All the Important Content That Google Announced Today at I / O 2016
Google dropped a news cluster bomb today with the launch of Android VR, the new Google Assistant, and a Google Home hub similar to the Amazon Echo. Here are the coolest things from today’s show.
Google Assistant Finally Turns Google Voice Commands Into Useful Smart Conversation
Google has long excelled at voice commands , but now voice commands have become anthropomorphic. The company announced Google Assistant, which makes voice commands more conversational. For example, you can say “I want to watch a movie,” and Google will suggest several options. If you want to narrow it down to films for children, you can say, “We want to bring children.” Then Google will help you order tickets automatically.
Google Assistant will connect to a host of other services to help you book a restaurant table with things like OpenTable, get a car with services like Uber, and buy movie tickets from companies like TicketMaster. You can also use the same Google voice commands you’re used to, such as “How’s the weather?” or “How tall is Jeff Goldblum?”
Google Home will compete with Amazon Echo, bring Google Assistant and more to your home
Google is not happy with letting Amazon be the only one with a smart gadget that sits at your house and waits for your voice command. The company announced Google Home today. Like Amazon’s Echo, Google Home is a stylish speaker and microphone combination that can be placed in any room in your home. It can send your voice commands from anywhere. If echo reception is any indication, it may be much cooler than it sounds. And that already sounds pretty cool.
Google Home will also be able to connect to smart home devices such as light switches and speakers, so you can control your smart home with simple voice commands. Of course, smart homes are still quite complex and difficult for most users, so it might only help a few niche users.
Android N still has no name, but you can suggest it
If you were hoping that Android N would finally get a name on I / O, you’re out of luck. However, Google will ask for suggestions for the title. You can go to this site to submit your dessert with a taste of N. In terms of real-world features, Google has showcased a few things we’ve already unearthed, like double-tapping to switch to your latest app and quick notifications replies. Yes, and Android will no longer need to optimize apps after an update. Brilliantly. A new “beta” version of Android will soon be released to users participating in the Android beta testing program .
Allo and Duo are another Google messaging effort, but they look pretty cool.
Google hasn’t done well in the messaging world by trying to compete with things like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. Their latest endeavor is called Allo, presumably with a poor British accent impression . It comes with a lot of smart features like suggested answers that Inbox users may be familiar with. There’s also a new Google Assistant built in, which helps suggest things like restaurants based on the context of your conversation. You can also tweak text sizes on the fly when you really need to get the message across. If the app sounds interesting, you can pre-register to be notified when it comes out here .
If all of this sounds like Google is tracking your conversations quite a bit, you’re right. So, Google has added an incognito mode that temporarily disables all smart suggestions and crawls. This way you can have a conversation without worrying about Google interfering. This can be a little consolation for those more privacy-minded, worried that you are not in incognito mode the rest of the time.
Duo is a standalone video calling app, reminiscent of Apple’s Facetime. You can post. The key feature is what Google calls “knock knock” (yes, really), which shows you a video stream of the person calling you before you answer. It’s not revolutionary, but still pretty neat. Like Allo, Duo lets you pre-register here .
Google hasn’t said how Allo and Duo are affecting their other messaging strategies. Google now has Hangouts for general messaging, Messenger for SMS, Google Voice for users who still remember what Google Voice is, and now also Allo and Duo. There are many messaging apps to manage. The smart money is that Allo and Duo will eventually replace Hangouts, but Google hasn’t said yet.
Daydream brings powerful virtual reality to your Android phone
As we expected, Google is bringing VR to Android with N. Daydream (not to be confused with the Android lock screen feature of the same name ) to help developers create high-quality apps and virtual reality experiences. There will also be a set of minimum phone requirements to determine what hardware is capable of running VR.
Google is also unveiling a controller specifically designed for VR use, as well as a new cardboard-free headset for your phone, as well as a number of major manufacturers that have already signed up to support it. Both will arrive later this fall. Notably, Google hardware doesn’t require external tracking, as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive do.
Android Wear Apps Now Work Without Phone, Smart Answers Make Answering Easier
Android Wear hasn’t revolutionized wearables as Google hoped, but for some it’s still cool . It’s getting cooler now. First, apps can now run on the watch, regardless of your phone, which is great for when the connection between your phone and watch is unstable.
The response to wear has also been improved. On the other hand, Wear devices now receive smart replies – again sourced from your inbox, so you can quickly reply with messages based on the context of the conversation. Google also added handwriting recognition and a full keyboard because … well, to be honest, I’m sure someone needs this. However, I cannot claim that typing on the watch will give you pleasure.
Android Instant Apps let you download only the apps you need
Google is tired of forcing everyone to download entire apps just to use individual links. By the end of the year, Google plans to release Android Instant Apps, which will allow users to open only the parts of the Android app they need.
As an example, Google showed how a user opens a B&H product page. Android only loaded a copy of the product page, no need to install the B&H app. This sounds like a really great way to work with apps that you might want to use from time to time, but don’t have to keep them on your phone all the time. Google hasn’t said exactly when it will roll out, but they are aiming for it to happen next year.