Google Assistant is set to get smarter…and more at Google I/O

May 20, 2019

You could be forgiven for thinking Google’s big I/O 2019 was all about the launch of the Pixel 3a smart phone, but that’s not necessarily the case.

The tech giant used the opportunity to reveal a host of new improvements to renowned Google services along with launching an all-new smart speaker under a totally new moniker.

Here’s a quick recap of Google I/O…

What is Google I/O?

Like almost every tech company, each year Google schedules a major event to unveil what it’s been up to over the preceding 12 months. And since 2018, it turns out Google’s been very, very busy.

This year at I/O they unveiled a budget smart phone, released a new smart speaker, showed off their new Android Q operating system and also announced upgrades to their core business assets of Google Assistant and the general Google search engine.

Here’s a snapshot of exactly what occurred…

Google Assistant gets even smarter

As CES 2019 indicated, Google Assistant is now everywhere – from your smart phone to your smart home, PC, tablet and laptop.

But now she’s set to get even smarter. This year Google has figured out to shrink the data required for your smart assistant, which means she’s about to get a whole lot faster when it comes to processing voice requests.

She’s also a lot more intuitive, undertaking some tasks like stopping timers at the command of “stop” and without the need to activate her by saying “Hey Google”.

Meanwhile, a host of new features are set to make their way into the mainstream like Google Duplex which allows you to complete mundane tasks like booking a hair appointment or planning a trip with ease.

Tech Radar explains: “Ask Google Assistant to plan a trip, and it’ll begin filling in website forms such as reservation details, hire car bookings and more, on your behalf. It just awaits you to confirm the details it’s inputted”.

Google Pixel Holder

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Nest Hub Max

As predicted, Google did indeed reveal a new and larger smart speaker complete with 10-inch screen and camera. And now it will be called the Nest Home Max.

Nest Home Max features voice and facial recognition, ensuring recommendations are tailored to the specific user. It can access YouTube videos and allows users to make calls. It also comes with a nifty feature that allows you to turn its volume down simply by raising your hand in front of the display.

Nest Hub Max is tipped to launch in July.

Google Search

There was no chance Google was forgetting its pedigree as a search engine at this year’s developer event, and AR was a major focus.

The company announced a new integration that sees a device’s camera and augmented reality integrated into Search to offer 3D models amongst search results.

“Google's on-stage demonstration showed how a medical student could search for a muscle group, and be presented within mobile search results with a 3D representation of the body part,” Tech Radar explains.

“Not only could it be played with within the search results, it could be placed on the user’s desk to be seen at real scale from your smartphones screen. Even larger things, like an AR shark, could be put into your AR screen, straight from the app.”

Android Q

The possible features of operating system Android Q were a major topic of conversation prior to the I/O event. Google delivered all that was expected and more.

Android Q will feature:
• System-wide dark mode
• Extra security and privacy features
• Foldable phone support
• Live captions for the hearing impaired (or for those who prefer to watch their videos quietly), and:
• Focus mode – which lets you switch off distracting apps when you’re working

And that’s not all

In addition, Google also unveiled Google Lens – a useful little app that helps you split the dining bill, AR powered directions on Google Maps in Pixel phones, and greater data control.

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