What to expect from Google I/O 2017

https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/16/what-to-expect-from-google-io-2017/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

Google’s annual I/O developer conference starts on Wednesday. I ecpect it to be full of news and announcements.

The next version of Google’s mobile OS – Android O will likely be revealed. 

Android is going to work beyond smartphones and tablets. Android O could bring additional VR features. 

Google pushes Wear and Wear-related tech and development features at I/O. 

Google is likely to show us a lot around Google Assistant and IoT.

39 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stephanie Condon / ZDNet:
    Google makes its globally distributed relational database, Cloud Spanner, generally available — The globally distributed relational database has garnered “tremendous interest” so far, Google says. — Google on Tuesday is making Cloud Spanner, its globally distributed relational database …

    Google makes Cloud Spanner generally available
    The globally distributed relational database has garnered “tremendous interest” so far, Google says
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/google-makes-cloud-spanner-generally-available/

    Google on Tuesday is making Cloud Spanner, its globally distributed relational database, generally available for mission-critical OLTP (online transaction processing) applications.

    Cloud Spanner’s scalability and strong transactional consistency make it unique in the marketplace, and Google has seen “tremendous interest” in the service since launching it in beta in February, said Google Cloud Product Manager Dominic Preuss told ZDNet.

    “It’s one of the fastest growing services we’ve ever launched,” he said, calling it a serice that “clearly solves customers needs.”

    Google started developing the technology in 2005 and has been running most of its mission-critical applications on Cloud Spanner for the last nine years. It’s now being used in a range of industries for mission-critical applications in the cloud

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bloomberg:
    Source: Google will announce its voice-based AI Assistant is coming to iPhones and that it’s integrating Assistant into GE home appliances at Google I/O — The Alphabet unit plans to expand its voice-based assistant beyond its own hardware at this week’s I/O conference

    Google to Push AI Smarts to iPhone, New Photo Books Service
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-16/google-to-push-ai-smarts-to-iphone-new-photo-books-service

    The Alphabet unit plans to expand its voice-based assistant beyond its own hardware at this week’s I/O conference

    Google’s artificial intelligence software is already inside Android phones, smart speakers and watches. At the Google I/O conference this week, the Alphabet Inc. unit plans to bring it to at least three more places: iPhones, coffee tables and kitchens.

    Google’s voice-based Assistant, unveiled at last year’s I/O and released in the fall, competes with Apple’s Siri and Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa. It is set to land on the iPhone as a free, standalone app

    Google is also integrating its Assistant into GE home appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, washers and dryers. Users will be able to ask the Assistant how many cleaning pods are left in the dishwasher, or tell it to pre-heat the oven to 350F, or ask if the laundry is clean.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
    Google I/O 2017 preview: new capabilities for Assistant and Home, more details about Android O, updates on Daydream and Project Tango, more

    Google I/O 2017: what to expect from the big developer conference
    It kicks off on May 17th
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/15/15637854/google-io-2017-preview-android-o-home-assistant

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google I/O 2017 Keynote live blog
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-io-2017-keynote-live-blog/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

    on May 17, the conference opening keynote kicks off the event, and it tends to be packed to the gills with product and software news.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google.ai aims to make state of the art AI advances accessible to everyone
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-ai-aims-to-make-state-of-the-art-ai-advances-accessible-to-everyone/

    On the stage of Google I/O, CEO Sundar Pichai announced Google.ai, a new initiative to democratize the benefits of the latest in machine learning research. Google.ai will serve as a center of Google’s AI efforts — including research, tools and applied AI.

    The new site will host research from Google and its Brain Team.

    AutoDraw, that makes it possible for unskilled artists to put their ideas on paper, Duet that can play along with piano players and Quick, Draw!, a game where an AI tries to guess your drawings.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Lens will let smartphone cameras understand what they see and take action
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-lens-will-let-smartphone-cameras-understand-what-they-see-and-take-action/

    At Google’s I/O developer conference, CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new technology called Google Lens. The idea with the product is to leverage Google’s computer vision and AI technology in order to bring smarts directly to your phone’s camera. As the company explains, the smartphone camera won’t just see what you see, but will also understand what you see to help you take action.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    Google makes Android Studio 3.0 preview available for download; 20+ new features include performance profiling tools, Instant Apps, Java 8, and Kotlin — At its I/O 2017 developer conference, Google today unveiled Android Studio 3.0, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE).

