Google has made a slew of exciting announcement related to its software and services ahead of MWC 2018. Google lens, which was till now restricted to pixel devices, will soon be available to most Android and iOS devices, Google Assistant goes global and will be deeply integrated with upcoming phones, and Google ARCore SDK is now out of preview. We will still have to wait some more for Android Go related announcements.
Let’s elaborate more on what Google has lined up for 2018.
- Google Lens will soon roll out to Photos app for Android and iOS for all users
- Google ARCore SDK is now live and will work for 100 million Android phones. Developers are now free to publish AR apps on Playstore.
- Google Assistant will speak 30+ languages by the end of this year. Assistant is also getting more smart features and deeper integration with your Android phones.
Google Lens is now expanding beyond Pixel devices. The AI-powered OCR tool lets your phone’s camera recognize real-world objects. For instance, you could simply point your phone to a flower and ask Google what it’s called or what species it belong to.
That isn’t all that Lens can do, though. It can also be used for grabbing text from images, scanning QR codes, connect to WiFi by just crunching the SSID sticker image on the router, and can even recognize restaurants, places, monuments, etc.
We are all familiar with the kind of magic Google can and often does pull with its software, and if anyone has a shot at taking OCR tool mainstream, it’s the Mountain View giant.
Till date, Google Lens was exclusive to Pixel devices where it could be accessed in the Photos App or via Google “Assistant. Now, it will soon be available in the Photos app on Android and iOS for all English language users o. “Flagship phones” will also have Lens access via Assistant, but Google didn’t mention what all phones come under its ‘Flagship’ purview.
Google Assistant will be able to fluently converse in 30+ languages by the end of this year, which is to also say that it will be available to 95-percent of Android phone users worldwide. The Assistant will also get routine based and location-based reminders soon (First in the US, followed by Global rollout later).
Routine based reminders will let you do multiple things with one command. For instance, if you say “Hey Google. I am home”, Assistant could turn lights on, play music and tell you what’s on TV. Location-based reminders will fire when you are at a particular location. For instance, “Hey Google, remind me to buy cups when I am in Sarojini Nagar”.
Google is also working with Android Partners and Carriers for deeper and hardware level integration of its AI assistant on upcoming Android phones.
Google ARCore Preview has now graduated to V 1.0. It’s supported on 13 models right now and they add up to 100 million devices worldwide. ARCore supported phones include:
- Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL,
- OnePlus 5, 5T
- Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge
- LG’s V30 and V30+
- Asus Zenfone AR
Developers are now free to publish their AR based apps on Play Store for Android.