We gather once again at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, to check out all the latest that Google has in store for 2018: updates to Android P, Google Assistant, Android TV, Android Auto, AR, and more. Will CEO Sundar Pichai review Android P’s official name? What’s new with the Google Home? Will there be a surprise hardware announcement? Whatever happens, The Verge has you covered with all the latest headlines out of Google I/O 2018.
May 8, 2018
With Android P, Google is taking an ambitious approach to its user interface design with two new concepts it’s introducing to developers today: “Actions” and “Slices.” Described in detail onstage at the company’s I/O developer conference keynote this morning, Actions and Slices are ways for third-party app features and even visual design to permeate parts of the Android OS, most notably in search and within Google Assistant.Read Article >
Actions are like shortcuts or recipes, similar to the action terminology Google created for Assistant (or an Alexa Skill created by Amazon), that let a user quickly access a deeper function of an app with the touch of a button or a voice command. Some examples here could be calling a Lyft ride home or reordering your favorite meal from a take-out restaurant. Google says Actions can be created for any third-party app, and they’ll live in Android P’s search bar, in the Play Store, within Assistant, and in a customizable fashion on your home screen.
May 8, 2018
The Android team worked with Alphabet’s DeepMind to add AI to battery management, in a new feature called “Adaptive Battery.” The AI will monitor your phone’s battery consumption and will shut down apps running in the background that you haven’t touched for a while. It will also adjust your phone’s brightness based on your habits.Read Article >
It only spends battery on the apps that you generally use and Android says it has seen an average of a 30 percent reduction in CPU usage when waking up apps. The data is supposed to stay private on your phone, since it’s AI running solely on your device, says Dave Burke, VP of engineering on the Android team.
May 8, 2018
Android P is shaping up to a be a big update for Google’s operating system, down to the basic way you navigate the OS, which Google is overhauling in P with a new, gesture-based system similar to the one on the iPhone X (or Palm’s webOS, if you prefer to trace these things back to their original source).Read Article >
As rumored, instead of the familiar, three-icon array of on-screen buttons that have been a mainstay on Android phones for years (even Samsung, a longtime holdout for real buttons, uses them now), Android P borrows a page from Apple’s book and offers a single, oblong line at the bottom of the screen that you’ll use to swipe around the OS. Some things are still the same. Just like before, you’ll be able to tap to go back to the home, and holding down the home button will still bring up Google Assistant.
May 8, 2018
This year, Google is doing something different with Android. Instead of showing you all the ways you can use its phone operating system to do more, it’s creating features to help you use it less.Read Article >
Android P, due out later this year, will have a new dashboard that tells you how often, when, and for how long you are using every app on your phone. It will also allow you to set limits on yourself. You could give yourself a half-hour of Instagram per day, for example. Once your 30 minutes is up, the icon will go from its usual eye-catching gradient to a dull grayscale.
May 8, 2018
Onstage at I/O 2018, Google showed off a jaw-dropping new capability of Google Assistant: in the not too distant future, it’s going to make phone calls on your behalf. CEO Sundar Pichai played back a phone call recording that he said was placed by the Assistant to a hair salon. The voice sounded incredibly natural; the person on the other end had no idea they were talking to a digital AI helper. Google Assistant even dropped in a super casual “mmhmmm” early in the conversation.Read Article >
Pichai reiterated that this was a real call using Assistant and not some staged demo. “The amazing thing is that Assistant can actually understand the nuances of conversation,” he said. “We’ve been working on this technology for many years. It’s called Google Duplex.”
May 8, 2018Read Article >
Google says six new voices are coming to the Google Assistant, including that of singer John Legend. The company made the announcement at its I/O developer conference today. These voices were created through WaveNet, which the company says helped it not only record John Legend’s voice, but then incorporate it into the assistant voice repertoire to work for any query. Legend’s voice, among others, will come to the Assistant later this year. The new voices will be included in phones and home speakers, of course.
May 8, 2018
At its annual developer conference, Google announced a new feature coming to Gmail called Smart Compose.Read Article >
An extension of Gmail’s Smart Reply feature, Smart Compose will suggest complete sentences within the body of an email as you are writing. It will operate in the background, and if you see a phrase pop up that you like, just hit tab to select it, and the text will auto-populate. Not only will this help save time when writing emails, Google says it will help reduce the chance of you sending off something with a grammar or spelling error (if that’s a problem for you).
May 8, 2018
Google Photos is one of the easiest and best ways to back up all of the images you take with your phone. Today, Google announced a handful of new improvements for the service.Read Article >
The most interesting of the new features is the ability to utilize artificial intelligence to automatically colorizes old black-and-white photos. Presumably, you’d take a picture of the old photo with your phone, and then Google Photos will analyze it and produce a colorized file of it.
