Wednesday night officially opened the first day of Google I/O 2017, the annual conference for developers where the Mountain View company presents many of its newest in software and hardware. The keynote was led by CEO Sundar Pichai, who together with his collaborators announced a number of new products and services. The real protagonist of the day was of course Android O, the latest version of the mobile operating system already available in beta for developers.
Pichai began arguing that the 82 billion app downloaded on the Play Store was exceeded and announced the second developer preview of Android O. Google’s CEO did not clarify what the “O” (Oreo, Orange, Oatcake, Orelletes and Oliebol are the most accredited options) but what is certain is that the new OS has introduced several optimizations that reduce consumption and speed up processes. The “Vitals” feature limits, for example, the background activities of Android apps and services. With the latest version, notifications will be grouped by categories or “Channels”, while “Notification Dots” will provide additional app information on apps without having to launch them. The icons will fit into the look and shape of the theme chosen by the user and the picture in picture mode is introduced. In addition, the “Smart Text Selection” system will make it easier to copy and paste and introduce a new Home for Android TV. The Android O beta is currently only available for Pixel and Nexus devices.
Google also introduced Android Go, a lightweight version of its low-end operating system that has at least 1 GB of RAM. This is a kind of Android One project but from the software side.
Google I/O 2017 has also revealed interesting new developments in virtual reality and the DayDream ecosystem. Big G confirmed that Lenovo and HTC will build two new VR-independent viewers that will use Qualcomm’s chipset. They will use a new technology called WordSense that allows you to digitize the space around the user and then insert it into a virtual environment. The system seems to be based on Project Tango and one day it will be integrated into Google Maps. New viewers should be presented by the end of 2017.
Great news about Google Assistant. The virtual assistant will support the Italian language before the end of the year and today it has also become available on iOS, but only in the US. On Apple devices, its features are limited, as it can not interact with all installed apps, but in the future they should still be implemented.
Even Google Photos, which has reached 500 million monthly users, has undergone extensive updating. The “Suggested Sharing” feature will automatically suggest who will send the saved images with facial recognition and will also do so with those people who have not downloaded the app. “Shared Libraries” allows you to share a part of your library with a single person while “Photo Books” will create a selection of shots suitable for a specific event or event. This collection can then be personalized and printed in paper form for $ 9.99. At this time this service will only be available in the US.
In addition, a new feature called Lens has arrived that through the camera allows you to get useful information on any framed object.
For example, if we place ourselves on the Wi-Fi router label, we can copy access credentials to the network without having to type them manually. The tool will also be integrated within Google Assistant.
Amazon’s Echo Show’s arrival has evidently alerted Google, so it has implemented the functions of its Home Home Speaker. With “Cast”, you can send apps and favorite content directly to your smartphone, tablet, and laptop speakers. The device also offers the ability to view the information provided by the AI on the TV screen as well, while “Proactive Assistance” will remind us of the daily agenda and reminders even when it is not being interrogated. Home now also allows you to enjoy Netflix, Spotify Premium and HBO Now products, but above all to make real calls. Rumors regarding the ability to record up to 4 different accounts for each speaker were also confirmed. Google has confirmed that Home’s availability will also be extended to Australia, Canada, France and Japan, but at the moment there is no news about its debut in Italy.
Finally, the Google I/O 2017 has also given space to the second generation of Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) for Google Cloud, the cloud computing system designed to accelerate the development of machine learning and AI. Each chip according to Big G’s statement has a power of 180 teraflop per second.
All the computing power offered by TPUs will initially be available on Google Compute Engine, a platform that will be officially available by the end of the year.
The summary of yesterday’s day is available on the official website of the conference.