Highlights: Google unveils Pixel 3a series, Android Q Beta 3, and more at I/O 2019
Google I\/O 2019 annual developer conference kicks off today. Here are the latest updates from the event.
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Google’s annual developer conference, I/O 2019, kicked off today with big updates to its key services, ranging from Google Search, Assistant to Android. Google introduced Pixel 3a series, new ‘affordable’ flagship phones that will compete with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S10e, Apple iPhone XR and OnePlus 6T Pro.
Google Search is now getting computer vision. Users will soon be able to project 3D images that appear on search results on real life objects – similar to Augmented Reality filters on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. Google Search is also receiving “full coverage” feature from Google News. Other important change includes indexing of podcasts in Google Search results.
Google’s AI-driven camera assistant “Google Lens” is getting new features. Google Lens can now highlight top food at a restaurant and even help you calculate food bills. You can also now point at food items and look up recipe videos. Google Lens now real time translates languages with voice dictation feature.
Duplex on the web
Google’s Duplex AI tool will soon be available on the web. The web version of the Artificial Intelligence tool can automatically fill up your information online. The AI can also book movie tickets and even rent a car for your upcoming trip.
Google announced availability of its Android Q Beta 3 for all users. The latest iteration of Android comes with a range of new features including better privacy controls, support for foldable phones, 5G, and system-wide dark mode. The latest beta version of Android Q is now available for 21 devices from 13 brands including all Pixel phones.
Google Pixel 3a
Google introduced a new Pixel 3a smartphones. A stripped down version of Pixel 3 flagship phones, the latest series is available in India at a starting price of Rs 39,999. Pixel 3a XL carries a price tag of Rs 44,999. Pixel 3a will be available in two colour options of ‘Just Black’ and ‘Clearly White’. The new Google Pixel series will be up for sale in India on May 15, a day after the launch of OnePlus 7 series. .
Here are the highlights from the first day of Google I/O 2019.
Google Pixel 3a series
Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are now available in India. The new series is available in India at a starting price of Rs 39,999. Read more about Google Pixel 3a series here.
Google Pixel 3a features
Google Pixel 3a comes with adaptive battery. Google claims users can get up to 30 hours of back up on single charge. Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are available in 13 markets including India starting today.
Google trolls Apple
Google says its Night Sight mode on Pixel 3a series can take brighter photos than Apple’s iPhone X.
Pixel 3a series
Google officially launches Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones. The smartphones are available at a starting price of $399, half of the price of the main version of the phone.
Google’s new smart home speaker with display will come with an LED notification to alert user when they’re using the camera. It will also have a physical button to disconnect the microphone and camera.
Meet #NestHubMax, a smart display from @googlenest and @madebygoogle. With a 10-inch screen, premium stereo sound, a camera with built-in Nest Cam features, and the power of the Google Assistant, welcome to your helpful home. #io19 pic.twitter.com/oApBljAupD— Google (@Google) May 7, 2019
Android Q Beta 3
Google has formally announced the roll out of Android Q Beta 3 to users. The beta version will be available to 21 devices from 13 brands including all Pixel phones. The list also includes Realme, Xiaomi, Nokia and OnePlus. More on Android Q Beta 3 here.
More on Android Q
Android Q can now update different components of software in the background, over-the-air. This will do away with the need to re-boot the device to install the update.
Android Q features
Android Q will now come with smart reply feature. It will work with all messaging applications. Smart Reply will also suggest actions. The latest Google iteration also comes with Dark Theme. Google will now show which apps are using your location in the background. You can also choose to share location only when the app is open. Android Q now has location controls in Settings.
Android 10 aka Android Q
Google reveals there are 2.5 billion active Android devices. The central theme of Android Q is privacy and digital wellbeing. Android Q also supports foldable displays. The new software iteration can automatically optimise the interface for bigger screen and smaller screen, also known as app continuity.
Google is making it easier to access privacy tools. Now, you can tap on your profile on Google including Search to access the popular privacy features. Google will soon launch one-tap access to all privacy features will be available on key products including Gmail and Maps. Incognito mode comes to Google Maps. The mode is coming soon to YouTube as well. With incognito mode, Google Maps will no longer link data to your account.
