Google I/O 2018: Major Highlights and Announcements from the Keynote

Google kicked off its three-day annual developer conference, Google I/O 2018, last week which was held in California, US from 8th – 10th May 2018. Every year, Google announces new software, hardware, and various updates for its existing apps and services in its developer conference. The purpose of having this conference every year is to keep the developers’ community up-to-date with its new announcements, enabling them to come up with their own apps, services, and integrations before Google actually unveils its stuff.

Highlights of Google I/O 2018 Keynote

Just like every year, Google has left us mesmerized by the new announcements and updates it has made pertaining to Android, Google Assistant, and many new initiatives.

Apart from benefitting the developers, Google I/O 2018 keynote was also a delight for the consumers who got equally excited after hearing about the new updates and announcements Google made at the event.

Let’s find out what amazing stuff Google has lined up for all of us in 2018 and beyond. Here are the exclusive highlights and updates from the Google I/O 2018 keynote:

Google Duplex Technology

google duplex technology

With Google Duplex technology, Google has improved Assistant in such a way that it can book your appointments on your behalf. At the Google I/O 2018, Google showed through two demos on stage how Assistant, on your behalf, was calling a restaurant for a reservation and then calling a hair salon for getting an appointment.

The conversation Assistant had with the real humans on the other end of the line sounded so real because the Assistant spoke just like a human, making use of filler words such as ‘uhhh’ and ‘mmhmm’ during the conversation. It would be hard enough for the real human to realize he/she was talking to a robot on the phone and not a real human because the Assistant waded through the questions with an ease.

Once the reservation is made, Assistant gives you the details of it and adds it to your schedule. At the moment, Google is still working the Duplex technology on Assistant and plans to test it soon.

Android P Public Beta

Another important announcement Google made at the annual developer conference was about launching Android P public beta for Google Pixel phones. Apart from the Google pixel phones, this public beta is also now available on phones from other manufacturers as well such as Nokia, Oppo, Mi, Sony, Essential and OnePlus.

Officially Android P will be launched later this year. To give a quick glimpse of Android P, Google showcased some of its interesting new smart intelligent features at the developer’s event.

Gmail’s Smart Compose Feature

You must have already used Gmail’s Smart Reply feature which was introduced by Google last year. It helps you quickly reply to the incoming emails by suggesting a few most appropriate replies. This year, Google has introduced Smart Compose feature in Gmail that enables you to write the email from the scratch.

Smart Compose is a new AI-powered feature which suggests relevant contextual sentences as you type in the email. If you happen to like a suggestion, you can simply click the ‘tab’ button and then use the phrase. As per Google, this new feature also reduces grammatical and spelling errors in your email. Smart Compose will be officially launched in the coming weeks but to use it you need to first switch to the new Gmail. To do that, go to Settings of your inbox and click ‘Try the New Gmail.’ Afterward, go to the general tab in your settings, scroll down a bit and then enable “experimental access.”

Google Maps: AR Features and Assistant

Google Maps AR features and Assistant

When we’re talking about new developments and updates announced by Google at the developer’s event, how can we skip Google Maps? Google has showcased a prospective new augmented reality feature it could integrate into Google Maps in the future. At the event, the tech company showed how AR can be used in Google Maps when you have to navigate around the city by foot.

The AR uses the camera, Street View, and visual technology to help you know your exact location in the city. So next time when you hold up your phone, you can see the exact locations floating around you in the camera.  It is still not known when this feature will be added to the Google Maps but the company has already started working on it.

However, Google Assistant is all set to make an entry in the Google Maps both on Android and iOS this summer. Once Assistant is integrated into the Maps, you can ask it to share your ETA while you’re driving. Moreover, you can even ask it to send text messages, play music or get other information from the Google Maps app itself.

Google Assistant Gets New Voices

Google Assistant Gets New Voices

Another remarkable announcement Google made at the keynote event was about six new voices becoming a part of Google Assistant later this year. Of the six voices, one voice is of John Legend – the popular American singer-songwriter. The company also revealed that it will be able to develop new voices within a matter of weeks instead of years, thanks to latest advancements in AI.

Google Lens Updates

So far, Google Lens was only available in Google Pixel phones which was a bit disappointing for those who did not own a Google Pixel phone. The good news is, at Google I/O 2018, the company has announced that Google Lens is coming to other phones as well.

Soon, Google Lens will be directly added to the camera app on devices from other phone manufacturers such as Sony, Nokia, OnePlus, LG, etc. in the coming weeks. Let’s see how long it takes for the manufacturers to update their devices so they can make use of the Google Lens.

Besides, Lens has also got some new interesting features which were also discussed at the developer’s event. The features included Smart Text selection, Smart Text search, as well as enabling search for all items around you.