Today kicked off Google I/O 2019, the company’s annual developer conference and the initial keynote was stuffed to the brim with big news. Despite being under 2 hours long, Sundar Pichai and Co managed to pack a ton of big announcements into the day. If you missed what’s new, here’s everything the company announced.
If you missed the Google I/O 2019 keynote on Tuesday, you can catch up here.
Google Search, Assistant, Lens, and more
First on the docket was none other than Google Search. The company’s core product saw some great updates today all around the company’s theme of being “helpful.” To that end, we saw a few reveals which were headlined by the “next generation Assistant.”
Google showed off an early, but surprisingly capable, demo of what it calls the next generation Assistant. This updated version of Google Assistant brings all of the machine learning and AI that makes this product so insanely good and condenses it down into a package that fits on your phone. Because everything is done locally on your device, Google says the next generation Assistant can run 10x faster and answer queries in real-time. The results are simply spectacular.
Further, Google also offered up some big news for Google Lens at I/O 2019. That included better translation abilities, coverage on more devices, and even integration with Google Search for 3D models. The company also showed off some new initiatives for Search at the keynote.
- Google Lens coming to Google Search with real-world 3D models
- Google Lens adding new tools to highlight menus, split checks, translate, more
- Google will bring Podcasts and Full Coverage news to Search later this year
- Google Assistant driving mode brings optimized UI w/ suggestions feed
- Google Duplex for web to help you complete tasks in Chrome for Android
- You can cancel alarms on Google Assistant just by saying ‘Stop’ without ‘Hey Google’ command
- Google Maps is getting an Incognito Mode for private searches and navigation
- Google Assistant support coming to Sonos One and Beam next week
A noteworthy reveal for us here at 9to5Google was Project Euphonia. Our own Kyle Bradshaw first spotted this in development a few weeks ago, and it took center-stage at I/O to show off how Google wants to help the speech-impaired.
Google Calendar also got new details revealed at I/O this week with a new “bottom sheet” for easier event creation.
Our own Abner Li also took some time to test out Google Assistant’s new driving mode from Google I/O.
Next in line for Google during the I/O 2019 keynote was Android, and specifically, tons of news on Android Q. Google confirmed features such as dark mode, 5G support, and so, so much more at today’s event. The company also revealed that quite a few non-Pixel devices would be supporting the Android Q Beta.
- Google announces new Android Q features incl. dark mode, new gesture nav, 5G support
- Android Q Beta arrives for OnePlus 6T, Xperia XZ3, Nokia 8.1 and 12 more
- Android Q Beta arrives on OnePlus 6T, Essential Phone, and more, here’s where to download
- Digital Wellbeing adds ‘Focus Mode’ to disable distracting apps, enhanced Parental Controls
- Live Relay and Live Captions will enhance Android device accessibility options
Immediately, we took some time to dig into what’s new in the latest Android Q Beta, and there’s some fun new stuff. Alongside the nearly-complete dark theme, Android Q Beta 3 also completely revamps the navigation system and introduces “Project Mainline” which provides some promise for the future of Android updates.
- Here’s everything new in Android Q Beta 3 [Gallery]
- Android Q Beta 3: New gestures slim down the navigation bar, break menus w/ new ‘back’ swipe
- Android Q Beta 3: System-wide ‘Dark Theme’ is finally here w/ toggle, works with some apps
- Android Q Beta 3: Classic three-button navigation arrives on Pixel 3
- ‘Project Mainline’ aims to fix Android updates w/ ‘modules’ that Google can control on any Q phone
- Android Q Beta 3: Notifications get a new UI for quickly changing priority, can no longer be snoozed
- Android Q Beta 3: Here’s how to force every app to use dark mode, including Google Assistant
- Android Q Beta 3: Wi-Fi passwords are now easily accessible in plain text
- Android Q Beta 3: Gboard respects the system accent color and dark theme
- Android Q Beta 3: Battery Saver can automatically turn off once your phone charges back up
- Google adds 53 brand new non-binary emoji exclusively to Pixel devices running Android Q
More added 5/8
In related news, there were also a handful of Android TV reveals. For one, Google showed off a quick look at the new Play Store, and talked more numbers and the Android Q update.
- Here’s the redesigned Google Play Store for Android TV, coming later this year
- Google says Android TV Q update doesn’t need to ‘be on the same timeline,’ talks more numbers
On the final day of Google I/O, Google hosted a Fireside chat with some members of its team, including Dave Burke. The chat revealed quite a few things, including details on the future of Wear OS, Android Foldables, and even Fuchsia. Our own Kyle Bradshaw captured the details.
Google’s project in Fuchsia didn’t get the spotlight we were hoping at Google I/O, but the company did give it some acknowledgment.
- Hiroshi Lockheimer: Fuchsia is Google’s investment in trying new OS concepts
- Google quietly acknowledges Fuchsia during I/O 2019
Hardware: Google Pixel 3a, Nest Hub Max
For the first time in years, Google I/O 2019 was also the launchpad for some big new hardware announcements. The first of these big announcements was the Google Pixel 3a, Google’s first budget Android smartphone.
Starting at $399, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL offer up mid-range specs and the same killer cameras, software, and other core features of the company’s premium flagships. We’ve already gone hands-on with the device, and it’s easy to say that these phones are going to give the competition a run for their money.
- Google Pixel 3a hands-on: Giving budget smartphones a run for their money [Video]
- Google announces Pixel 3a and 3a XL w/ familiar design, lower price, Snapdragon 670, more
- Google Camera app gets ‘Timelapse’ mode for Pixel phones, launches w/ Pixel 3a
- Download the official Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL wallpaper here
- What are you really giving up to save $400 on a Google Pixel 3a? [Video]
- Comment: Google Pixel 3a at (effectively) $300 is just a stupid good value
- Google Pixel 3a tidbits: The first fruits of the HTC deal, no Gorilla Glass, $100 credits galore, more
- Google Pixel 3a strangely ships with out-of-date March security patch, no update yet
Google also finally pulled the plug on its Verizon-exclusive deal for Pixel phones. Can I get a hallelujah?
Further, there was the official reveal of the Google Nest Hub Max. This new 10-inch Google Assistant offers up a lot of the functionality of the Google Home Hub (more on that in a second) but with a larger display, better speakers, and a camera for video calls, home security, and facial recognition. It launches this Summer for $229.
Alongside that reveal, Google also completely revamped the Google Home brand. Google Home is now Google Nest, and the Google Home Hub is now the Google Nest Hub. Whenever you stand on that new branding, it’s clear Google wants this hardware all under one roof.
- Google Home Hub rebranded as Nest Hub, now available in 12 new markets starting at $129
- Nest branding coming to Home speakers, Google Account migration starts this summer
And so much more…
Google I/O 2019 is just starting, and there’s already been more news beyond just what was in the keynote. Our coverage will continue through the rest of the week, but in the meantime, here are some other big stories you might have missed.
- Google quietly acknowledges Fuchsia during I/O 2019
- Google Assistant ‘apps’ coming to Smart Displays, starting with games
- Google’s new Local Home SDK hopes to make smart home control faster, more reliable
- Flutter doubles down on ‘write once, run anywhere’ apps w/ web, desktop, more
- Google Maps AR walking directions launches today on Google Pixel smartphones
- Google Search and Assistant will soon offer helpful ‘how-to’ instructions
- Google Maps’ AR fox is not ready for real world navigation
- Google Play Store will revamp app ratings, adds Suggested Replies, and custom landing pages for devs
- Pending Transactions will allow you to make Google Play Store purchases with cash
- Google, Qualcomm working to help create more Fast Pair and Assistant headphones
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