Google I/O '19 Summary

Today was Google's dev conference, and here are the main takeaways.

Google-IO-19

General

  • 'Full coverage' from Google News comes to search
  • Podcasts are coming to search as well
  • AR search results you can see on your phone
  • Google lens shows popular dishes in the restaurant's menu
  • Duplex not only will make reservations over the phone but now over web too
  • Assistant will now have more personalized recommendations
  • Assistant comes to Waze
  • More transparency and control over privacy
  • Incognito mode in Maps, YouTube

Android Q

Innovation:

  • Foldable screen support & continuity
  • 5G support
  • Offline auto-captions for videos
  • Smart Reply for IMs
  • Dark mode

Security & privacy

  • Privacy settings
  • Reminders for location usage
  • Faster security updates without device reboots

Digital well-being

  • Focus mode
  • Extended Parental Controls

‘Helpful home’ devices gathered under the Nest name

  • Easy to use
  • Personal for everyone via Google Assistant
  • High privacy

Smart home:

  • Nest Hub Max - touchscreen device to control your home aka Alexa with screen
  • Previous Nest Hub got a discount

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

  • Starts at $399
  • Has a headphone jack
  • AR maps navigation
  • AI enhanced camera with Night Sight
  • Unlimited Google Photos storage
  • 30h stand-by time
  • 3 years of updates

AI

  • For researchers
  • In healthcare
  • To foresee floods

No more blobs

Old-blobs

Almost a year passed since Google announced they are switching away from their personal perspective on emojis. I'm not a very frequent Android user but I've used blobs in Hangouts a lot. First I hated them, but then I realized they are pretty unique in the world of expressing emotions with a perfectly round smilies. This week Google finished the transition and replaces the blobs with their new set of emojis:

New-blobs

The reason behind the change was to make their collection more consistent after few substantial additions over the years and also to introduce reusable components (like eyes, mouths) and colors for future emojis. Google goes into all the interesting details about the change. And even though I get the idea behind the transition, it's another loss of character in favor of standardization, and preferring polish over sloppiness where it doesn't have to be:

Blob-history