Google I/O 2024: Everything You Need To Know

Google I/O 2024: Everything You Need To Know

Happy developer’s conference season to those who celebrate, today Google had its 2024 Google I/O event where it announced a slew of new software developments from AI to Android 15. We got up very early to write about what the search engine giant revealed.

What is a 2024 developer conference without the mention of AI? This year Google had a slew of announcements for its AI software Gemini. In fact, this entire keynote was dedicated to AI and said at least 121 times.

Without further ado, let’s dive into all the Google I/O announcements from this morning.

Google wants Google to do the Googling for you. Today Google highlighted the ways Gemini will improve Search through AI overviews, search with video and a more “AI-organised” results page.

Liz Reid, VP head of Google Search said these new features have expanded what’s possible with the company’s flagship product.

AI Overviews

Google is expanding its AI overviews to give “more powerful search experiences”. When someone searches a question in Google, it will not only give you the answer but then you get additional bits you may want to follow up search. Annoyingly it will only be launched in the U.S. this week and then Aussies will get it later this year.

Multistep reasoning

This feature is all about letting Google do the researching for you. So users can ask more complicated questions and Google will give you a comprehensive answer. For example, you can ask for a yoga studio near you, with the best walking times and ratings. Google will go through maps, ratings and search to give you a succinct answer.

Google wants to do the planning for you, making the eldest daughters (like myself) useless. Reid said planning in search is good for travel, meal planning, dates and workout routines. For anything that needs a plan, Google can do it for you. This feature will roll out in the next couple of weeks.

Project Astra

At Google I/O 2024, the search engine giant revealed Project Astra, the company’s advanced seeing and talking responsive agent aka the ChatGPT 4 rival we’ve been waiting for.

This is an AI agent based on the Gemini model, Google says it has enhanced how it the assistant sounds. Users are able to utilise the new AI assistant via video, text and voice.


Generative Media Tools: Music, Image and Video

During the Google I/O keynote, the company unveiled its progress in its image, music and video generative media tools. Its Imagen 3, the image generator is photo-realistic and has better search output. Google said it is better for rendering text which in the past has been hard for imaging models. It says this is the highest-quality image generation so far.

VideoFX, powered by Veo, is Google’s new video generation tool, it creates 1080p video from text, image and video prompts. It has improved quality and output resolution. During its announcement, Donald Glover made a cameo saying how much he loves AI, interesting. Google used him as a conduit to say filmmakers can use this new tool. However, VideoFX isn’t available to the public and the waitlist is open now.

In terms of music, Google announced it is working with music producers to help it create songs and scores via AI.

Google Photos

Google Photos will also be getting a hit of AI with its new feature, “Ask Photos”. Showcasing the new feature this morning, Ask Photos is Google’s “newest experimental feature” where you can ask for a specific piece of content or image like a birthday party theme or if you want to be specific Google said you could ask to see the progress of your daughter’s swimming stroke.

Android 15

What is a Google I/O keynote without the mention of the iOS competitor? There were three major updates to Android 15 and they all had to do with, you guessed it, AI. Some of the new features included a circle to search functionality for homework, so not only can Gemini tell you the answer to your kid’s physics homework, it can give you an explanation of the answer.

Gemini is the new AI assistant on Android, users will be able to see Gemini throughout the entire Android ecosystem.

It is also making Gemini more context-aware so its prompts are smarter and can understand more information in context like sights, sounds and spoken language, Google explains.

Also Gemini will let you know about spam calls during a call. Its currently in testing mode but during the keynote, the demo looked pretty cool. If something sounds dodgy on a call, Gemini will give you a prompt saying it is a likely scam call. I wonder how many times it will pick up scamming when I’m on the phone to my friends?

Image: Google

Google Workspace

Of course, we would be remiss to not mention Google Workspace aka Gmail, Docs and Spreadsheets.

One of the first changes to your Google Workspace will be the introduction of Gemini Pro 1.5 to the Workspace side panel. This will be featured on Gmail, Docs, Drive, Slides and Sheets. Google says Gemini will able to give users summaries of tasks or progress of a job with a question.

Gemini and Gmail are working hand in hand to make your work life easier, apparently. With Gemini in Gmail users can get summaries of email threads, have the ability for contextual smart reply and soon you can have a Google Q&A where users can ask “what event is happening at 3pm tomorrow” or “What questions am I asking at my workshop tomorrow?”

Users will soon be able to reply in more languages through Google Translate, it is expanding to Spanish and Portuguese translations on the desktop app.

What was missing from Google I/O 2024?

There was simply no mention of hardware, no Pixel 8a, Pixel Tablet or the Pixel Fold. I mean they did release the Pixel 8a a week early and had a cheeky mention of it (in the not-available-to-Aussies Aloe colourway) during the keynote, but that is it. Google did mention there would be more news regarding Android tomorrow but I’m not holding my breath.

Google I/O 2024 Keynote

This article will be updated as the story develops.

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