(Pocket-lint) - This year's I/O opening keynote is done and dusted!
Google holds an annual conference for developers in the spring, to get them up to speed with its latest innovations and help them update their apps. But this event also showcases Google's newest products or technologies for consumers, often including new hardware. If you want to watch Google I/O 2019 to see what Google has been working on for the coming year, here's how you can still watch.
We have also included details about what was announced during the opening keynote by CEO Sundar Pichai and other Google executives.
What is Google I/O?
Google I/O is Google's annual developer conference and where it often introduces new software updates and hardware products. The official Google's I/O webpage will have the conference's agenda, session schedules, and more. So keep checking there for more information.
When is Google I/O?
The conference starts 7 May and ends Thursday 9 May. The opening keynote is the most exciting part, as that's when Google makes the big announcements. It's held on day one, and this year's presentation lasted close to two hours.
How to watch Google I/O
Google live-streamed its keynote, and we have embedded it above.
What happened at Google I/O
Google kicked off Google I/O with an update to Google News, saying News results will soon begin to show a "story timeline". In an example provided on stage, CEO Sundar Pichai explained that, when you search for the recent black hole news story that went viral, you'll see how it was covered from day one. The point of this is to give you more context and visually show you how the story evolved over time.
Google has been adding 3D images to search results. These images should give you a better idea of, say, how a sneaker might look in person. You can even place these 3D images in your real world via augmented reality. Google showed how you could search for a Great White shark with your phone, then see it in 3D in your search results, and using your device, place it in a physical space at scale.
Google revealed you will soon be able to listen to search for and listen to specific podcasts - directly from search results!
Google Lens is getting an update too so that it's more useful while you're out and about. Soon, you will be able to point it at a restaurant menu to see the most popular dishes available. Not only will it highlight the dishes but actually show them to you with aggregated review pics.
Google Lens will also be available directly from the Google Search bar on Android phones. In a demo, Google showed how you'd be able to access it to take a picture of a sign and get a real-time translation in a different language. It supports over a dozen languages at launch.
Duplex comes to the web
Google Duplex will soon do stuff for you on the web, from booking rental cars to getting movie tickets. Just ask Google, and it will fill out the form and do everything. Google said it will share more details about Duplex coming to the web later this year.
Google Assistant is getting an update so that it needs less data to process voice commands - and it moved to the device, rather than in the cloud. This means that Google will be able to offer an Assistant experience with much lower latency. You will also be able to string together a range of actions, seamlessly, without delay - and without saying "OK Google" every time.
Google gave a demo that showed a collection of voice-controlled events - opening a range of apps, getting information, all happening instantly as part of one conversation. The best part is the integration across apps, meaning you could, for example, use voice to reply to a message, send it, open photos, search, pick a new image, and send that over to the person you're messaging.
Google Assistant is also getting a driving mode and it will be coming to any phone that has Google Assistant, again, later this year.
The next version of Android will begin distributing security updates to Android phones through the Google Play Store so that they will be pushed out to devices faster. Google said this initiative is called Project Mainline, and that it will be part of Android Q.
Privacy and security
Currently, you can find all your privacy settings in your account, but Google said it'll soon be more easily accessible from your profile. Plus, overall, there are 50 different security and privacy changes in Android Q. The Privacy section in Settings is not only front and center now, but it also displays three concise menus - Activity Controls, Location History, and Ad Settings - complete with settings toggles.
Google also said Incognito Mode is coming to the Google Maps and YouTube apps!
Google is adding new accessibility features to Android Q: Live Caption, which offers on-device live captioning for any and all videos; Live Relay, which allows people with speech disabilities to make and accept phone calls via Google Assistant; and Project Euphonia, which is from Google's AI unit and is primarily meant to help people with speech impairments communicate faster and easier.
Android Q is getting a system-wide dark mode!
Digital Wellbeing is being updated with a feature called Focus Mode. It will temporarily pause apps like YouTube so you can stay focused.Google is adding more parental controls to Digital Wellbeing. You will be able to set daily screentime limits and see which apps were downloaded.
Finally, Google announced the Android Q beta 3 is now available for 21 devices.
Nest Hub Max
Google announced that is combining the Nest and Google Home brands together, and as part of that effort, it is introducing the Nest Hub Max. It's like the Amazon Echo Show. It has a 10-inch display, a full Nest Cam, and a 2.1 speaker system. It'll cost $229 when it launches later this year.
Pixel 3a and 3a XL
Last but not least, Google introduced cheaper Pixel phones. They're called Pixel 3a and 3a XL, and they start at $399.