Google Scoops Apple with 2 Major Announcements About Assistant

Todd Singleton
May 18, 2017

Google provided a peek at the software's upcoming features Wednesday during its annual conference for computer programmers. This feature will support calling landlines and mobile phones in the United States and Canada, and it'll roll out to Google Home units in the U.S. in the next few months.

Naturally, the next version of Android will be the star of the show during Google's I/O keynote. Additionally, this release adds support for more devices, as well as a way to help developers build production-ready devices.

We're going to begin the Google IO 2017 liveblog around 7AM - and everything will be in Pacific Time.

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Google's CEO Sundar Pichai will be announcing all during his 90-minute keynote at 6pm United Kingdom time, which will be live-streamed here.

The addition of support for the free version of Spotify as well as SoundClound and Deezer will be welcomed by many, as will the update that means Google Home can be used as a Bluetooth speaker for streaming.

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The updates also resolved a nasty kernel info leak (CVE-2017-6987) uncovered by Patrick Wardle, director of research at Synack. However, it was not made clear to whether Apple would continue to sell the devices after it cuts the updates for good.

The Assistant debuted previous year on Google's own hardware, and the company has gradually extended the tool to devices from other manufacturers running on its Android operating system.

Meanwhile, Google also announced some improvements to the Android user interface at I/O.

Despite the fact that Google began rolling out developer previews of the latest version months in advance of I/O, the occasion is still where we get into a more detailed analysis of how the organization's mobile OS will get redesigned this year. At the Google I/O conference this week, the Alphabet unit plans to bring it to at least three more places: iPhones, coffee tables and kitchens. Outside of Google's Pixel, there's only a smattering of phones from Chinese OEMs.

Best yet, Instant Apps will integrate directly into your launcher, so you can search for an app, and find it right there (it's part of the Google Play Store search results). Google's DayDream VR platform propelled in 2016 I/O event and keeping in mind that it was an attempt to enhance the nature of portable VR encounters, the effect has been constrained. While the company looks set to actually develop such capability, we expected that Google will give an update on this matter at Google I/O. And, most interestingly a voice-controlled digital assistant now available on some smartphones may be put up.

AI is driving all of the major players in tech, including Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Facebook but Google's knowledge graph has so much data to work with.

Google is also focusing on your device's core health in Android O, via security enhancements and tweaks to the core operating system.

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