Google Shows Off New Smarts at I/O 17

Google announced several new features for its products at I/O 17, it's annual developers conference held in Mountainview.

Google has a pretty clear theme for this year's I/O developers conference: using machine learning to make our lives easier. Here's a look at what they're doing.

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Google Assistant Comes to iPhone

Android users are very familiar with the Google Assistant on their phones, now iPhone users can get it too. Google released a stand-alone app that lets their virtual assistant perform many functions. It can answer questions, schedule events on your calendar, set reminders and much, much more. It might not ever be as integrated into the operating system as Siri is due to iOS restrictions, but in my hands on time Google has done a nice job of allowing it to perform many actions. Download it here.

Google Photos Gets Smarter About Sharing

Google Photos is the best place to store your photos in the cloud and it continues to get better. Google showed off a killer new feature that automatically removes objects in your photos. The example they showed was taking a picture of your kid playing baseball with a fence in front of them. Google Photos artificial intelligence is able to automatically remove the fence. No word when this feature is coming to the app.

What is coming soon is the ability to share all or part of your photo library with a partner or loved one. Google Photos will also now nudge you to share photos that contain your friends, solving that party time issue of everyone wanting to take the same picture on various phones. One old school feature might prove popular – you can now order printed photo books through Google Photos. Prices start at $10.

Google Home Handles Phone Calls

Google Home is getting the ability to handle phone calls. It will now act as a speakerphone. All you have to do is say, "Hey Google, call Mom" or whoever and it will dial the call for free. You can also call out a business name or phone number.

Calls to the United States and Canada are totally free, but keep in mind the device still cannot connect to 911. People you call will see a private number by default or you can go into settings and change it to display your cell phone number.


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