This week, Google held its annual conference for developers – Google I/O 2019 – in Mountain View, California.
Like every other year, Google made a number of announcements regarding its products, software and new features that they would be rolling out. Now if you do not want to go through hours worth of live sessions, we’ve got you covered with a round up of every major announcement made at this year’s conference.
#1. PIXEL SMARTPHONES
For the first time ever, Google debuted a smartphone at the I/O. The new models – Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL – Google’s affordable alternatives to the premium Pixel smartphones, priced at just $399 and $479 respectively.
You can read more about the model specifications here.
Google has rebranded the products under Google Home to become a part of the Nest product group. Price cuts have been announced for the original Nest Hub, and Google also launched a new product dubbed the ‘Nest Hub Max’. The Nest devices will be losing IFTTT support in August and will have new and updated privacy features as well as enhance Google integration.
#3. ANDROID Q
At the I/O Conference, the company announced that Beta 3 of its latest Android version – Android Q – is live now. This is coming to 21 more devices across 23 brands, which is more devices than ever.
Many features for this Android version have been announced, such as native support for foldable and 5G devices, different accent colors, multiple sharing tools, secret desktop mode, live captions, dark theme, family link, robust parental controls, focus mode and many more. One major feature was the launch of Project Mainline, whereby newer version of Android and security updates will be deployed to your devices faster. It was also announced that there are 2.5 billion currently active Android devices in the world.
#4. NEXT-GEN GOOGLE ASSISTANT
Google announced that its already efficient Duplex AI is getting even better, and will be coming to the web soon. Other announcements made were that the next-generation Google Assistant will be insanely fast, and will be able to execute commands on-device. The Assistant is now available in Vietnamese and has new ‘Picks for you’ and assignable reminders. The new Driving Mode will replace Android Auto. In addition, Google is working to make voice integration more efficient and deploying deeper app and service integrations.
#5. UPDATES TO NATIVE GOOGLE APPS
The native Google apps will also be getting quite a few updates. The rather popular app, Calendar, is getting an update which will make scheduling meetings and events far easier. The video chatting app Duo will also be rolling out an update introducing group video calls. As for Google Maps, there will be AR walking navigation, as well as incognito mode. Waze will be getting a Google Assistant in the next few weeks, and Google Sheets will become far more efficient, as it will soon remove duplicates, trim white spaces and receive many new keyboard shortcuts.
A lot of announcements were made regarding Google devices. The Assistant will get more interactive on smart displays, and soon enough you will be able to scream ‘stop’ and shut off those annoying alarms because of Project DIVA. Google Assistant is now compatible with over 30,000 connected devices, and will soon support 16 more smartphone device types. It will also be getting local smart home commands for speakers and smart displays. All Chromebooks launching in 2019 will support Linux and all smart displays will soon have a YouTube TV interface. The Android TV will be getting a new Play Store UI later this year, and the company is prototyping foldable phones, following Samsung’s footsteps.
#7. GOOGLE DEVELOPER SUPPORT
Google announced that modifications to the back-end of Google Play will be changing app delivery significantly. In-app updates API has been made available to all developers, and Google will soon be sharing guidelines on how to create dark themes for apps. The Android Studio Beta 3.5 has been released, and the company is exploring cross-platform UI development for apps. A major announcement made was that it is now mandatory for 64-bit devices running Android Q or higher to support Vulkan 1.1.
#8. OTHER KEY ANNOUNCEMENTS
Apart from all the product and software related announcements, Google made a couple of announcements. It announced that richer Google News and Podcast is coming to search, along with 3D AR models. Google will be introducing enhanced data and privacy controls to all accounts. The company is also working on deepening its AI in order to prevent AI bias.