    Google unveils Android Studio 3.0 with new performance profiling tools, Instant Apps, and Kotlin
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/17/google-unveils-android-studio-3-0-with-new-performance-profiling-tools-instant-apps-and-kotlin/

    At its I/O 2017 developer conference, Google today unveiled Android Studio 3.0, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE). You can download the new version for Windows, Mac, and Linux now directly from developer.android.com/studio. The latest release isn’t yet ready for all developers, but you can get a preview of what’s coming in the Canary channel. The biggest news is Kotlin support, but even if you’re not interested in that, there’s plenty of new functionality as well.

    Google released Android Studio 2.3 in March.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android O beta is available today
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/android-o-beta-is-available-today/

    It’s already been available for a few months as a developer preview, but now the rest of us can finally get our hands on an upcoming version of Android. Android O Beta starts shipping today, if you point your browser over to android.com/beta.

    O adds some nice touches to the Android experience, though nothing quite revolution, making it a fairly minor upgrade in the grand scheme of things. Though the company is clearly doing a lot to help future proof the operating system by building out the backend with a number of new developer tools.

    Also worth noting is the fact that Android on a whole just crossed the two billion monthly active device threshold, in case you had any doubt as far as the ubiquity of the company’s mobile operating system. Of course, fragmentation is still a very real issue with the OS at present.

    After all, Nougat, which officially launched in August of last year, is only currently deployed on around seven-percent of devices, well below the 31 and 32-percent that Marshmallow and Lollipop currently command.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
    Google makes Kotlin a first-class language for writing Android apps
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-makes-kotlin-a-first-class-language-for-writing-android-apps/

    Google today announced that it is making Kotlin, a statically typed programming language for the Java Virtual Machine, a first-class language for writing Android apps. Kotlin’s primary sponsor is JetBrains, the company behind tools like IntelliJ. It’s 100 percent interoperable with Java, which until now was Google’s primary language for writing Android apps (besides C++).

    The company also today said that it will launch a foundation for Kotlin (together with JetBrains). JetBrains open-sourced Kotlin back in 2012 and version 1.0 launched just over a year ago. Google’s own Android Studio, it’s worth noting, is based on the JetBrains IntelliJ Java IDE, and the next version of Android Studio (3.0) will support it out of the box.

    Because Kotlin is interoperable with Java, you could already write Android apps in the language before, but now Google will put its weight behind the language. Kotlin includes support for a number of features that Java itself doesn’t currently support.

    It’s worth noting that the Kotlin announcement garnered what was likely the loudest applause from Google’s I/O keynote announcement today.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    James Vincent / The Verge:
    Google says it’s bringing Smart Reply to Gmail for all iOS and Android English-speaking users, with Spanish support arriving “in the coming weeks”

    Smart Reply is coming to Gmail for Android and iOS
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/17/15651712/google-smart-reply-feature-gmail-android-iphone-io-2017

    Google is using its machine learning prowess to respond to emails for you. The company’s Smart Reply feature (which debuted on its Inbox email app back in 2015 and is also available on Android Wear and Allo) is coming to Gmail on iOS and Android, as announced by CEO Sundar Pichai onstage at Google I/O this year.

    Smart Reply scans the text of an incoming message, and suggests three basic responses the user can tweak and send. The feature is rolling out in English first

    The feature works by using neural networks trained to analyze messages and convert them into numerical codes that represent their meaning.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jordan Kahn / 9to5Google:
    Google announces Payment API for faster checkouts in apps, targeted Android Pay loyalty offers, and sending/receiving money via Assistant in coming months

    Google announces Payment API, Assistant payments, targeted Android Pay loyalty offers & more
    https://9to5google.com/2017/05/18/google-io-payments-api-assistant-android-pay-loyalty-offers/

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Justin Diaz / AndroidHeadlines.com:
    Google unveils voice chat system and shared room feature for YouTube VR in Daydream update coming later in 2017 — Google is adding a shared rooms feature to YouTube VR as part of an update to the app as well as an update to the Daydream platform in general.

    Google Is Adding A Shared Rooms Feature To YouTube VR
    https://www.androidheadlines.com/2017/05/google-adding-shared-rooms-feature-youtube-vr.html

    Google is adding a shared rooms feature to YouTube VR as part of an update to the app as well as an update to the Daydream platform in general. The feature is not yet live and won’t be added into the app until sometime later in 2017, but once it launches YouTube users will be able to do things like engage in voice chat and watch 360-degree videos together for a unique way to experience YouTube that is more akin to enjoying content together with friends who may be in the same room.

