Google I/O 2016 | CNET

Google I/O 2016

I/O 2016, Google's annual developer conference, starts with a bang on Wednesday, May 18. Android N and virtual reality are expected to be two of the big highlights, with plenty more on deck.

  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:21:56 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:21:59 PM
    He says it's a hands-free experience. No need to press a button or use your phone, you'll just talk to it.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:22:29 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:22:30 PM
    "Google Home is a Wi-Fi speaker that streams music from the cloud so you get the highest-quality playback." Typically streaming is not the highest-quality option for music, but maybe they've had a breakthrough.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:22:53 PM
    It's compatible with Google Cast and other speakers in your home.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:23:04 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:23:20 PM
    It also enables multi-room playback. So you can control music anywhere in your house.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:23:36 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:23:42 PM
    Same with TV. It can control them in any room in your house.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:23:55 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:23:56 PM
    (Kind of like a Sonos system, but now it can sling video, too.)
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:24:20 PM
    "It's like having a remote control for the real world, whenever you need it," Mario says.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:24:40 PM
    And you can ask it to control your smart home. Works with Nest thermostats, among other devices.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:24:42 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:24:57 PM
    Google home also lets you ask Google Search anything, Mario says.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:25:03 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:25:38 PM
    A jab at the Amazon Echo: "[Home] draws on 17 years of innovation in organizing the world's information to answer questions which are... difficult for other assistants to handle."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:25:41 PM
    It can answer complex questions: "What was the US population when NASA was established?"
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:25:55 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:26:25 PM
    It also gets to know its users over time, "with your permission, of course." (He's pre-empting concern from privacy advocates.)
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:26:28 PM
    Oh hey look at that: there are links at the top of this liveblog to full stories about Google Home and the Google assistant.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:26:28 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:26:51 PM
    We're seeing a video now.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:27:30 PM
    When you interact with Google Home, four colored lights on top flash and twinkle.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:27:49 PM
    Google Home has the typical friendly, female, slightly robotic voice you'd expect. Like Cortana from Halo or Siri, but very upbeat.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:28:27 PM
    "Can you show me what it looks like on the TV?" Apparently that question, after asking Google for search information, will display it on the nearest screen? Pretty cool.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:28:34 PM
    Appropriately, the background song for this video is "Home" Phillip Phillips.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:28:56 PM
    Crowd likes it. They are cheering loudly.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:28:56 PM
    More info at!
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:29:15 PM
    "Google Home will be available later this year," says Mario. But no price mentioned.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:29:30 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:29:35 PM
    Sundar is back on stage now.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:29:56 PM
    He's pitching developers on building experiences for Home.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:30:23 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:30:40 PM
    Now Sundar is talking about photos.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:31:00 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:31:15 PM
    Uber, Pandora, OpenTable, Spotify, Tunein Radio, WhatsApp, Ticketmaster, NPR: some of the third-party partners that Google is pulling into the Assistant platform.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:31:20 PM
    He says Google Photos has over 200 million monthly active users.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:31:35 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:31:54 PM
    The AI in the product has 2 trillion labels.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:32:25 PM
    Apparently, selfies taken with a Pomeranian dog are among the photos that Google Photos has learned to correctly identify. Excellent.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:32:27 PM
    Now on stage is Erik Kay, a Google engineer.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:32:45 PM
    He's going to talk about a communications product.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:33:18 PM
    "When you combine the power of mobile with the power of machine learning" is what excites him
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:33:29 PM
    Two apps: the first one is Allo.
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