At a Glance: Some of Google's new features seem ... familiar

As of this week, Android is now active on more than two billion devices, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Wednesday.

Google Assistant is getting all the attention so far at the company's annual I/O showcase. The difference is that Google's version allows people to call phones-mobile and landlines-as opposed to Amazon's Echo-to-Echo or Alexa-App calling.

Google's new Lens tool is the stuff of science fiction. As of now, you can only buy one in the United States and UK, so that's quite the expansion.

Samsung is trying some of that with its new Bixby Vision feature on the Galaxy S8 phones.

Pinterest has a similar tool. Or point the camera at the exterior of a restaurant and it will pull up reviews of the place. Take a selfie, and you'll get similar hairstyle and makeup ideas (even if you aren't wearing any makeup). The three-day event is expected to bring updates about Google's Android mobile operating system, Chrome web browser, Google Home smart speaker and a slew of other products and services - setting Google's priorities for the rest of the year.

When you think about voice assistants, Google Assistant is definitely better that Siri, including the fact that Google can handle more complex questions.

It comes as Google, Apple and are competing to establish dominance in the voice-powered digital assistant segment, which many in the industry believe will supplant keyboards and touch screens as a primary way that users interact with technology. This app, which will be arriving to phones soon, Google is going to use the machine learning, artificial intelligence and Google Assistant to offer users some cool features, which seem to be straight out of a futuristic movie. here is how Lens works. Google demonstrated how Assistant becomes more powerful with visual capabilities - if you point your phone at a marquee with a concert date, Assistant will ask if you want to add it to your calendar or listen to the band.

Siri, though, might have something to say about that. You will be prompted to login to your Google account. One option that's especially interesting is the ability to automatically share only the photos that contain a certain person in them. The company envisions a world in which awesome photos are no longer left on people's phones because other pressing things in life got in the way.

With cameras in mind Google is also adding a suite of other smart features into its Photos app, with the aim to select the best photos in a users photo library, improve the way photos are shared, and create photo books made out of AI powered suggestions.

  • Arturo Norris