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.

  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:33:40 PM
    "It's a smart messaging app. It learns over time."
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:33:46 PM
    Allo brings Google right into your chats, says Kay.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:34:19 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:34:29 PM
    Demoing the app with Kay is Amit Fulay, the product manager.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:34:53 PM
    For the app, you get stickers from artists around the world.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:34:57 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:35:04 PM
    Stickers! A revolutionary messaging feature. (Just kidding.)
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:35:12 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:35:52 PM
    He's explaining "whisper and shout," which lets you text small and large text bubbles so you can get your point across. Just drag up or down on the send arrow when you're sending them out.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:35:56 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:35:57 PM
    Okay, that's a little more interesting. Have messaging apps done that before? "No more yelling in all caps to get your point across."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:36:22 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:36:23 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:36:51 PM
    Okay, this is super interesting and weird: Smart Reply, a feature that automatically suggests answers FOR YOU when you get a message.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:37:12 PM
    It "anticipates what you want to say next" using machine learning.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:37:16 PM
    "The more you use Allo, the better the suggestions will become."
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:37:38 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:37:47 PM
    It can even customize them depending on the photos you receive: Get sent a picture of a smart baby, "So cute!" might be one of the autogenerated replies. Just tap on it to send.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:38:03 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:38:19 PM
    "In this case, Allo understood that this was a picture of a dog. Even a cute dog. Even the breed of the dog."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:38:47 PM
    Kay just made a joke about cute dogs. Crowd loves it. Cute dog jokes always kill.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:38:55 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:39:04 PM
    "We don't just identify what's in the image, Smart Reply actually creates a conversational response, like "Yummy." The kind of thing you'd actually say in response to a photo of food."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:39:27 PM
    Now we're getting a taste of what the Google assistant will do for Allo.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:39:35 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:40:15 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:40:22 PM
    Rebecca Michael, in Google marketing, is onstage explaining the assistant.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:40:49 PM
    Allo learns the kinds of things you'd say in response to things, and autogenerates responses that are like them. That's kind of creepy, lazy, but also pretty interesting. Particularly if you were tapping a reply on a watch, instead of a phone... somewhere where answering yourself would be hard.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:40:56 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:41:28 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:41:47 PM
    So how does Google assistant tie in? It can suggest restaurants for you and make reservations without ever leaving your group chat. Michaels says the assistant can pop up automatically when it tells you're looking for such a thing.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:42:18 PM
    Michaels is highlighting how many steps it would take to make a reservation without the assistant. Leave the app, go to another site, etc.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:42:34 PM
    You can also talk to the assistant (@google) one on one, like the chatbots on other messaging platforms.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:42:53 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:42:55 PM
    Ask it things you'd ask in a Google search, without leaving the app.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:43:24 PM
    Now we're getting a demo of a one on one chat with the assistant. She asks, did Real Madrid win?
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:43:49 PM
    The app shows the score, and suggests searching for the team's next game.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:43:50 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:43:53 PM
    "Did my team win?" Google will know if you're a Real Madrid fan and show you the results of the last game. It'll pop up suggestions like "next game" "roster" and "about Real Madrid" for one-tap follow up searches.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:44:25 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:45:00 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:45:06 PM
    We're seeing Google's natural language chops in action. You can just type, "Best Tricks," and it knows you're talking about Renaldo, who plays for Real Madrid.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:45:13 PM
    This is much like Google's Now on Tap, a feature added in Android Marshmallow that let you hold down a button to start searching for something that's contextually relevant to what you already had on screen. Only while Now on Tap was sadly hidden behind a long-press, here it plays out like a conversation.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:45:35 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:46:06 PM
    Any guesses which movie that is?
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