Thursday May 26, 2016 – Last week, Google held a conference where the company announced what it has planned for the coming months.
Google’s 2016 I/O conference for software developers took place in Mountain View, California. The event was held just a short distance from Google’s headquarters.
This year the company talked about combining mobile and search products with new services, other products and application programs, better known as apps.
Google Assistant is an example. Google Assistant is a service designed to help users get things done. It learns about you through your questions, as if you were talking to a person who knows you.
Using advanced technology, Google Assistant can communicate as if it were a real person. For example, someone is standing in front of a sculpture and asks Google Assistant, “Who is the artist?” The service would know where the person asking the question was and what he or she was talking about, providing the name of the sculpture’s artist as the answer.
So the user can then say, “When was he born?” and Google Assistant would know the question relates to the artist named in the earlier answer.
The service can also search a user’s photographs and videos. The user can ask to “search my photos for hugs.” Google Assistant then provides all of the images of individuals hugging.
The service will be offered on wireless devices, computers, televisions, cars and in the home.
Google Home is a new device that provides Google Assistant using your voice. Like Amazon’s hands-free speaker Echo, Google Home can play music, perform searches and help direct projects.
Home has a speaker at the bottom to play music, podcasts and audio books. The top is white, but the base will be available in different colors and materials.
Users will be able to connect to Google Home in more than one place so music can be played throughout the user’s home. It can also connect to Chromecast, Google’s video streaming device, so you can ask Google Home to show you something on TV.
Home should be available in the next few months.
Google is launching a new messaging app called Allo. The app uses your phone number so it is easy to connect with your contacts.
Within Allo, users can send text messages, photos, stickers and emoji images. Allo lets users SHOUT or talk softly, changing the size of the font, emoji or sticker with a slider.
Users can add photos and draw on photos within Allo.
Google Assistant is available within Allo. Users can ask Google Assistant questions and get answers within the Allo app. For example, a user can ask, “When is my next appointment today?” and get the answer without leaving Allo.
The new app comes with a feature called Smart Reply. Smart Reply learns how you speak and suggests answers based on what you would say. The more you use Allo, the better the suggestions should become. It can even suggest emojis and stickers, if you are the kind of person who uses those.
Smart Reply works with photographs, understanding what is in the photo. For example, you receive a photo of some tasty linguine with white clam sauce. The Smart Replies might say, “I love linguine!” Google has found Smart Replies to be correct in interpreting photos 90 percent of the time.