Google shifts mobile focus to apps and digital assistant

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The latest expansion of Google's artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem was first talked about during the opening Keynote of Google I/O 2017, the latest iteration of the company's annual developer conference that started yesterday in Mountain View, California.

Google's own virtual assistant, Google Assistant, is now available on iPhones; you know, in case you're getting exhausted of Siri.

After rolling out the first developer preview for it, Google has now completed and released its Android O Beta. The I/O has always been a conference for developers and consequently is not event where the big bang, most exciting announcements are made by Google.

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As with every new version of Android, we are getting a bunch of new features such as picture-in-picture mode, notification dots, and much more.

You can now ask the Assistant to turn on your living room lights or look up an order confirmation email from Gmail, among many other tasks, all without interacting with a physical Google product like the Home speaker or Pixel. Google said the aim is to bring mobile computing to the next billion people. There may also be the outside chance that Google could try to challenge HTC, Oculus, and PlayStation by announcing its own entry high-end VR headset. Also called Lens, it lets people point their cameras at real-world items and find out where to buy them, or find similar things online. The only way to activate Google Assistant is to open the app from the app drawer. The strategy helps the company sidestep some of the complications of developing new features for the vast Android ecosystem, where only a fraction of devices are running on the latest version of the operating system, he noted.

Additionally, iPhone users will also be able to join in the fun since Google Assistant is now available on iOS. You can also type out your wish by switching to the keyboard, or use your voice by enabling the "OK, Google" prompt. For example, inside of Google Play, a user can scan all of their apps manually with Play Protect, on top of allowing it to work automatically. With Android O, Google is focused on creating fluid experiences that make Android even more powerful and easy to use.

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