    YouTube VR App Now Available To Download From The Play Store
    https://www.androidheadlines.com/2016/11/youtube-vr-app-now-available-to-download-from-the-play-store.html

    If you have been eagerly waiting to get involved with the Daydream platform, then that time is nearing. Google’s debut Daydream-ready headset, the Daydream View goes on general sale tomorrow. Earlier today and just ahead of that launch, a number of Daydream-ready apps started surfacing on the Google Play Store. These including apps from Google like Street View, as well as big name apps like Fantastic Beasts and CNN VR. As well as a number of games including Hunters Gate, The Turning Forest, The Guardian VR and Mekorma VR. Now, it seems another one can be added to the list as the YouTube VR app has now made its way to the Google Play Store.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adi Robertson / The Verge:
    Google to update Daydream VR platform later this year with 2D function panel overlay, Chrome, screen capture, Google Cast support, and more — Google’s Daydream VR platform is getting its first major software revamp later this year, nudging the

    Google Daydream is getting a big software update and its own VR web browser
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/18/15656870/google-daydream-vr-euphrates-update-browser-cast-io-2017

    Google’s Daydream VR platform is getting its first major software revamp later this year, nudging the interface toward being a more full-featured operating system. The update, codenamed Daydream Euphrates, will roll out to all phones with Daydream support. As part of a larger move to support self-contained headsets that aren’t powered by phones, it will add a 2D panel that pops up on top of virtual environments, giving all users better access to normal Android functions in VR.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Steven Levy / Backchannel:
    Google VP Clay Bavor and Tango engineering director Johnny Lee talk about firm’s approach to immersive computing, including AR and VR, standalone VR headset

    Inside Google’s Slow-Mo VR Moonshot
    Clay Bavor knows immersive computing is a long-term project. Here’s what he’s doing to make it happen faster.
    https://backchannel.com/inside-googles-slow-mo-vr-moonshot-c1c739d310aa

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kyle Orland / Ars Technica:
    Google expands Daydream VR to a new platform for untethered, standalone VR headsets with positional tracking; first products coming this year from Lenovo, HTC

    Google announces untethered, fully tracked, standalone VR headsets
    Also: New “visual position system” is an AR Google Maps for indoors.
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/05/google-announces-untethered-fully-tracked-standalone-vr-headsets/

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
    Google releases the first beta of Android O — It’s already been available for a few months as a developer preview, but now the rest of us can finally get our hands on an upcoming version of Android. Android O Beta starts shipping today, if you point your browser over to android.com/beta.

    Android O beta is available today
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/android-o-beta-is-available-today/

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
    Google makes Kotlin a first-class language for writing Android apps
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-makes-kotlin-a-first-class-language-for-writing-android-apps/

    Google today announced that it is making Kotlin, a statically typed programming language for the Java Virtual Machine, a first-class language for writing Android apps. Kotlin’s primary sponsor is JetBrains, the company behind tools like IntelliJ. It’s 100 percent interoperable with Java, which until now was Google’s primary language for writing Android apps (besides C++).

    The company also today said that it will launch a foundation for Kotlin (together with JetBrains). JetBrains open-sourced Kotlin back in 2012 and version 1.0 launched just over a year ago. Google’s own Android Studio, it’s worth noting, is based on the JetBrains IntelliJ Java IDE, and the next version of Android Studio (3.0) will support it out of the box.

    Because Kotlin is interoperable with Java, you could already write Android apps in the language before, but now Google will put its weight behind the language. Kotlin includes support for a number of features that Java itself doesn’t currently support.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Let’s sum up Google’s VR strategy so far: Making life less crap for a lonely 20-something
    Eyeball-chasing ad giant literally traps your eyeballs
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/18/google_daydream/

    Google I/O Google wants more for its Daydream virtual reality platform than phone displays framed in cheap cardboard.

    At its annual outdoor developer festival and tanning experiment, Google I/O, the Chocolate Factory presented minions to talk up the arrival of standalone VR headsets from HTC and Lenovo toward the end of the year.

    By severing the tether to a PC, this self-contained face-hugging hardware will free wearers to bump into furniture and other tangible objects. And it may make participating in VR a bit more fun.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s latest platform play is artificial intelligence, and it’s already winning
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/18/15657256/google-ai-machine-learning-tensorflow-io-2017-platform-play

    Google has always used its annual I/O conference to connect to developers in its sprawling empire. It announces new tools and initiatives, sprinkles in a little hype, and then tells those watching: choose us, and together we’ll go far. But while in previous years this message has been directed at coders working with Android and Chrome — the world’s biggest mobile OS and web browser respectively — yesterday, CEO Sundar Pichai made it clear that the next platform the company wants to dominate could be even bigger: artificial intelligence.

