however, have some cool features such as “WhisperShout” – a full-screen preview of pictures before you send them so that you can add text or doodle on them. It also has built-in Google search support. Allo will also be available later this year on both iOS and Android.
As predicted, Google has finally taken a step forward towards the development of its own Virtual Reality platform – Google Daydream. This platform is going to be based on Android in Google latest’s version of the OS – Android N. Daydream will make use of both hardware and software to give you an amazing virtual reality experience. However, it will also be only be supported with the latest devices with the required sensors and screens. Essentially, DayDream is Google’s go on Virtual Reality. It is a software built on top of Android that combines a customized home screen with appropriate settings and options to give you complete control over your virtual reality.
4. Google Assistant
Google Assistant is the search giant’s very own Artificial Intelligence-based conversational assistant. They have always had Google Now for Android users, a contextual assistant that presented intuitive data based on the user’s interest, but it was never a direct rival to other Artificial Intelligence based conversational assistants like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. Now though, the Assistant is on par or even better than those two in some areas. You can ask a question for an answer, and follow up with multiple questions, with Google picking the conversation out and returning the right answer.
5. Google Home
Along with the Assistant, Google also lifted the curtains from a smart-home system, simply called “Google Home”. It’s a kind of an Amazon Echo competitor. Basically, it’s a small speaker that you plug into a wall and then, it’ll just sit there always-listening. There are no buttons so you just ask it to do everything. You can use it to answer your questions, play your music, and control your home automation gadgets. Available in the form of a cute little speaker, it looks colorful and modern enough to blend in with anything.
6. Android N
Android N was always going to be the center of attention at Google I/O and Google didn’t disappoint. The company announced that Android N would be coming with a new graphics API called “Vulkan”, making Android N not only better at playing games, but also much 30-60% better at general tasks too. It also cuts down app install times by as much as 75% and reduces the effect on the battery.
The multi-tasking menu in Android N, unveiled with the N developer, is now limited to just 7-apps. You can also double tap on the multitasking button to switch to the last app instantly. Along with that, Google has also made Android N much better at updating so it updates itself in the background and is much more stable.
However, the best thing Google announced about Android N today was that it will let the internet decide on its official name by allowing anyone to submit an entry. You can submit your own entry by going to android.com/n.
Written by Rehan Ahmed and Saad Mughal.