Alphabet Inc. (TogetL.O) Google unveiled updates to several services on Tuesday, including maps, images and operating systems, as the company showcases its role in a world that has become more digital during the pandemic.
Announcements at the Google I / O Virtual Developers Conference support the company’s smartwatch efforts competing with Apple Inc. (AAPL.O)And for its collaborative tools that rival Microsoft Corp’s offerings (MSFT.O).
They also explain how Google wants to demonstrate that advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are attracting users to its ad-supported or paid services for shopping, networking and entertainment even as the pandemic shutdown fades.
Google said its Wear OS smartwatch operating system will be acquired by the newly acquired Fitbit unit and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.KS)They’ve both been using their own systems for years. By working together, companies can attract more app developers and compete better with Apple Watch.
The company has also announced new editing and viewing options for Google Docs and other work programs, including a simple tool that suggests using blanket terms in place of gender words.
Managing Director Sundar Pichai has made promoting social justice a priority across the company. Going forward this fall, the company said its Pixel smartphones should better capture darker skin tones and curly hair and be wavy in photos.
AI updates included a new effort to help drivers using Google Maps reduce sudden braking by navigating “safer” roads. Google Photos reminds users that they can search Google Photos for specific objects in the screenshots.
Google has also said that its more powerful computer chip, TPU v4, which is crucial to developing AI, will be available to Google Cloud customers this year.
Android 12, the latest version of the active mobile operating system, will be available on more than 3 billion devices worldwide, later this year with customization features such as customizing the app’s color schemes. This means that the devices can also be used as digital keys for some vehicles.
In testing a future collaborative program, the Pichai Project unveiled Starline, a video conference booth that uses Brightfield screens to allow users to see a 3D representation of their peers. Pichai said health and media companies would test the system.
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