New things at Google I/O 2018

Google I/O 2018 is starts soon. I/O tries to bring together developers from around the globe for talks, hands-on learning with Google experts, and a first look at Google’s latest developer products.

The Verge article Eight things to expect at Google I/O 2018 tells that at this year’sI/O, which will be held again at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California starting Tuesday, May 8th, we know we’ll be hearing about the future of Android and Google’s artificial intelligence efforts. But there will also be news on everything from its new wearable platform, Wear OS, and Google Assistant to Android TV, Google Home, Google Play, and Search.  Expect updates to Assistant, Home, and Material Design, more details on Android P, Wear OS, Google News, Chromecast gaming, and more.

For updated check out The Verge Google I/O coverage as they seem to be actively covering the event.

Links to some interesting news:

Android Things, Google’s IoT platform for developers, out of beta with version 1.0, as Google promises to deliver updates for every device for three years 

Google partners with JBL for Android TV-powered sound bar with Google Assistant, slated for later this year, says Android TV’s userbase has been doubling YoY 

Android Auto to get support for RCS, group messaging, better integration with 3rd-party apps, more; new Volvos to have built-in Google Maps, apps, and Assistant 

More links to news coming later to comments section. I am not visiting the event. I just follow news reports on it.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s Duplex AI Has Conversation Indistinguishable From Human’s

    First Google gradually improved its WaveNet text-to-speech neural network to the point where it sounds almost perfectly human. Then they introduced Smart Reply which suggests possible replies to your emails. So it’s no surprise that they’ve announced an enhancement for Google Assistant called Duplex which can have phone conversations for you.

    What is surprising is how well it works

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Brings Android to Internet of Things

    Less than a month after Microsoft announced an operating system built for Internet of Things (IoT) security, Google is releasing its own platform for IoT: Android Things.

    The managed operating system was designed to provide manufacturers with all the ingredients for a winning IoT recipe: certified hardware, rich developer APIs, and secure managed software updates via Google’s infrastructure.

    The platform has been in developer preview until this week, and has already registered over 100,000 SDK downloads, Google says. More than 10,000 developers have provided feedback on Android Things, ultimately leading to the platform’s initial release.

    Android Things 1.0 was released with support for new System-on-Modules (SoMs) based on the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 hardware platforms. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D devices (but not NXP i.MX6UL) will continue to be supported for development purposes.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Tips TPU 3.0 as AI Expands
    Waymo starts driverless car service this year

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The voices Google used for the AI in the demos were not synthesized robotic tones but distinctly human-sounding, in both the female and male flavors it showcased.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mishaal Rahman / XDA Developers:
    Google’s head of Android platform security says Google has started to include the requirements for security patching into its OEM agreements

    Google is starting to require that OEMs roll out regular security patches

    At the annual Google I/O developer conference, the company holds several sessions about updates to the Android platform. During the “What’s new in Android Security” talk, Google‘s head of Android platform security David Kleidermacher talked about the upcoming security changes in the Android P release. Near the beginning of the talk, Mr. Kleidermacher discussed how the company was making it easier for OEMs to roll out security patches thanks to the architectural changes implemented with Project Treble. He followed this statement with a small, but incredibly important tidbit of information: Google has modified their OEM agreements to include provisions for regular security patches.

    “We’ve also worked on building security patching into our OEM agreements. Now this will really … lead to a massive increase in the number of devices and users receiving regular security patches.” – David Kleidermacher, Google’s head of Android platform security

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s new Tour Creator lets students make their own VR tours

    The new app is designed to work with Google Cardboard and Google’s existing VR “field trips” app Expeditions.

    The goal with Expeditions is to let people virtually travel the world to see far off places they may never have the chance to visit in person – like Antarctica or Machu Picchu, for example. Google says that since Expeditions’ arrival in 2015, over three million students have virtually visited places around the globe.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Justin Duino / 9to5Google:
    As part of Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiative, YouTube app for Android now has a “remind me to take a break” option — On stage at I/O 2018, Google announced its digital wellbeing initiative to help people better understand their digital habits.

    ‘Take a break’ wellbeing initiative now rolling out w/ YouTube for Android update

    On stage at I/O 2018, Google announced its digital wellbeing initiative to help people better understand their digital habits. One addition unveiled as part of this initiative was a self-set timer within YouTube to help users from spending too long watching videos. This feature is now live.