Coming soon to @googlemaps, when you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity—like the places you search or get directions to—won’t be saved to your Google Account. Just tap from your profile picture to easily turn it on or off. #io19 pic.twitter.com/z7GRkkmDbn— Google (@Google) May 7, 2019
Sundar Pichai says Google wants to make sure AI remains unbiased. He pointed out that some machine learning models can make biased predictions. To address this feature, Google is working on a new machine learning model called “TCAV.”
Google Assistant, if set on Driving Mode, will show you recommendations podcasts, music and even prioritise contacts for easier calling. The feature will be rolled out to all Assistant users this summer. Read more about Google’s latest update to Assistant here.
#HeyGoogle, let's drive: Coming this summer on @android phones, the Google Assistant’s new driving mode features a thoughtfully designed dashboard with personalized suggestions for navigation, messaging, calling and media. #io19 pic.twitter.com/epJoJdqhX5— Google (@Google) May 7, 2019
If you share Google Assistant details of your contacts and their details, Assistant will show relevant results. For instance, you can ask Assistant estimated distance time to your friend’s house. Google Assistant is also coming to Waze.
Faster Google Assistant
Google’s Assistant is now much faster. It can process requests real-time and is 10 times faster than the current version. In the demo, Google Assistant processes multiple tasks in just seconds without needing to say “Hey, Google” all the time. The new Assistant is coming to new Pixel phones later this year.
Latest on Duplex
Sundar Pichai says Duplex AI can now do tasks on web. It can now book movie tickets and rent a car on your behalf. Now, you can ask Google Assistant to book a car. Assistant will automatically fill up your information. The Duplex AI can understand your date of trips. The new version of Duplex is called “Duplex on the web.”
Google says its AI-based Google Lens has been used a billion times. Now, you can point at a menu from your smartphone camera, Google Lens will highlight top food from the restaurant. It can also help you calculate tip and overall bill. You can also point the camera at a food item and look up recipe video. Google Lens now support audio (text-to-speech) and real-time translation. These features will be rolled out to Google Lens later this month.
Google Search will also show 3D images and even project it on real life items -- similar to AR-based filters.
Google News’ “full coverage” feature will now come to Google search. The “full coverage” uses Machine Learning to deliver stories from different publications. The feature will be rolled out later this year. Podcasts will be now indexed within Google Search as well.
Sundar Pichai said Google has evolved as the company that helps users get things done. He highlights Gmail’s new smart compose feature, Google Maps, Google Photos’ automatic backup among other features.
CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage. He begins his keynote with focus on “Augmented Reality.” You can download the official Google I/O app to take a virtual tour of the conference.
Google I/O 2019 kicks off
We are moments away from Sundar Pichai’s opening keynote.
Google has been investing heavily in futuristic tech like AI, machine learning and AR as well. Last year, Google announced AR integration for Google Maps. The feature which is still exclusive for Pixel phones augments AR characters, and objects on Maps. At I/O 2019, Google is expected to make more AR announcements.
Pixel 3a series
Google will most likely launch its budget Pixel 3a series at its I/O conference. Google recently teased a Pixel event where the new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a smartphones are expected. Flipkart also teased the same on its platform hinting at the Pixel 3a phones launching in India on the same day.
Google has already released early versions of Android Q. At the annual developer conference, Google is expected to unveil wider availability of Android Q. Just like last year, expect the preview version of Android Q on more non-Google smartphones.
Last year at its I/O developer conference, Google surprised everyone with “Duplex”, an Artificial Intelligence powered bot that mimicked humans and could even reserve tables at restaurants on your behalf. Duplex is still rolling out in phases to select users in the US. Before the official roll out, Google has made some key changes to Duplex to address privacy and ethics concerns.
Google’s digital assistant is set to add new and smarter features. Ahead of the conference, a code hinting Google Assistant’s integration with Chrome browser was spotted online. Google is also expected to make Assistant’s voice recognition and response time more efficient.