    For Google, this doesn’t just mean using AI to improve its own products. (Although it’s certainly doing that). The company wants individuals and small companies around the world to also get on board. It wants to wield influence in the wider AI ecosystem, and to do so has put together an impressive stack of machine learning tools — from software to servers — that mean you can build an AI product from the ground up without ever leaving the Google playpen.

    The heart of this offering is Google’s machine learning software TensorFlow.

    “There’s hardly a way around TensorFlow these days,” says Samim Winiger, head of machine learning design studio Samim.io. “I use a lot of open source learning libraries, but there’s been a major shift to TensorFlow.”

    But TensorFlow is also popular for one particularly important reason: it’s good at what it does. “With TensorFlow you get something that scales quickly, works quickly,”

    Google offers TensorFlow for free, but it connects easily with the company’s servers for providing data storage or computing power. (“If you use the TensorFlow library it means you can push [products] to Google’s cloud more easily,” says Donkin.) The search giant has even created its own AI-specific chips

    Other firms like Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft also offer their own AI tools, but it’s Google’s that feel pre-eminent. Winiger thinks this is partly down to the company’s capacity to shape the media narrative, but also because of the strong level of support it provides to its users. “There are technical differences between [different AI frameworks], but machine learning communities live off community support and forums, and in that regard Google is winning,” he tells The Verge.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jordan Kahn / 9to5Google:
    Google announces Payment API for faster checkouts in apps, targeted Android Pay loyalty offers, and sending/receiving money via Assistant in coming months”

    Google announces Payment API, Assistant payments, targeted Android Pay loyalty offers & more
    https://9to5google.com/2017/05/18/google-io-payments-api-assistant-android-pay-loyalty-offers/

    As part of its Google I/O announcements this week, Google announced its latest new payments features today, including new targeted offers coming to Android Pay, a new Google API that will enable fast checkouts in apps and online, payments with Google Assistant, and more.

    For Assistant, users will soon be able to send and receive money using only voice commands and a card linked to their Google account:

    The new Google Payment API, which will work with both verified credit or debit cards linked to a Google account, is launching to enable faster payments in apps and online by requiring only a security code or authentication with an Android device to complete a purchase. Google is accepting sign ups for developers that are interested in getting early access to the new API.

    In addition, Google confirmed that Android Pay —now available in 10 markets— will soon be coming to Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain and Taiwan.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s TensorFlow Lite brings machine learning to Android devices
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/googles-tensorflow-lite-brings-machine-learning-to-android-devices/

    While discussing the future of Android at Google I/O, Dave Burke, a VP of engineering, announced a new version of TensorFlow optimized for mobile called TensorFlow lite. The new library will allow developers to build leaner deep learning models designed to run on Android smartphones.

    As Google rolls out a greater number of AI-enabled services that run on Android, it makes sense to use a dedicated framework that is faster and less bloated. Google is open sourcing its work and plans to release an API later in the year.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google brings hands-free calling, proactive alerts to Home
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-brings-hands-free-calling-visual-responses-to-home/

    Home is about to get a lot more powerful with voice-calling, new notifications and response systems and a bunch of new music/video services.

    Perhaps the biggest addition was to Home is hands-free calling. You can now call any landline or mobile phone in the US or Canada for free just by asking your Google Home to make a call. Earlier this month, Amazon launched voice calling and messaging on the Echo and Alexa app, though all devices must have Alexa or the Alexa app downloaded.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to install kotlin programming language on Ubuntu/Debian Linux
    https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/how-to-install-kotlin-programming-language-on-ubuntudebian-linux/

    Kotlin is a free and open source statically-typed programming language. It runs on the JVM, and one can compile to JavaScript source code. Kotlin is similar to Apple’s Swift. One can write server-side or Android apps in it. This page shows you how to install the latest version of Kotlin programming language on on Ubuntu or Debian Linux.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Pierce / Wired:
    Google I/O showcased a lot of good ideas and impressive research, but little practical application

    Google’s Perfect Future Will Always Be Just Around The Corner
    https://www.wired.com/2017/05/googles-perfect-future-will-always-just-around-corner/

