Assistant, Maps and Mail all get Makeovers at Google I/O
Can Google Assistant read a newsletter? I can’t say I’ve tried it, but I would kindly instruct it to Do Not Read Until Monday.
Hey Google! New Assistant, Maps, Mail Features Debut at I/O
Ah, another week, another multibillion dollar company with a stranglehold on digital advertising thanks to collecting user data trotting out new tech that will allow it to sell more advertising by collecting more user data.
This week, it’s Google’s turn, as it announced a number of new products and features at its annualI/O conference. Perhaps the most pervasive element of the event was Google Assistant, which nowhas like a billion new voices, including John Legend.
It also now can do multiple tasks in one command (overachiever), keeps listening till you say thank you (arrogant), and teaches your kids manners (overstepping its bounds). But seriously, Assistant’s looking bigger and badder, keeping pace with Alexa and, if it’s new Duplex technology succeeds, it could pull ahead of the competition.
Assistant will also be available on new devices from LG and JBL, and Google’s owned displays will now support YouTube.
Maps will also see a number of interesting updates soon, including a way to match places to your preferences when searching. There’s also a pretty handy looking group planning feature, where users can create lists of potential restaurants, etc., and share with friends to make a plan.
All that and you don’t have to write emails anymore.
Thank you, Google.
Microsoft also had an industry event to make announcements
Key Microsoft Build announcements:
– Skype now available on graphing calculators
– 12 new Wingdings
– Cortana now a playable character in Minesweeper
– Doing a Kickstarter for a ZunePod
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) May 7, 2018
But in all seriousness, they’re just looking to take over the world.
This Week in Snapchat Vs. The World: A solid routing by Instagram
The morning this was written (Friday, May 11) shall forever be known as the day Stories went back to the right. This reversal of a majorly derided change in Snapchat’s design may put things back to ‘normal’ in the app, but it’s hard to say if it will improve the company’s fortunes much.
Speaking of fortunes, CEO Evan Spiegel raked in about $643 million last year, just about $80 million short of what his company lost during the same time.
Meanwhile, Instagram’s making use of Snap’s vulnerability by vaulting forward with plenty of new features. You can now buy movie tickets directly (at least via Fandango), it looks like you’ll soon be able to soundtrack your stories, and you can now integrate emoji sliders to Stories polls.
Better get movin’, Speeg.
Odds + The End
- ICYMI: Childish Gambino released a new video. 🇺🇸👀
- I wouldn’t usually mention the Met Gala, but it gave us GrimLon, so here I am mentioning the Met Gala.
- It also led to a Chrome extension that changes all mentions of “Elon Musk” to “Grimes’ boyfriend”, which is simply delightful.
- The Senate Majority Leader tweeted a cocaine-themed meme.
- Speaking of memes, Russian trolls hoped to lure teens with some pretty craptastic ones.
- However, those were only a fraction of the 3,000 ads released by Congress this week.
- Looks like net neutrality will RIP next month.
- Drones are totally chill now though.
- Facebook Live will soon let you rewind, and YouTube’s doing picture in picture now. Aw, just like real TV.
- You can see your friends’ answers on HQ Trivia today.
- Spotify announced it would deprecate music from ‘hateful’ artists.
- Twitter may soon encrypt direct messages.
- Klout, the social influence scoring app we said we didn’t care about but still got a little annoyed by when someone had a higher score than us, is now dead. Which sort of takes care of that problem, eh?
- May 11, 2018