Google Debuts New Hardware and Shows Off New Search, AR, and Google Assistant Features at Google I/O

Google's annual I/O developer conference took place today, and the Mountain View-based company announced a number of changes and updates, some of which will be coming to Google products available on iOS devices and others that are of interest as services that compete with Apple services.

googleio

Google Search

Google plans to enhance Google Search with the addition of "Full Coverage" news, providing a more balanced view of news when searching for something. Right now, Google News has a timeline and a feature that displays different viewpoints of the same story, and these options are coming to Search as well.

Google Search is also going to index podcasts in the future, allowing users to search for podcast content, not just title. Podcast episodes will be able to be listened to in search results.

New augmented reality features will be available in Google Search, with 3D augmented reality models coming to search results. You'll be able to do things like view a pair of shoes you're searching for in the real world while shopping. On stage, Google showed off an animated shark that was pulled from the web and broadcast into the room using AR.

Retailers that already use 3D assets will be able to add 3D models to Google Search results with just a few lines of code, and Google is working with NASA, Samsung, Target, Wayfair, and others.

Search is getting an Incognito feature that will allow you to make Google searches without having the data added to your Google account.

Google Duplex

Google is updating Duplex, the service that makes calls for you, with web support, which will allow it to make rental car bookings, reserve movie tickets, and fill in web forms, similar to existing auto fill features.

You'll be able to say something similar to "Hey Google, book a rental car from Hertz for my next trip," and Duplex will pull up the website and start filling out all the necessary information. You'll be prompted to fill out information that it doesn't have, but it's able to pull data from calendar, Gmail, and Chrome. It's a feature coming to Android phones later this year, and an iOS device launch date isn't known.

Google Maps

Incognito mode, which has long been available in Google's Chrome browser, is being expanded to the Google Maps app so you can get directions privately.


On Pixel devices, Google Maps is getting an AR walking mode, which shows walking directions in real time overlaid over the real world.

Google Lens

Google Lens is being updated with some new features, such as the ability to read a menu and highlight the most popular dishes, or to read a receipt and automatically calculate a tip.


Privacy

Google plans to make Google Account information more easily accessible from your profile in all major Google products. This is in addition to the recently announced feature that will automatically clear search and location history every three months or every 18 months.

Google Assistant

Google showed off a next-generation version of its Google Assistant, which is much speedier (Google says 10x faster) than it was previously, and smarter as well. In a demo on stage, Google Assistant was able to accurately and quickly respond to rapid fire requests, which is something Apple's Siri voice assistant can't do.


The "Hey Google" wake word wasn't required for this process, which ran through commands like checking the weather, bringing up a contact, turning on the flashlight, and taking a selfie all within seconds. Personalization features will bring up tailored voice results using a "Picks For You" feature, which can suggest personalized recipes, podcasts, and more. Google's updated Google Assistant is coming to new Pixel phones later this year.

Google Assistant is also coming to Waze in the next few weeks, and on Android devices, Google is implementing a new Driving Mode for Google Assistant, coming this summer.

Android Q

Google shared some details on Android Q, the next-generation version of the Android operating system that runs on Android devices.

A Live Caption feature will add real-time subtitles for any audio that's playing on an Android device, and it's available with or without an internet connection because it's done on-device.


A Smart Reply feature will offer up suggested actions, similar to how ‌Siri‌ suggestions work on iOS devices. Android Q, like iOS 13, will have a built-in system-wide dark mode option.

Google is aiming to address privacy concerns and bring Android privacy more in line with iOS privacy with a comprehensive set of privacy tools for limiting developer access to personal information. There's also an Android OS Framework that will provide over-the-air security updates from Google that will work without a reboot of the device and that will be installed in the background.

Screen Time-like features are coming to Android Q with Focus Mode, which will limit access to apps that are distracting, such as social media apps. Parental Controls are also being improved, with options that will let parents restrict apps on an app by app basis. Android Q is available today on 21 devices in a beta capacity, including all Pixel smartphones.

Google Home

Google today announced that all of its smart home products will be unified under the "Nest" brand, which it purchased a few years back. Under the new brand, Google debuted the Nest Hub Max, a device with a 10-inch display that's designed to be a home control hub with a dashboard for controlling smart home products.

nesthub
It also works like a Nest Camera, but is set up for multiple people with Face Match technology. It has privacy controls so nothing is streamed or recorded sans permission, and there's a green light that comes on when it's recording.

nesthub2
When not in use, it can display photos, serving as a digital photo frame, and it can be used to play YouTube videos and other TV/movie content. Nest Hub Max is launching this summer for $229. Google's original Nest Hub is also now available for $129, a $20 discount.

Google Pixel

Google announced two new lower-cost smartphones, the Pixel 3a and 3aXL, with prices starting at $399. It includes many features the Pixel line is known for, including high-quality cameras with front and rear portrait modes and the well-known Night Sight feature. Call screening and adaptive battery life are also included, with the latter feature allowing the Pixel 3a to get up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge.

pixel3a
Google on stage threw some shade at Apple, comparing the Pixel's Night Sight Mode to an iPhone X image, and pointing out that it continues to have a headphone jack for those who prefer a greater range of headphone options.


Google's new Pixel 3a devices are available starting today in the United States.

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue

iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Support 40W Fast Charging and 20W MagSafe

Wednesday July 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will support 40W wired fast charging and 20W MagSafe charging, claims a rumor currently swirling around China. Right now, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are capable of up to 27W peak charging speeds with an appropriate USB-C power adapter, while official MagSafe chargers from Apple and authorized third parties can wirelessly charge...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Beta Firmware With Support for iOS 18 Features

Tuesday July 9, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released a second beta firmware for the AirPods Pro 2, including both the Lightning and USB-C versions. The updated firmware has a build number 7A5244b and it is available to developers at the current time. This is the second firmware update that Apple has released since announcing new AirPods Pro 2 features in June. There are several new features that are coming to the AirPods...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

iPhone 16 Models Rumored to Have Face ID-Related Design Changes

Tuesday July 9, 2024 9:15 am PDT by
iPhone 16 models coming later this year could have some Face ID-related "design changes," supply chain publication DigiTimes said this week. The original source of this information is British newspaper The Telegraph, which six weeks ago reported that Face ID component supplier Coherent was considering selling or repurposing a manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, a small town in...
orka desktop

MacStadium Releases Free Orka Desktop macOS Virtualization Software

Wednesday July 10, 2024 6:55 am PDT by
Mac cloud services provider MacStadium today unveiled Orka Desktop, a free virtualization tool that allows Mac users to create and manage macOS virtual machines locally via an easy-to-use admin panel. Orka users can create or download custom macOS images locally for their own personal use, or to collaborate with team members using a familiar workflow, versioning, audit, and review controls....

Top Rated Comments

diamond3 Avatar
68 months ago
There was a time when Apple keynotes were this feature packed. Those were the days.
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
donster28 Avatar
68 months ago
Hmm...For that price, this will probably tempt me to try a Pixel. Watch out for others like me, Apple!
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FriendlyPanda Avatar
68 months ago
I REALLY wish Siri worked as well as Google's AI does...

I mean, this is legit embarrassing for Apple.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TwoBytes Avatar
68 months ago
Google gets all this innovation and we get....dark mode.
Yep, that will be the biggest applause for iOS 13 at WWDC...and ouch! That price hike Apple.

I use to say Apple should step it up to compete but now I think Apple are too far behind to step it up.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kingofwale Avatar
68 months ago
400 dollars Google Phone with same camera and headphone jack is a winner in my book.

something I wish iPhone XE would be lowering its price to at some point.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjohnstone Avatar
68 months ago
I like the fact that a lot of the processing of requests is now done on the device, no need to send data to Google to process anything.
The demo performed entirely in airplane mode was impressive.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)