Google I/O 2023: 11 features announced at the showcase

The last of our lineup

You may have been cozy in bed last night, but elsewhere in the world, Google I/O, the annual developer conference, brought a whirlwind of announcements and unveilings to the tech world. If you didn't have time to watch the two-hour keynote last night, don't worry! We've got you covered with a complete rundown of the announcements and highlights. So strap in and get ready for a rollercoaster of tech madness!

1. Google Maps and Google Lens: Your guide through the endless traffic and life

Navigating through the concrete jungle just got more entertaining. Google Maps has introduced "Immersive View for Routes," bringing all the information you need into one place. Now you can navigate traffic simulations, bike lanes, and complex intersections while enjoying the thrill of parking spot hunting. Who said commuting couldn't be an adventure?

Google Lens, the visual search tool, also got a major upgrade at Google I/O 2023. What seemed like a dream a few years ago, is now a reality. Your phone can now recognize and provide information about almost anything you point at. From animals to plants to famous landmarks, Google Lens is your personal visual guide to the world. 

2. Magic Editor and Magic Compose: A new “magical” way to annoy your friends

Ever taken a photo and thought, "I wish I could magically erase that photobomber in the background?" Well, Google's got your back with its new AI-powered Magic Editor feature. Now you can make those unwanted elements vanish faster than a rabbit in a hat. But the magic doesn't stop there! 

With Magic Compose, you can now rewrite your messages in various styles. Need to sound more professional? No problem! Want to impress your friends with Shakespearean prose? Easy peasy! Just don't blame Google if your boss starts expecting all your emails to be written in iambic pentameter.

3. PaLM 2: A language model with a Bard complex

ChatGPT better watch its back! Google's PaLM 2 is here to challenge OpenAI's model. PaLM 2 powers Google's Bard chat tool, bringing a new level of conversational ability (enough to challenge your extroverted friends for sure). Plus, it's now equipped to help you write and debug code. Finally, a language model that speaks in both Shakespearean sonnets and Python scripts!

Bard is not just a chat tool anymore. It's now available in more languages, including Japanese and Korean. Plus, it can even generate images with the help of Adobe's Firefly and Express. So, whether you're looking for artistic inspiration or just want to have a conversation with your favourite playwright, Bard has got you covered.

4. Workspace: The AI butler to support your productivity

Google's Workspace suite like most things these days, is getting an AI upgrade. Now, Sheets can automatically generate tables (formulas coming soon), while Slides and Meet offer image creation and visualization suggestions. Need a custom background for your virtual meeting? Google Meet has got your back. Finally, your documents will be more productive than you ever thought possible. Details on this should be here.

5. MusicLM: Turn Your Text into a Jazz Symphony

Also introduced last night was MusicLM, Google's experimental AI tool that turns text into music. Just type in your desired vibe, like "soulful jazz for a dinner party," and let the AI create multiple versions of the song. Who needs a live band when you have an AI composer at your service?

6. Search: A Peek into Google's crystal ball

If you thought Google Search knew it all, beware it’s getting smarter, with features like "About This Image" to provide more context and transparency. You'll also experience an AI-powered conversational mode, where Google suggests the next steps and provides key information. If you're in search of diverse perspectives, Google has got you covered with a new filter. It's like having a personal researcher who always has your back. Academics are about to get a whole lot easier!

7. Sidekick: The AI writing assistant that understands you better than your English teacher

Google has brought us Sidekick, a nifty tool in Google Docs that reads your writing and gives you helpful suggestions. It's like having a personal assistant that knows exactly what you're thinking. Finally, an AI that can decode your writing better than your English teacher — no more red marks on your essays… Truly every kid’s new sidekick!

8. Developer Tools and Support: For the authors of our lives

Google knows that developers are the real heroes behind the world we live in and they're giving them the tools and support they need to work their magic. They have unveiled new tools and resources, including updates to Google Cloud services, improved developer documentation, and expanded support for various programming languages and frameworks. Google wants to empower developers to create mind-blowing apps and change the world one line of code at a time.

9. Codey: The coding guru

ChatGPT isn’t the only one who needs to watch out. Google’s Codey is taking on GitHub's Copilot too. Codey is Google's latest coding companion that's trained to handle all things coding-related, from completing your code to generating new snippets. It's the Google Cloud expert you need by your side when you're knee-deep in endless coding conundrums.

10. Google Health: The heart wants what it wants

Google Health is aware of this generation’s chronic laziness and is onto the fact that we need some serious tech to get us out of the door. Their app now offers more personalized insights based on your data, whether it's your activity levels, sleep patterns, or nutrition. With Google Health, you can make informed decisions to boost your overall health and wellness. Who needs a human personal trainer when you have an app that's got your back?

11. Google Assistant, Privacy and Security: Google's fortress of solitude

Let’s be real, most of your friends and family are likely sick of your endless droning. You know who won’t be? Our dear Google Assistant! It just got a major upgrade so it's ready to have more natural and context-aware conversations with you. So it should be like chatting with your friends, except this friend is a super-smart, ultra-chatty robot buddy! You no longer need to use short simple sentences either. You can ask it complex questions, and it'll understand and respond accordingly. It can even complete multi-step tasks for you and dish out personalized recommendations based on your preferences

Now if the Google Assistant is your new BFF, you are likely to tell them everything. But secrets are meant to be kept and Google isn't messing around when it comes to protecting your privacy and security. They announced a bunch of new privacy features that give you more control over your data. It's like fortifying your digital defences with an army of cyber-savvy creatures! They want you to feel safe and secure while using their services. Transparency is the name of the game (something so important in this day and age), and Google wants you to know exactly how your data is being used. It's privacy and security, Google-style!

So that’s the complete lowdown on all things Google, announced, unveiled and showcased at the Google I/O 2023. For more details on the gadgets unveiled, check out the Pixel 7a and Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold stories.