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google announces the first preview of Android Studio 3.0, puts emphasis on speed and smarts
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/17/google-announces-the-first-preview-of-android-studio-3-0-puts-emphasis-on-speed-and-smarts/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    The vast majority of Android developers use Google’s own Android Studio integrated development environment (IDE). Google offered a first look at what Android Studio 3.0 will look like. Most of these upcoming features are now available in the Android Studio early release channel.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s Perfect Future Will Always Be Just Around The Corner
    https://www.wired.com/2017/05/googles-perfect-future-will-always-just-around-corner/

    As expected, the opening keynote of Google’s I/O 2017 developer conference was a doozy. For two and a half hours, CEO Sundar Pichai and a handful of execs rattled off a staggering list of futuristic features and products: A camera that understands what it sees! AI tools a high-schooler can use to help detect cancer! An omniscient, omnipresent virtual assistant! Independent, incredible, immersive virtual reality! To watch the address was to feel like the future had just arrived, all at once, right before your eyes.

    Then you go down the list of actual new things, the stuff you can try right now. An Assistant app for iPhone, a way of sending simple email replies without typing them, Google for Jobs. And you realize I/O felt less like a Jobsian product reveal and more like a TED talk: good ideas, educated guesses, and impressive research, but precious little practical application. The same could be said for last year’s event, too. Remember that awesome Google Home launch video? You’re still waiting for many of the things it promised. It was a vision for a product, not a product.

    Google’s not alone. In many ways, the entire tech world finds itself in limbo. The internet, smartphones, and Facebook conquered the world and are now ubiquitous. Meanwhile, the next wave of technology lingers just around the corner: Self-driving cars ruling the road, a world filtered through augmented-reality glasses, and artificial intelligence in every person, place, and thing. All of that and more is definitely coming. Someday. And every day it doesn’t, it feels late.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Google’s band of hardware pirates has re-invented itself after its legendary leader jumped ship
    http://nordic.businessinsider.com/google-atap-2017-5?op=1&r=US&IR=T

    How Google’s band of hardware pirates has re-invented itself after its legendary leader jumped ship

    Steve Kovach 16 May 2017 10:08 PM

    Regina Dugan (left) and Google’s Rick Osterloh
    Samantha Lee/Business Insider; Facebook; Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

    Almost three years ago, one of Google’s most celebrated executives took the stage at the company’s big developer conference and declared that the future was being built in a secretive hardware group she led.

    “You’re going to get a glimpse of a small band of pirates trying to do epic shit,” she said, referencing nearly a dozen ambitious technology products under development and touting the team’s quick pace of execution.

    Today Regina Dugan, the Google executive, is gone, and the remaining members of the crew she had assembled have made limited progress turning the bold vision into reality.

    Google’s Advanced Technologies and Products group, or ATAP, still works in its own secure building on the outskirts of the Google campus, but the mission, culture, and spirit are much different than they once were, current and former members of the group told Business Insider.

    “We’re not being pirates anymore,” said one person involved with ATAP. “We’re lowering the flag.”

    Instead of dreaming up far-fetched research and development projects, the ATAP group now functions more like a product division tasked with shipping market-ready goods. The team of engineers and software developers now works more closely with sales and marketing employees in Google’s consumer hardware division.

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Launches Security Services for Android
    http://www.securityweek.com/google-launches-security-services-android

    Google this week launched a set of security services designed to bring improved protection and visibility for Android users.

    Dubbed Google Play Protect, the new product is built into all devices with Google Play and should provide “comprehensive security services for Android,” the Internet giant says.

    “Whether you’re checking email for work, playing Pokémon Go with your kids or watching your favorite movie, confidence in the security of your device and data is important,” Edward Cunningham, Product Manager, Android Security, notes.

    “We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we are doubling down on our commitment to security,” he continues.

    There are 2 billion active Android devices globally and Google performs more than 50 billion application scans every day to keep them safe.

    Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect
    https://blog.google/products/android/google-play-protect/

    We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we are doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In the AI wars, Microsoft now has the clearer vision
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/21/in-the-ai-wars-microsoft-now-has-the-clearer-vision/

    A week ago, Microsoft held its Build developer conference in its backyard in Seattle. This week, Google did the same in an amphitheater right next to its Mountain View campus. While Microsoft’s event felt like it embodied the resurgence of the company under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Google I/O — and especially its various, somewhat scattershot keynotes — fell flat this year.

    The two companies have long been rivals, of course, but now — maybe more than ever — they are on a collision course that has them compete in cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, productivity applications and virtual and augmented reality.

    And while Google mostly celebrated itself during its main I/O keynote, Nadella spent a good chunk of time during his segment on celebrating and empowering developers in a way that felt very genuine.

