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I had the opportunity to participate Google I / O for the 4th time this year and if I’m not wrong, it was the 12th I/O conference. It is a developer festival, which is organized by Google once a year in May, sharing new updates for developers. This year’s I/O was held on 7-8-9 May at the Shoreline Amphitheater as usual. The area is about 2 hours away by train from SF. Both SF and also San Jose airport can be used to land. Mountain View, SunnyVale cities will be easy for transportation to stay during the conference.
Let’s go to the announcements of this year’s. The conference starts with keynote, followed by the Developer keynote and What’s new in Android session as well as parallel sessions in specific areas. If a person like me is more interested in the Android part, then the first 3 sessions will actually tell you the summary of the entire conference, which sessions you want to enter. Keynote is more soft and slightly more user-centric updates. But of course it’s important for developers, too because we can see in which direction we should go and what we should use while developing. Nevertheless, I would like to state that this article contains more announcements that are of interest to the end user and I will write a more technical second article.
Firstly, I / O application, which allows us to follow the program and reserve the session every year, has changed slightly this year. For example, AR was presented in a way to make it easier for us to find a meal in the conference. 🙂 When we click “Explore I/O” in the application, we can easily see what there is in the direction of turn our phone.
It was then emphasized that the products they were to announce on that day had only one common purpose, to help end users. One of these was “Automatic selection from smart reply” which allowed us to respond quickly to our emails, which is my favourite gmail feature of last year’s annoucements. It really saves time. 🙂
But what’s more exciting is the fact that we’re now able to retrieve the e-mail we’ve send. This feature has been available in MS Outlook for many years, and it is a life-saving feature on mails that is written wrongly.
The auto backup feature was announced so that important moments were not lost for Google photos.
This years, Google’s annual conference motto was “Building a more helpful Google for everyone.” And the features I’ve mentioned so far are directly in line with this motto.
Last year the full coverage feature for the news application was released. The aim is to better organize news-related topics in search. If we go through the example in Keynote, for example, if Black Hole is searched and then the full-coverage icon is clicked, we can even access different news and even a timeline about the black hole. Especially for the someone like me who do not follow the news regularly and then disappeared in the details, this is a great feature.
Actually, as emphasized in keynote everything is done to improve the search. Google search results in the 3D display option is also available. If “View in 3D” is clicked on the first image, the search object will be presented in 3 dimensions.
Of course this is a subject that can be extended too much, like a shark on stage 😀
And the next stop is the Google lens. When I want to quickly capture the text in an image or trying to learn what is exactly something, I get help from the Google lens. But there’s a new field of use. I hope it will spread very fast all over the world. When we put it on the menu, it turns out to be a helper of the restaurant’s favorite dishes. Moreover, when you click on any dish, the picture will be released. The menus in all the restaurants should have been illustrated though, which I think has already been.
Another nice feature that came with the camera was that it is not just turning the picture into text, but also highlighted it, translated into other languages and vocalize. Great convenience for someone who does not read.
Last year’s keynote’s the hairdresser booking conversation via asistan was the most memorable part with no doubt. As mentioned at keynote, this feature got positive comments from businesses as well as users. This year, upon leaning on the web, car rental and restaurant reservation were worked through an assistant. For example, you have an upcoming trip and a notification has dropped on your phone. You opened the assistant and said “Book a national car rental for my next trip”. At this point, the assistant web site will open, you will be waiting for just a “confirm” to fill in your information. Obviously, it’s a perfect solution for someone who makes a mistakes all the time(me) when buy flight tickets, rent a car etc. 😀
One of the most important developments in assistants is that the 100 GB model has been shrunk to 0.5 GB in a way that allows to be kept on phone. Of course, it can now work offline and multitask. This new assistant will come with new Pixels at the end of the year.
There are some personalized features offered by the assistant. You can also browse the keynote for more details. The assistant is currently active in 80 countries, 30+ languages.
Keynote continued with advances in AI. The study called “testing with concept activation vectors” TCAV was used to determine what the concept is important for the prediction of the model. For example, the lines for zebra, individual’s being men on determination of skin cancer.
And of course we continue with the importance of security. Privacy and security settings are gathered in a single point. While clicking Search, the profile can be accessed and settings updated quickly. And also incognito mode came to Google Maps. When we activate our searches, our timeline is not saved.
The motto “Building a more helpful Google for everyone” really meant making sure that everyone was using Google products, which meant “Accessible products for everyone”. At this point, Live Transcribe product has been launched for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who just don’t want to talk. The Cloud Speech API is working behind it. This project has started with the 2 engineers you see below and the other engineers joined with 20% over time.
In the evolution of this product, Live Caption was developed. Podcast, web video, or a video of our can be converted to direct text. Instant subtitle device and also on-device 🙂
It was Project Euphonia which excited me the most. The one’s voice with paralyzed, patients with ALS or speech difficulties could be recorded as samples with Project Euphonia, and what they want to say can be obtained in written format. For instance, by analyzing the sounds of the ALS patient who can communicate by using his / her keyboard with his / her eyes, joy, sadness can be distinguished by analyzing the sounds. Many years ago, after we me, Melike and Rana, designed a keyboard and dashboard for ALS patients in the graduation project of the university to see how this point can be reached now is incredible. Btw of course, ours never came to a level of products to be released.
Following the assistant and AI is on the Android. It started with Foldables, which was announced for the first time in Android Summit. It looks like we’ll see a lot of Foldable devices this year.
Although it is a little industrial development, this year 5G is entering our lives and it will come with Android Q devices. Many also going to support telecommunications company, we will see how the situation would be in Turkey.
Again, if we continue to benefit for the user, yes, the smart reply is introduced as a time-saving feature. (Available for all Android messaging apps)
Having a slightly more sweet feature can also suggest action.
It was the Dark Mode, which was very popular at the conference and had many sessions about how to integrate into our applications.
And of course, we continue with Android security updates. Google Play Protect, which can scan 50 billion apps per day, was announced.
Digital Well-Being was announced last year to better control our time on our Android device. This year the Focus Mode was announced. If we do not want to be divided by notifications, we can add applications that distract us most and prevent the notification from coming on. When the Focus mode turns off, everything is back to its original state.
Another feature is Parental Control for families. They can access and control information such as how much time their children spend and how much time they spend.
Keynote continues with home devices. All home devices are gathered under the name of nest. A new home device was announced on the Nest Hub Max. In general, we can say that the home hub has a webcam and you can reach and watch your home anytime you want.
Another product introduction was the low-budget Pixel 3A.
Last year at Google I/O it was announced a feature that when we were browsing maps, we were able to open the camera and see the directions we were going to go on, so we wouldn’t get lost around the blue dot. To be honest, I had no opportunity to test whether the feature was opened. I / O is said to be active on Pixel phones from that day, but I’m not sure if it is different from the previous one.
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