May 8, 2018
Now that iOS and Android are approaching technical maturity, new updates to these operating systems no longer feel revolutionary. The new stuff we get every year is boiling down to smarter notification handling, under-the-hood upgrades, screen notch adaptations, and “borrowing” good ideas from one another. As Google prepares to take the wraps off its next big iteration, Android P, at Google I/O 2018, I have an idea for an alliterative theme: make it Android P for Privacy.Read Article >
Facebook’s data breach scandal has been the biggest tech story so far this year, forcing the company’s CEO to answer questions before Congress and the rest of us to consider the full extent of what we share with online services and the security of that personal information once it’s in their hands. This increased concern with privacy isn’t going to abate anytime soon, and Facebook won’t be alone in having to answer tough questions. Google, the world’s premier vendor of web services subsidized by user data, should be scrutinized just as closely as Facebook, because it endeavors to collect just as much, probably more, minutiae about its users’ lives in order to sell more valuable ads.
May 8, 2018
We’re in the middle of a very busy developer conference season: Google I/O 2018 is kicking off today, which is also day two of Microsoft Build keynotes, and we only just wrapped Facebook F8 ahead of Apple’s big developer event next month. But now that you’re here, we hope you’re ready to hear more about this year’s updates to Android, AI, Google Assistant, Automotive, Wear OS, and all the other new ideas that Google has for the future of its platforms.Read Article >
Once again, Google I/O will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, with an opening keynote led by CEO Sundar Pichai. The biggest news of the day will be what’s coming next in the latest version of Android, codenamed “P.” Will the company reveal the sweet treat that “P” stands for (popsicle?) at this year’s keynote? You’ll have to watch to find out, along with more news on all things Google.
May 7, 2018
Google may announce a new set of Android controls tomorrow at its annual developer conference that will help individuals and families manage how much time they’re spending on mobile devices, The Washington Post reports.Read Article >
It won’t be the first time Google has created controls for monitoring phone use. Google already offers a set of family control tools called Family Link which let parents restrict their children’s app usage time and remotely lock devices.
May 7, 2018
Google is partnering with JBL to develop a new hybrid device that blends a standard sound bar with a streaming set-top box. The new product, called the JBL Link Bar, will work as an audio hub for your living room, but it will also run Android TV and come with Google Assistant integration to enable voice search and control.Read Article >
It’s an interesting combination of home entertainment products, and it’s sure to strike a little bit of a fear into Sonos, which is planning what sounds like a similar product to be unveiled on June 6th.
May 7, 2018
Google’s platform for smart devices, Android Things, is ready to start shipping inside consumer gadgets. Android Things is hitting its 1.0 release today after launching to developers at the end of 2016. Google says the first devices — which include speakers from LG and iHome, and smart displays from LG, Lenovo, and JBL — will be released over the next several months.Read Article >
Android Things is a development platform that’s meant to make it easier for hardware companies to start building a gadget. It lets Google handle some of the software and intelligence features, while allowing hardware companies to code for it using the Android tools they’re likely already familiar with. It’s not clear exactly how much easier this makes things, but it probably simplifies development particularly for gadgets that are going to end up with Google Assistant features or Cast capabilities in them.
May 7, 2018
Google’s previously announced integration with Volvo cars is finally solidifying. Ahead of this week’s I/O developer conference, the company announced today that it will add Google Maps, Assistant, and Google Play Store to the Sensus infotainment system in Volvo’s next-generation cars over the next few years. Volvo announced at last year’s conference that it was working with Google on building an Android-powered infotainment system, but now we know it will soon be possible for owners to tap into some of the most popular Android Auto features without requiring an Android phone.Read Article >
It’s an important salvo in the ongoing war for control over the main screen in your car. And it continues the work that Google started last year when it announced at I/O that Volvo and Audi would roll out branded infotainment systems built on Android Nougat 7.0. Now, before long, people will be able to hop into a new Volvo car and have access to some of the most-used functions you’d expect to find in “normal” Android Auto.
May 5, 2018
For a company as big and sprawling as Google, an annual developer conference can feel overwhelming. And, frankly, it is. Google offers a dizzying number of services and dabbles in almost every consumer tech industry under the sun, including seven core products with more than a billion users each. But the company has a measured tempo when it comes to Google I/O, and we’ve come to understand how it prioritizes certain products over others come May every year.Read Article >
At this year’s I/O, which will be held again at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California starting Tuesday, May 8th, we know we’ll be hearing about the future of Android and Google’s artificial intelligence efforts. But there will also be news on everything from its new wearable platform, Wear OS, and Google Assistant to Android TV, Google Home, Google Play, and Search. This is the time of the year when Google pulls out all the stops to showcase how its software is smarter and more forward-looking than the products from its rivals Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft.