Google I/O 2018 Shares Exciting Updates for Developers

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Google’s much-anticipated developer conference, Google I/O, was back again last week with new updates and announcements about their products and projects. In our recap last year, we shared how excited we were about Google Assistant and Google Lens and Google Photos, amongst other highlights—and this year, all of these technologies got significant upgrades.

Google AssistantAI was a big focus this year: Right before the first day’s keynote, Google announced that their research division would be rebranded Google AI. It makes sense: recent reports state that the number of startups working to develop AI systems has increased by 14x in the last 18 years—and as usual, Google is working hard to stay ahead of the pack.

So, what were the big AI updates?

Well, Google Assistant got an update called “Continued Conversation”—where you don’t have to say “Hey Google” before every command—to make the process of talking to the Assistant less like you’re talking to an intelligence that’s, you know . . . artificial.

Google Lens is now within the phone camera app. You don’t have to take a picture to use Lens visual search functions—just open your camera and point the right way!

The latest version of Google Photos is your secret weapon to top-notch photo editing. It will now recommend aesthetic edits to make your photos (even) better.

And Google News is anything but fake: The news destination app will be powered by AI to better curate the news reading experience for everyone.

But Google I/O wasn’t all AI, all the time. Here are a few more of our favorite announcements:

Android PAndroid P Gets Adaptive

Google unveiled an updated version of their latest operating system, Android P, with new features including Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness (to save battery life and improve auto-brightness settings respectively) and App Actions to predict users’ usage patterns and make actions more efficient, amongst others.

Augmenting the Google Maps Reality

A “coming soon” augmented reality experience was announced, too. In the not-so-distant future, Google Maps will combine with your device camera, so you can literally see where you are and track where you are going at once.

Less Face Time, More Digital Well-Being

Google also debuted features focused on getting our faces away from our phones. Dashboard, App Timer, Do Not Disturb, and Wind Down each focus on one of the unhealthy ways people often use their phones—such as checking the Facebook app 80 times a day (just us?) or looking at our phones until we fall asleep—and provides data and features to curb excessive screen time.

These updates just scratch the surface of what was shared at Google I/O last week. Want to find your own favorite highlights? You can watch keynote and sessions on the Google Developers YouTube channel.

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Images via Google I/O 2018