Google's annual developer-focused 'I/O' conference kicked off on Wednesday 17 and came to a close on Friday 19 May. The software showcase was held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre near Google's Mountain View headquarters in California for the second consecutive year and included a plethora of announcements from the search engine giant.
Google I/O began at 10am Pacific time (6pm BST) on Wednesday with a 90-minute keynote led by CEO Sundar Pichai offering an overview of the company's position in 2017 and a glimpse into the future of Google technology.
Google I/O 2017: How to watch Google I/O keynote live stream
Google I/O 2017: Google I/O 2017 live blog
Previous editions of the conference have seen the unveiling of major new products and services such as the Chrome browser, Google Glass, Android TV, Google Play, Google + and its 'Android Wear' OS for wearables.
Although announcements are mainly consumer-focused, there is also always a lot interest for developers and tech professionals.
Google I/O 2017 live: What was announced at Google I/O 2017?
Last year's highlights included the launch of Google Assistant, the company's answer to Siri and Cortana, the 'Daydream' Android VR platform, the Wi-Fi connected speaker and voice command device Google Home, the Allo messaging and Duo video calling apps, and the latest Android version 'N' and Android Wear 2.0. Not every launch led to such success. The short-lived Google Spaces messaging service was shut down within a year.
This year the company announced a new AI chip that works on its TensorFlow platform (pushing it further into providing 'AI as a Service'), a standalone 'Daydream' VR headset (building on its 'Daydream' Android platform announced last year), and a lightweight version of its mobile operating system called 'Android Go' which is optimised for data-restricted environments, especially emerging markets.
Google also unveiled a number of updates to its 'Photos' feature, including suggesting you share photos with people it recognises in the shot and a 'Shared Libraries' function that lets you share photos with family or friends.
Another big announcement was 'Google Lens', which allows you to use your phone camera to search for information. If you point your camera at, say a flower, restaurant or a book, it will tell you what it is (and for the latter, can also provide extra information on, say the author or reviews).
The launch of Google Home was one the biggest announcements of last year, and a slew of updates were unveiled in 2017. Home owners will be able to place free calls in the US and Canada and it can now integrate with HBO, Deezer, SoundCloud and other apps, for example.
Interestingly, the company unveiled a new initiative called 'Google for Jobs', a jobs search engine, in the US. The service will cover all types of jobs from entry-level to high-end professional roles.
The latest version of the Android operating system had already been released as a preview to developers, but further details were confirmed at the conference. The new OS, known only as 'O', adds a number of upgrades to the existing edition, such as improved Bluetooth performance, support for multiple displays, pop-up overlay windows, better battery life, and a new Autofill Framework that lets users store data from forms in apps and autofill them across the platform.
Google also announced plans to further integrate Android with Chrome OS, following recent fusions including bringing Android apps to Chrome OS. Additional support for physical keyboards was already confirmed for Android.
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