Google I/O: From Android to Assistant, here’s what to expect

    Google holds its I/O convention on the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.
    James Martin/CNET
    It’s time once more for Google’s largest occasion of the 12 months. Every spring, the search large invitations hundreds of builders to its hometown of Mountain View, California, to make the corporate’s most high-profile bulletins. In years previous, Google has unveiled Glass, its ultimately-doomed sensible eyewear; Google Cardboard, a do-it-yourself headset that grew to become the launching level for the corporate’s digital actuality efforts; and the Google Assistant, its digital helper software program akin to Amazon’s Alexa. Last 12 months, Google concurrently wowed and creeped out the world with the primary demo of Duplex, synthetic intelligence software program that sounds jaw-droppingly human. For CEO Sundar Pichai, the keynote is his most vital speech of the 12 months, like a State of the Union tackle for one of many world’s strongest corporations. This 12 months, Google’s annual confab follows a very rocky interval for the corporate. Since final 12 months’s gathering, Google’s staff have protested the corporate’s army contracts, its work in China and the corporate’s dealing with of sexual assault allegations directed at executives. Pichai has additionally been dragged in entrance of Congress to defend Google over accusation of political bias. On stage, nevertheless, Google will doubtless hold the give attention to lighter fare — new options and merchandise. Here’s what we may anticipate from I/O.

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    When and the place is it?Google’s annual developer competition kicks off May 7 and runs by way of May 9. It’s being held within the search large’s yard on the Shoreline Amphitheater. The large live performance venue is so near Google’s international headquarters in Mountain View, California, you’ll be able to see it from CEO Sundar Pichai’s workplace.How do I watch it?The occasion’s principal keynote, which Pichai sometimes headlines, will begin at 10 a.m. on May 7. It’s normally livestreamed on YouTube and we’ll publish the hyperlink when it is dwell. We’ll even have our personal dwell protection and a workforce on the bottom to deliver you real-time updates.Google CEO Sundar Pichai sometimes kicks off I/O with a keynote tackle.
    James Martin/CNET
    Android QOver the previous few years, Google has launched its latest taste of Android to software program builders in March. But the corporate usually reserves a portion of stage time for its cellular working system. This 12 months’s Android Q will help foldable screens, sooner app launches and privateness updates, comparable to extra restrictions on location sharing.Google AssistantGoogle sometimes makes use of I/O to introduce new options for the Assistant. Last 12 months, that included new Assistant voices (together with John Legend’s), a function that requires youngsters to say “please” when bossing the Assistant round and the power to ask two questions at one time. But what actually stole the present was Duplex, synthetic intelligence expertise that speaks like a human. It attracts out some phrases and pauses after different phrases, like regular folks do. It says “uh” and “um” and has different verbal tics. The concept is to let the software program make calls in your behalf to arrange appointments, like restaurant reservations. From the second it was introduced, the product drew controversy over its capability to deceive individuals who may not know they could possibly be speaking to a robotic. Google later stated they’d construct these disclosures into the product. This 12 months, it is affordable to anticipate extra updates to the Assistant as Google tries to push the service to extra folks and gadgets.Augmented and digital realityThree years in the past, Google launched its Daydream digital actuality platform at I/O. It lets folks flip their telephones into VR machines by placing them into particular headsets. Recently, Google has been quiet about its Daydream and VR efforts. But the corporate has made noise round augmented actuality — overlaying digital photographs on high of what you’d usually see in the true world. For instance, Google launched a expertise referred to as Lens at I/O two years in the past. It’s a software that allows you to seek for data on stuff by way of your telephone’s digital camera. For instance, you possibly can see digital directional arrows in your telephone’s display if you’re in Google Maps’ navigation mode. Or you possibly can see assessment details about a restaurant if you level your digital camera at a retailer entrance. It would not be a shock if Google provided extra perception into its imaginative and prescient for AR or VR.Google Lens helps you to seek for stuff along with your telephone’s digital camera.
    Josh Miller/CNET
    Nest Hub MaxLast month, Google appeared to by chance leak its personal product: The firm’s retailer web site made point out of the Nest Home Hub, with a “10-inch HD screen and stereo speakers.” The system may also reportedly have a built-in Nest Cam.In the previous few years, Google has sometimes reserved a lot of its hardware declares for its annual “Made by Google” occasion. (That would additionally embrace Nest, which Google absorbed final 12 months.) But an enormous hardware reveal at I/O would not be out of the atypical. The firm unveiled the unique Google Home sensible speaker on the convention three years in the past.Pixel 3aRumors have swirled a few midrange model of Google’s flagship telephone, reportedly referred to as the Pixel 3a. In one other obvious Google on-line retailer slipup, the corporate touted a “Pixel 3a — NEW” within the telephones part of the web site, earlier than scrubbing away the point out. To feed the hypothesis much more: Earlier this week, the Google retailer web site teased “something big coming to the Pixel universe” on May 7, the identical day because the Google I/O keynote.Google StadiaLast month, Google took the wraps off of Stadia, a brand new cloud-based gaming platform. The concept is to stream video video games straight from Google’s knowledge facilities, as an alternative of a console. The platform additionally has tie-ins to YouTube and can let folks share playable snippets of video games by sending hyperlinks. There are nonetheless a number of unknowns. We do not know but if Stadia may have a subscription mannequin or how a lot it may cost a little. We additionally do not know a lot about what sort of gaming catalog it’s going to have. When the search large introduced Stadia on the Game Developers Conference in March, the corporate stated it might give extra particulars “in the summer,” presumably on the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles. But it is attainable Google may tease us with extra about Stadia at I/O, too.

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