The 6th annual Google I/O conference for developers opened today in our hometown of San Francisco (immediately noticeable by the throngs wearing Google Glass). We sent Rob to scout out the scene and report from the trenches. Here are his live streaming notes…
It’s clear this is a different Google I/O than last year. There’s no major new hardware announcements, few major version upgrades and far less fanfare overall. No one skydived to Moscone Center or rode their BMX bike onstage, and the most exciting thing Larry Page did was answer questions.
But one thing is clear – this show is for developers. The biggest announcements were around enhancements to the Play Store and added functionality for game developers.
So far, I’ve been most impressed by Google voice recognition in Google Now and search, Google Play for Education and the enhancements to Chrome and Android for developers.
The Google+ photo enhancements are incredible. Upload your photos to Google+, and they’ll automatically enhance the photo’s contrast, color and more. They’ll combine photos to animate them or make them more “awesome”, and they’ll use their machine learning algorithms to identify the best pictures from the bunch by identifying attractive compositions, important places and the people most important to you.
Johanna Wright, VP Search & Assist, Mobile, showed off Google Hotwords. By asking a question as simple as “When does my flight leave?” Google was able to search her Gmail to find confirmation for a flight leaving soon, assumed that was it, looked up the schedule and told her the answer in seconds. She followed it up by asking for “seafood restaurants in Santa Cruz”. It showed her the restaurants on a map alongside their contact info, public ratings, Zagat ratings and reservation link.
It has never been more important to get set up on Google Local. Go claim your Google+ business page now. You want to be part of this new world of search. Also, get your site’s search engine optimization in order. It’s going beyond keyword search into hot word search. More to come on that…
The resounding theme today is using technology to get out of the way to let people live their lives. Thanks Google!
Stay tuned for more of Rob’s experiences from Google I/O 2013. And, you can follow the conference live here.
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