Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Google Assistant For Android TV Launching This Year


The overview will come Wednesday during Google's annual conference for thousands of computer programmers. Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivered the opening keynote address to kick off the three-day Google I/O 2017 Conference.

Advanced "Lens" features are being added first to the Google Photo application, which is available free.

But Google, like Microsoft and even Apple, seems to be focusing developer attention more strongly on software and services rather than exclusively on gadgets, analysts said.

Pichai also had updated user stats for some of Google's core devices and tools.

The app is obviously designed for use on a friend's Android device, or for using on your own phone to find a lost tablet or watch.

TensorFlow Lite: As Android continues to take advantage of machine learning to improve the user experience, Google wants its developer partners to be able to do the same.

"Today's release of O Developer Preview 2 is our first beta-quality candidate, available to test on your primary phone or tablet", Google says. It's kind of a freakish thing for Google to get involved in (and the photo albums look awfully generic), but hopefully Google will continue to build on what they've started here. That's the business argument sorted, but instant apps are great news for average users, too. Lenovo has a headset coming as well, and Google stated that other manufacturers are expected to follow suit. Google says Home will also feature "proactive assistance", which means notifying you ahead of time if you need to leave early to beat traffic, for example.

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Google is providing the latest peek at its digital services and gadgets, initially offering a major focus on its efforts to extend artificial intelligence features into more of its apps and services.

One potentially unsettling new feature in Photos will let you automatically share some or all of your photos with other people. "Just ask the Google assistant to make the call and we can connect you to any land or cell line in the USA or Canada completely free", he said. But that segment also contains a number of Google's other businesses, such as its fast-growing cloud service, and trails the $26.5 billion in service revenue Apple reported for the same period.

Google is also crafting a lighter version of Android, referred to as "Go", designed for maximum performance on low-priced, entry-level smartphones in developing countries where internet bandwidth is lean or expensive.

You can point your phone at a restaurant, for instance, and Google Lens will serve up the name of the restaurant as well as any relevant information from Google Places. Android Go will ship in 2018 for all Android devices that have 1 GB or less of memory.

Google is also expanding its Assistant software, which was only available on selected Android phones since its launch in May 2016, onto iPhones.

There's also a dedicated version of the Play Store where developers can create optimised versions of their apps.

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