Google Home gaining new features like hands-free calling, Bluetooth support

Posted May 18, 2017

Google provided a peek at the software's upcoming features Wednesday during its annual conference for computer programmers. Three new features are being added to the app to make it easier to send and receive moments in your life.

Ahead of I/O, Google is showing off its next step in automotive software: an Android version of touchscreen vehicle consoles and infotainment systems. The full list that Google showed off now includes YouTube, Netflix, Google Photos, HBO Now, Hulu, YouTube TV, Google Play Movies and TV, CBS All Access, the Food Network, the CW, HGTV, Red Bull TV, the Travel Channel, Crackle, the DIY Network, R-Viki, and the Cooking Channel.

If you don't have Whirlpool appliances in your home, odds are majority are branded GE-branded instead.

Google says new tools will encourage sharing of photos that you might have meant to share - but forgot.

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CEO Sundar Pichai showed off Google Lens with an innocuous image of a little girl playing baseball, taken from behind a chainlink backstop. And keeping in mind that Google Home is a decent first endeavor to go up against Alexa, Amazon has a major lead here in deals and outsider support. Executives are also laying out how the company is expanding the reach and capabilities of the Google Assistant, which is now available on some smartphones and an internet-connected speaker called Home. Developers gained the ability to create Assistant-powered "interactions" for Google Home in December, but Android phone/tablet support hasn't yet arrived.

To follow up on last year's Android Nougat, Google has already released a developer preview for Android O. We don't yet know what O stands for, but it is nearly a certainty that Google will give us a sneak peek at what to expect from the next Android that'll run on our smartphones.

Being a developer preview, there are still many known problems, including Google Play Services slowdowns and system power management being completely disabled. But Tiltbrush, Google Earth and Job Simulator also have something else in common: They don't work on Google's Daydream headset, and instead have been released on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It is set to land on the iPhone as a free, standalone app that can be downloaded from Apple's App Store, according to the person. It's also another example of how Google is trying to get ahead of the latest preference for photos versus text ("the camera is the new keyboard"). Google is releasing its voice-controlled assistant on a free app designed for iPhone's operating system - basically competing with Apple's assistant on her own turf. 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. The new Android Go platform looks like it has numerous same goals as the older Android One, but with hopefully some improvements that will allow Google to have a better shot at selling more phones.

Google is also planning a slimmed down version of Android for low-end phones, primarily used in the developing world.