Google I/O 2017 highlights

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A rundown of the best, most exciting things Google announced at its annual I/O conference...
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Google I/O 2017 highlights

Google announces a bunch of cool new stuff at annual conference

The annual I/O conference gives the world’s media a chance to find out what the clever clogs at Google have been up to in the past 12 months. And this year, CEO, Sundar Pichai, had some pretty exciting announcements…

Android’s dominance continues

First of all, over two billion people use Android devices on a monthly basis – bravo, Google. That figure includes smartphones, tablets, Android Wear devices, and Android-powered tellies, and is only set to continue growing. Google celebrated with this video:

Google Assistant makes its way to iPhone

The Mountain View company’s relatively new virtual helper, Google Assistant, may have started life on Pixel, but by no means was it designed to be an exclusivity. The rapid expansion is under way, and now it’s available to iPhone and iPad users, too.

Don’t believe us? Head to the App Store now and get downloading. Let’s hope GA plays nice with Siri.

Google Assistant gets eyes

While we’re talking GA, Google has given it a pair of eyes – sort of. Using your device’s camera, it can now understand the world around you.

The company is calling the technology ‘Google Lens’, and it essentially turns your camera into a search engine, powered by images. The tool will be built into Google Assistant, and you’ll be able to point your camera at a flower, for example, and identify its name and preferred light conditions, or at a restaurant’s façade and receive opening hours and menus.

The most practical application, however, is its ability to make sense of a Wi-Fi passcode and network sticker. Just show the camera the information, and connect. Neat.

Google Home phone

If you’re a Google Home owner, you should expect your speaker to receive an update shortly. And one of its new features means you’ll be able to make free phone calls. This is initially rolling out in the US and Canada, but should make its way to the UK eventually.

Samsung Galaxy S8 is getting ready for Daydream

Google’s VR headset will soon offer support for the Samsung Galaxy S8. Currently the headset only works with the Google Pixel smartphone, giving S8 owners the choice between Gear VR and Daydream. An update should become available later in the year.

More virtual reality options

Google plans to reveal a standalone VR headset, which doesn’t require a smartphone or computer to power it. All you’ll need to do is strap the headset around your face and enjoy. Once again, there's no definite release date - simply a "later this year" message - but we'll keep you posted.

Got any questions about Google’ latest announcements? Drop us a comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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