Google I/O 2017, this year’s installment of Google’s annual developer conference, is starting today. It will feature a vast array of announcements from Google divisions from across the spectrum, Android being just one of them. We won’t get updates on every single Google project that’s made news or been leaked over the preceding year, and while the announcements that are made will primarily be targeted at developers, there will be plenty to keep regular folks interested too. That’s because whether you’re a dev or not, I/O is a precious sneak peek inside the sprawling Google empire and all the cool things the company is working on. And just like every year: we can’t wait.
What’s new in Android O Developer Preview 2
Google I/O keynote highlights
We’re expecting a deluge of news and announcements from Google today, and we know it can be hard to keep up. If you can’t watch the live stream or just want a digest, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll update this post often with the key announcements from Google I/O 2017. Stay tuned!
- Sundar Pichai took the stage. He opened with the announcement that Google’s products have over one billion active users. Google Photos users upload 1.2 billion photos daily. Google Maps users navigate over one billion miles per day. Android now has over two billion active devices. YouTube viewers view over one billion hours of video per day.
- They also announced that Smart Reply is now officially rolling out to Gmail users starting today.
- Sundar then announced Google Lens. It’s a set of vision-based computer capabilities that will show up on Google Photos and Google Assistant first. It’ll be able to recognize what things are in real time or in photos uploaded to the Photos service. It can even automatically connect to routers. You can also look at restaurants and it’ll just know where you are and what you need to see.
- Sundar briefly discussed some huge things in the medical community, including diabetes treatments, breast cancer detection, and more. There was also discussion about how neural networks are being used at Google to train other neural networks. Inception!
- Google Assistant is currently active on over 100 million devices. It has also become more conversational, more available, and more ready to help. It has also gotten better at multiple people interacting with Assistant on the same device. Today, Google added the ability to type to your Google Assistant if you want to. This is mostly for your privacy when using Assistant in public. It will also have Google Lens integration (see our paragraph about that above)!
- Google announced today that Google Assistant is available on iPhone! Additionally, the new Google Assistant SDK allows any manufacturer to include Assistant in virtually any smart machine. That includes drink mixers, refrigerators, washing machines, or whatever. It will also roll out in several new languages, including Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, French, and more over the course of this year!
- Starting today, Actions on Google will be supporting transactions, including payments, identity, notifications, receipts, and even account creation. It will also be on more platforms! Valerie from Google placed an entire order to Panera for delivery to Google I/O with just her voice.
- This summer, Google Home will be launched in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan.
- Additionally, Google Home will start having Proactive Assistance. It will let you know about random things so that you can alter your life accordingly. Google also announced hands-free calling on Google Home and it’s free! Rishi from Google showed this by calling his mom at Google I/O 2017. Google Home can also recognize the voice to call the right contact. Hands-free calling will roll out to the US over the next few months. It should work with every phone number.
- Google announced partnerships with Spotify, Deezer, and SoundCloud so that they work better with Google Home. They also announced Bluetooth support on Google Home. There are also tons of new video partners, including HBO Now, to make video streaming to your TV even easier. Google Home can also now send info to your phone for those tasks that are easier to do on a screen, like viewing directions.
- There are currently over 50 million devices connected with Chromecast. Starting today, those devices will be updated to show Google Assistant information on the screen when you want it to. In short, visual responses are rolling out to practically any device with Chromecast, Android, or Google Assistant installed.
- Google Photos will soon bet able to remove obstructions from photos. For instance, it can remove a fence if you want to just have the image behind the fence.
- Starting today, Google Photos will have Suggested Sharing. It will find the best photos using machine learning. It will then suggest that you share them to relevant people. Usually people who were at the event, your other family members, and more. There will be a sharing tab to find your shares easier. It’ll send an SMS or email to people who don’t Google Photos. Google Photos can then allow people to add new photos to the shared album quickly to create a more complete photo album.
- In the coming weeks, Google Photos will roll out Shared Libraries. It allows you to create libraries with certain topics. You can share libraries with other people. For instance, you can share all the photos of the kids with your husband or wife automatically. They can then save photos they like directly to their library. People you share with can also have photos automatically added to their library if they want to. Those photos will act as though they were photos you took, even if you obtained them via a shared library.
