Google Lens knows more about what's in your photos than you do

Gwen Vasquez
May 18, 2017

Google announced a lot of new bells and whistles Wednesday - several of which, it turns out, are already offered by rivals such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

In chemistry, Pichai said the company's tools could be used to develop synthetic molecules for the drug discovery and material science industry that can be tailor-made to behave in certain pre-defined ways.

Google is about to provide the latest peek at its digital services and gadgets as it seeks to become an even more influential force in people's lives.

For example, opening an email containing an invitation to dinner might trigger a prompt to reply "I'm in".

Advanced "Lens" features are being added first to the Google Photo application, which is available free. It processes all details that a phone's camera can see and makes sense of them i.e. like telling you what object you are viewing through your device's camera viewfinder and so on.

Indeed, Pichai said in a recent earnings conference call that business models for the Assistant "will be different than what we have today".

And while Google Lens might just seem like a bunch of clever, questionably useful new tricks for your camera, it hints at so much more.

Google Assistant is getting a feature those of us who have been using it have always wanted: the ability to type requests into the digital assistant. "They really pushed that message hard".

Another new Google Home feature is hands-free calling which allows users to call any landline or mobile number in the United States or Canada absolutely free.

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Now, Google is splitting up these recommendations by service, meaning that Netflix, YouTube and other apps on the platform automatically get their own row, or channel, as Google officially calls it.

Google Inc. said Wednesday its Android operating system has reached a milestone by powering 2 billion monthly active devices around the world.

That's not all that far off from what Apple is trying to do with its TV app, but on Android TV it's built right into the home screen.

Android Go ships with all new versions of Android phones and serves as the default setting for all Android devices with 1GB or less of RAM.

Google is yet to announce Australian pricing for Google Home, but it is likely to cost around $199 (including GST) judging by the $US129 price tag.

Partners in the endeavor include Vive-maker HTC and Lenovo, according to Google virtual reality team vice president Clay Bavor.

"There is a continuing trend where devices are becoming devalued and what is on the screen is becoming more valuable", Blau said.

Along with a new payments, tool, Ramaswamy also revealed that Google's mobile advertising platform AdMob, a service for embedding ads in mobile apps, has paid over $3.5 billion in ad revenue to developers.

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