    After updating to version 13.18.54 of YouTube for Android, we spotted a new “Remind me to take a break” option. As you can see from the screenshots below, you can have YouTube remind you to stop watching every 15, 30, 60, 90, or 180 minutes. You can find this setting by tapping on your profile pic and then going to Settings > General > Remind me to take a break.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google is weaving itself into the fabric of our lives
    The curious case of the colorize button.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android P will crash unresponsive apps instead of showing ANR dialogs

    It’s always a pain when an Android app triggers that “X Application isn’t responding” dialog. The “Wait” option often doesn’t work, making “Close app” the preferred choice for most users. To alleviate this, Google has simply taken that ANR dialog away from Android P. Instead, unresponsive apps will now automatically crash.

    This new behavior was described on-stage at Google I/O ’18′s Android Protips session.

    Protips: a fresh look at advanced topics for Android experts (Google I/O ’18)

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    YouTube Music, a new music streaming service, is coming soon

    So what is YouTube Music exactly? A new music streaming service from YouTube

    A reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music.
    YouTube Music has thousands of playlists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artist radio and more, in addition to all the music videos people expect from YouTube.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dan Primack / Axios:
    Google declines to provide the names of hair salon and restaurant used in controversial Google Duplex demo, or say whether the calls were edited — Google made headlines by demonstrating an AI-powered voice assistant that made haircut and restaurant reservations, without betraying that it isn’t human.

    What Google isn’t telling us about its AI demo

    Google made headlines by demonstrating an AI-powered voice assistant that made haircut and restaurant reservations, without betraying that it isn’t human. But we have questions about the demos, which purported to be recordings of calls with real businesses.

    Why it matters: Google told both developers and investors that it has created something remarkable, thus increasing its profile and value. When questioned further, however, it will not provide basic evidence to back up its boasts.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Does Google’s Duplex violate two-party consent laws?

    Doesn’t Google recording a person’s voice and sending it to a data center for analysis violate two-party consent law, which requires everyone in a conversation to agree to being recorded? The answer isn’t immediately clear, and Google’s silence isn’t helping.

    Let’s take California’s law as the example, since that’s the state where Google is based and where it used the system. Penal Code section 632 forbids recording any “confidential communication” (defined more or less as any non-public conversation) without the consent of all parties. (The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press has a good state-by-state guide to these laws.)

    To begin with I’m going to consider all phone calls as “confidential” for the purposes of the law. What constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy is far from settled

    As a second assumption, it seems clear that, like most Google services, Duplex’s work takes place in a data center somewhere, not locally on your device.

    There’s no way the system is getting consent from whomever picks up the phone. That would spoil the whole interaction — “This call is being conducted by a Google system using speech recognition and synthesis; your voice will be analyzed at Google data centers. Press 1 or say ‘I consent’ to consent.” I would have hung up after about two words.

    But there’s wiggle room as far as the consent requirement in how the audio is recorded, transmitted and stored.

    What would a functioning but legal Duplex look like? The conversation would likely have to be deconstructed and permanently discarded immediately after intake, the way audio is cached in a device like a hearing aid or a service like digital voice transmission.

    A closer example of this is Amazon, which might have found itself in violation of COPPA, a law protecting children’s data, whenever a kid asked an Echo to play a Raffi song or do long division.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Bergen / Bloomberg:
    Source: Google edited some Duplex calls used in demo to protect identity of businesses involved; one restaurant in the demo may have been identified by Mashable

    Google’s Duplex AI Robot Will Warn That Calls Are Recorded

    Since Google revealed a robo-caller that sounds eerily human earlier this month, the company has faced plenty of questions about how it works. Employees got some answers this week.

    On Thursday, the Alphabet Inc. unit shared more details on how the Duplex robot-calling feature will operate when it’s released publicly, according to people familiar with the discussion. Duplex is an extension of the company’s voice-based digital assistant that automatically phones local businesses and speaks with workers there to book appointments.

    At Google’s weekly TGIF staff meeting on Thursday, executives gave employees their first full Duplex demo and told them the bot would identify itself as the Google assistant. It will also inform people on the phone that the line is being recorded in certain jurisdictions, the people said

    Google introduced Duplex earlier this month at its I/O developer conference, playing several clips of its assistant booking a hair cut and a restaurant table with impressively casual speech. The demo impressed developers, but mortified others who criticized Google for presenting an artificially intelligent bot that posed as human.

    Two days after the demo, Google said the service will be “appropriately identified” on calls.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Linux apps on Chrome OS means for open source

    Jack Wallen considers what running Linux apps on Chrome OS means for users and the open source community.

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