- Google announced the launch of Photo Books. Google Photos will select the best photos from the photos you choose and then ship you an actual, for real book of photos. It comes in hardcover and soft cover. It’ll cost between $10 and $20. It’ll be launched in the US today with rolling out expected this week. More countries are coming in the future.
- Additionally, Google Lens will be integrated into Google Photos. It’ll be able to identify landmarks, buildings, art, events, and more. It’ll also be able to find phone numbers to businesses from photos, websites, and more. Google Lens in Google Photos is rolling out later this year.
- YouTube watch time on TV is growing by 90% per year! Starting today, YouTube will begin to support 360-degree video (including live video) on television. You’ll be able to use your TV remote (on smart TVs) to move around and see the video. This will work on any TV connected YT app, including game consoles.
- The number of people live streaming has grown 400% over the last year. In response, Google has announced Super Chat. It’s an improved live chat for live streamers. You’ll be able to donate money to the live streamer and also have your comment featured on the live chat so the streamer can see it more easily. A new API will also allow Super Chat users to affect things in real life. To demonstrate, they had the Slow Mo Guys do a live stream. When she donated $500, the Slow Mo Guys were pelted by 500 water balloons. It was hilarious.
- It was announced that there were 50 million Android TV activates every month! Chromebooks now comprise about 60% of all laptops sold to K-12 programs. There were 82 billion app and game installs from Google Play since the last Google I/O. Along with the aforementioned two billion active phones, it’s been a big year for Android!
- Android O is definitely getting tons of new features and fun stuff. We discussed it quite a bit in our developer preview quick look! In addition to all that info, picture-in-picture is definitely coming to Android O. Additionally, notifications will now be usable when long touching the app icon. Smart Text Selection will allow for instant text selection for things such as addresses, business names, and phone numbers more quickly.
- TensorFlow Lite will allow app developers to access some awesome neural networking features in Android. Additionally, Google.ai and the second generation of Cloud TPUs were announced!
- Play Console Dashboards was announced. It allows developers to better see what’s causing crashes, bad battery, resource hogging, and more! Google Play Protect is also included in Android O. It scans devices, the Play Store, and more to find, disable, and remove malware and other bad apps.
- Starting today, Kotlin will be an officially supported language in Android. It’s a new programming language.
- It was announced today that there are more Android users in India than there are in the United States.
- Today, Google announced Android Go. It optimizes the latest Android releases to run on low end phones. It then includes a scaled back version of Google Apps for less resource use. The Google Play Store will then show apps optimized for Android Go. That also includes data management right in the Quick Settings. Some apps, like the new YouTube Go, will also allow for offline sharing without using mobile data.
- There is now a new initiative called Building for Billions. Developers can get into by making apps that are less than 10MB in size, can be used offline, and have enough battery and resource optimization. These apps will be mostly used on Android Go phones (less than 1GB of RAM). More information is coming later this year.
- The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will include Daydream support starting this summer. Apparently, an upcoming LG flagship will include Daydream support as well!
- Google announced that standalone VR headsets are coming. It’s a standalone device that just works. No PC, no smartphone required. It’ll be an Android powered device made specifically for a VR experience. Partners include Qualcomm, HTC, and Lenovo. Devices will come to market later this year.
- A new AR thing called Visual Positioning Service will allow you to navigate through things like stores to find the exact products you’re looking for. As you may have guessed, this is also part of Google Lens. Many of these features will be included in a new Google Expeditions update (the app) later this year!
- Google is apparently tackling job search. Some new features in Search will let you check out new job postings based on various categories, full or part time, job titles, and more. This new initiative is called Google for Jobs. When you’re enrolled in Google for Jobs, you can apply for jobs with one click once your information is there. It’ll roll out to the US in the coming weeks with more countries in the future.
- That’s it for the keynote! Stay tuned to Android Authority for even more Google I/O 2017 coverage over the coming days!