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

Google unveils latest apps, updates and services

Google unveils latest apps, updates and services

Australians who've wanted to purchase a Google Home or Amazon Echo device have so far needed to either import them from the U.S. or purchase global stock from local vendors like Tandy (which was bought up by Kogan last year).

Uses for such technology are countless: according to Pichai, the app will be able to, for instance, recognize and identify a flower you are going to snap a photo of.

This morning at Google I/O, the company announced some of the bigger new features in the next iteration of its mobile OS, Android O. While it doesn't look to be an overhaul of the OS in any way, these two new features that were announced will have Android fans very interested. The SDK will enable third parties to develop appliances that can be controlled verbally using Google Assistant.

Advanced "Lens" features are being added first to the Google Photo application, which is available free. For example, Google's platform could be used to develop neural nets that are able to make more accurate diagnoses in diseases such as breast cancer, which is notoriously hard for humans to diagnose.

Facebook has been trying to address this issue as well with its Moments app, which lets people share photos with friends and family privately, without posting them to a wider audience. And that could help Google's effort to make Android more appealing than Apple 's iOS mobile operating system.

The really cool news here is that iOS users do not have to really wait for Google Assistant to hit Apple's App Store. Also called Lens, it lets people point their cameras at real-world items and find out where to buy them, or find similar things online.

Details are still sketchy at the moment-and it's still not clear if the service will be available as a standalone app or will be integrated into the main Search app. The Assistant software, using AI, will be able to register the movie title and times, where it will then bring up options for the user to save as a calendar event, book tickets immediately, or find out more information about the movie.

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Google I/O 2017 is happening this week, the annual developer conference where Google spills the beans on what's coming down the line with its software and hardware.

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This all sounds great in theory (and certainly trumps the Echo), but as Google Now has never quite lived up to its promise, we'll reserve judgement till we see it in action.

Wednesday's keynote takes place at an outdoor theater near the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters.

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