Google I/O - its annual developer conference kicked off on 18 May 2016 unleashing a wave of innovations to the world. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai introduced Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant, along with the tabletop speaker appliance Google Home.
Google assistant is conversational—an ongoing two-way dialogue between the user and Google helps one get things done.
Google Home is a voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in the house. It allows one to enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google—all using conversational speech. Google Home will be released later this year.
Allo is a new messaging app that also comes complete with the Google assistant, so one can interact with it directly in your chats, either one-on-one or with friends.
Allo includes Smart Reply, which suggests responses to messages based on context, and comes with fun ways to make your chats more expressive, including emojis, stickers, and the ability to get creative with photos. There’s also an Incognito mode that provides end-to-end encryption, discreet notifications, and message expiration.
In addition to Allo, Google also introduced Duo, a companion app for one-to-one video calling. Duo is basically Google's attempt to make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. Yet another new feature introduced by Google is called Knock Knock, which gives a live video of the other caller before you answer.
Both Allo and Duo are based on one's phone number, so the user can communicate with anyone regardless of whether he is on Android or iOS. Both apps will be available this summer.
In other developments, Google also shared details about what’s coming in Android N, including better performance for graphics and effects, reduced battery consumption and storage, background downloads of system updates, and streamlined notifications, and updated emojis . Google has interestingly sought suggestions from its users to come up with a name for N that can be an apt successor to Marshmallow.
VR didn't miss Google's spotlight definitely as it talked of Daydream- a new platform for high quality mobile VR. Google is working together with Android manufacturers, on upcoming phones, and sharing designs with them for a VR viewer and controller that will be immersive, comfortable and intuitive to use.
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google posted in the Google blog: "Machine learning and AI are changing not only computing, but also the way in which we tackle problems we’ve never been able to solve before. Imagine what we could do if we work together and use these technologies to tackle challenges in climate change, health care or education. As our machine learning and AI capabilities get smarter and more versatile, these possibilities are starting to appear on the horizon. These are very exciting times indeed."