Google Home promises an answer for everything
MOVE over Siri, here's comes Google Home and Google assistant.
The tech giant has unveiled its competitor to Apple and the Amazon Echo at its I/O developer conference in California.
Google Home is a small, white, button-free speaker which will sit anywhere in your home, connecting to all your Google accounts as well as services like Google Maps.
You simply call out 'OK. Google' to command it to do everything like checking your calendar, tell you the weather, order a taxi or book cinema tickets.
Google claims says is "unmatched" in being able to understand natural language, although it is yet to be seen whether it will understand us Aussies.
Google says the development of a the device is a natural progression from the Google searches we all started with on our desktop computers and has been aided by rapid developments in voice technology.
"Progress in all of these areas is accelerating, and we believe we are at a seminal moment. People are increasingly interacting naturally with Google, and aren't just looking for the world's information but actually expecting Google to help them with their daily tasks,'' a blog from the company said.
Google assistant is designed to be a n ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done.
"It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theatre. It's a Google for you, by you.
"Google Home is a voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in your house.
"It lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google-all using conversational speech.
" With a simple voice command, you can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights. It's designed to fit your home with customisable bases in different colors and materials.''
Google Home will be released later this year.
Allo, Allo: here's a new messaging app
Google also announced Allo - a new messaging app that also comes complete with the Google assistant, so you can interact with it directly in your chats, either one-on-one or with friends.
You can ask for things like your agenda for the day or photos from your last trip. If you're planning a dinner with friends, you can ask the assistant to suggest restaurants nearby, all in one thread.
Google says Allo includes Smart Reply, which suggests responses to messages based on context, and comes with fun ways to make your chats more expressive, including emojis, stickers, and the ability to get creative with photos.
There's also an Incognito mode that provides end-to-end encryption, discreet notifications, and message expiration.
Duo offers one-to-one video calling
Duo is a companion app for one-to-one video calling.
"With Duo, our goal is to make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. We also introduced a feature called Knock Knock, which gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer.
Allo and Duo are based on your phone number, so you can communicate with anyone regardless of whether they're on Android or iOS.
Both apps will be available this summer, US time.