    Having spent a few days at both events, I couldn’t help coming home thinking that it may be Microsoft that has the more complete vision for this AI-first world we’ll soon live in — and if Google has it, it didn’t do a good job articulating it at I/O this year.

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted during his keynote segment that the company is moving from being a mobile first company to an AI first one. Microsoft is essentially on the same path, even as its CEO Satya Nadella phrased it differently. Neither company really mentioned the other during its keynote events, but the parallels here are pretty clear.

    The two marquee products both companies used to show off their AI prowess were surprisingly similar. For Microsoft, that was Story Remix, a very nifty app that automatically makes interesting home videos our of your photos and videos. For Google, it was Google Photos, which is using its machine learning tech to help you share your best photos more easily. Remix is a far more fun and interesting product

    Google Lens, which can identify useful information in images, looks like it could be really useful
    Google also still offers Google Goggles, an app that allowed you to identify objects around you for a few years now. I think Google forgot that even existed, as it’s sometimes prone to do.

    At the core of the two companies’ AI efforts for consumers are Microsoft Cortana and the Google Assistant. This is one area where Google remains clearly ahead of Microsoft, simply because it offers more hardware surfaces for accessing it and because it knows more about the user (and the rest of the world). Cortana works well enough, but because it mostly lives on the desktop and isn’t really connected to the rest of your devices, using it never comes natural.

    In the virtual personal assistant arena, Google actually had some interesting announcements (though things like making calls on Google Home fell a bit flat, too, simply because Amazon announced this same feature for its Echo speakers a few days earlier).

    With the Microsoft Graph, it’s worth mentioning, Microsoft is now building a fabric that will tie all of your devices and applications together. Whether that will work as planned remains to be seen, but it’s a bold project that could have wide-reaching consequences for how you use Microsoft’s tools, even on Android, in the future.

    Both Microsoft and Google used their events to announce relatively evolutionary updates to their flagship operating systems. Google, of course, had already pre-announced Android O and Microsoft had already pre-announced that it’ll now offer two Windows 10 releases a year, so the fact that we’ll get a new update in the fall really wasn’t a surprise.

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s huge 4K touchscreen whiteboard is now on sale for $5K
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/googles-huge-4k-touchscreen-whiteboard-is-now-on-sale-for-5k/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

    Google’s Jamboard is not a kitchen app for curating PB&J recipes – it’s a 55-inch digital whiteboard, with pen and touch input, companion iOS and Android apps, an Nvidia Jetson TX1 processor on board and 4K resolution. The behemoth is an enterprise-focused collaboration tool

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  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Attribution is a free and easy way to evaluate marketing efforts
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/google-attribution-is-a-free-and-easy-way-to-evaluate-marketing-efforts/

    At Google’s Marketing Next conference, the company is announcing a new beta for Google Attribution, a free tool for examining the role that different marketing strategies play in customer purchasing decisions.

    Regardless of device or marketing channel, Google wants Attribution to be a home for evaluating marketing campaigns. By creating a tight loop between strategy, ad spend and feedback, Google aims to make the tool attractive to marketers that feel last-click models don’t sufficiently explain customer behavior.

    A panacea for attribution is not a new construct in the world of marketing. Companies like Adobe and startups like BrightFunnel and Bizible have been developing tools for years that allow marketers to break the old last-click paradigm.

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  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Lens leverages computer vision and artificial intelligence to understand images
    http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/2017/05/google-lens-leverages-computer-vision-and-artificial-intelligence-to-understand-images.html?cmpid=enl_vsd_vsdnewsletter_2017-05-30

    At Google’s I/O Developer Conference from May 17-19, CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new technology called “Google Lens” that utilizes computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies that enables your smartphone to understand what you’re looking at and help act based on that information.

    “So for example if you run into something and you want to know what it is—say a flower—you can invoke Google Lens from your assistant, point your phone at it and we can tell you what flower it is,” said Sundar Pichai, Google CEO at the conference. “Or, if you’ve ever been at a friend’s place and you’ve crawled under a desk just to get the username and password from a Wi-Fi router, you can point your phone at it and we can automatically do the hard work for you.”

    He added, “Or, if you’re walking in a street downtown and you see a set of restaurants across you, you can point your phone, because we know where you are, and we have our Knowledge Graph, and we know what you’re looking at, we can give you the right information in a meaningful way.”

    Pichai noted that Google was built because they “started understanding text and web pages, so the fact that computers can understand images and video has profound implications for our core mission.”

    Google Lens will first ship in Google Assistant and Photos, and will come to other products in the future.

    Reply

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