Google I/O 2017 developer conference: 3 key takeaways

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai speaks of Google infusing all its services with artificial intelligence at its annual developers conference in Mountain View, California, on May 17, 2017.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai speaks of Google infusing all its services with artificial intelligence at its annual developers conference in Mountain View, California, on May 17, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Google believes that the future lies in artificial intelligence (AI), as shown in its Google I/O developer conference on Wednesday (May 17).

The tech giant's keynote address focused particularly on machine learning, a type of programming where computers become smarter by learning on their own.

 

Here are the three key features to pay attention to from the first day of the annual conference.

1. Android O

The operating system that will be released later this year will not feel like a complete overhaul. However, it boasts some significant tweaks, the most notable of which is picture-in-picture.

Picture-in-picture allows YouTube Red subscribers to shrink a video they are currently watching, allowing it to play in a smaller window they can move anywhere on the screen while they use another app on the phone.

As of now, the function will be limited to a small number of apps.


PHOTO: TOM'S GUIDE

Android O users will also notice things like a new app notification design, a boost to battery life and a faster overall experience.

2. Google Lens

Instead of just point and shoot, Google Lens will allow you to point and search.

The new image recognition feature will give users the ability to intuitively and powerfully search the Internet with their Android cameras.

It comes as part of Google Photos and the AI-powered virtual assistant Google Assistant, and will be available later this year, according to Business Insider.

Pointing the camera at a restaurant front and seeing instant reviews on the screen is, for instance, just one of the things this feature is capable of.

3. Play Protect

Described by Google as its "comprehensive security services for Android", Play Protect will compare app behaviour across the more than 50 billion apps used daily by all Android devices worldwide.

Through machine learning, the feature will detect apps that behave unusually and remove them from the device.


PHOTO: ANDROID

Play Protect will run and continuously update in the background, but higher visibility will give users a clearer look into how their devices are protected, according to Engadget.

It also includes a function known as Find My Device, a reboot of Android Device Manager, which Android users could already previously use to locate their missing devices.