Google held their annual developer conference, where they announced the latest upcoming hardware and software improvements. At the forefront of all their innovations, privacy yet again remained the hot word. Fitting as Google, along with other tech companies, have been facing a lot of scrutiny in regard to how people’s private data is handled. But with the hot word spliced in what seemed like every sentence, Google announced a number of devices and software innovations.

Let’s start with what is now Google’s cash cow, Google Assistant. Google Assistant is becoming more powerful and smarter, now being able to splice information across multiple apps and software. With the power of a command you will be able to ask Google to find a certain animal among your Google photos, and then share it through email or text. And all this will be able to be done in a seamless conversation. And the user will not have to say the hot word “Hey Google” each time.

Duplex will be expanding beyond just phones to the web. This means you will be able to make a reservation, schedule an appointment, or book a car all from the browser, bringing this powerful program into the hands of more people. The age of the Jetsons is here and now a person can literally schedule appointments and book trips without having to hire a personal assistant. You too can feel like a boss without having to go broke in the process.

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 The area that is most useful for Assistant will be in the Google Maps. With the phrase “Hey Google, let’s drive”, Google Maps will be transformed into a more useful navigation system. With the power of both the Google software and your voice, navigation will be better and safer keeping the eyes on the road and off of the phone. Maps will be able to recognize your favorite restaurants, places you visited, or even grandma’s house, and will provide routes and traffic info by simply telling it to go “insert location”. This all should be available in time for the Summer road trips.

Last Assistant feature is to finally be able to silence an alarm by yelling “Stop”.

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As far as Assistant hardware, it will now be called Google Nest. And the larger version of the popular assistant display will be available for $299 and will have the power to be able to watch tv, serve as a nest cam, cookbook, and all powered by Google Assistant.

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The last device I will be talking about will be the Pixel 3a. This is Google looking to return to the form of providing hardware at a cheaper price (ala Nexus). Backed by the same powerful software and camera as the larger Pixel 3, the Pixel 3a will bring all that in the package of a lower resolution OLED display, a plastic frame, and available through a number of carriers.

There was a lot unpacked at Google I/O (including  Android Q and a new beta that just dropped). And I will be digging deeper into these announcements in further publications. But what was your favorite product or services announced at I/O?

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