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Indian-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveils ‘Google Assistant’

Google recently unveiled their answer to Apple's Siri in the form of ‘Google Assistant’, a two-way conversational assistant

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Wikimedia Commons
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San Francisco: Google CEO, the Tamil Nadu born Sundar Pichai recently unveiled their answer to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana in the form of ‘Google Assistant’, a two-way conversational assistant that helps with all tasks from coordinating a dinner with friends to searching movie timings to setting the oven timer.

Pichai also unveiled ‘Google Home’ – a voice-activated product that brings Google Assistant to any room in your house, a new messaging app called ‘Allo’ and video calling feature ‘Duo’ as the company kicked off ‘Google I/O,’ its annual developer conference in Mountain View, California.

“It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater. It’s a Google for you, by you,” Pichai wrote in a blog post.

“The Assistant is an ambient experience that will work seamlessly across devices and contexts. So you can summon Google’s help no matter where you are or what the context. It builds on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users’ questions,” he added.

Google Home lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks and get answers from Google – all using conversational speech. With a simple voice command, one can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights.

Related article: Google for India

“It’s designed to fit your home with customisable bases in different colors and materials. Google Home will be released later this year,” Pichai informed.

The messaging app Allo comes complete with the Google Assistant so one can interact with it directly in their chats, either one-on-one or with friends. Allo includes ‘Smart Reply’ which suggests responses to messages based on context and comes with fun ways to make your chats more expressive, including emojis, stickers and the ability to get creative with photos.

“Because the Assistant understands your world, you can ask for things like your agenda for the day or photos from your last trip. If you’re planning a dinner with friends, you can ask the assistant to suggest restaurants nearby, all in one thread,” Pichai further wrote.

Duo is a companion app for one-to-one video calling. “With Duo, our goal is to make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. We also introduced a feature called ‘Knock Knock’ which gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer,” the Indian-born executive posted.

Best of all, both Allo and Duo are based on your phone number, so you can communicate with anyone regardless of whether they’re on Android or iOS. Both apps will be available this summer.

“We are sharing details about what’s coming in Android N, including better performance for graphics and effects, reduced battery consumption and storage, background downloads of system updates, and streamlined notifications so you can power through them faster, and updated emojis including 72 new ones,” Pichai said.

On top of Android N, Google has built a new platform for high-quality mobile virtual reality (VR) called ‘Daydream’. “Together with Android manufacturers, we’re working on upcoming phones and sharing designs with them for a VR viewer and controller that will be really immersive, comfortable and intuitive to use,” Pichai added.

Google also previewed ‘Android Wear 2.0’, including a revamped user experience and stand alone apps that run right on the watch, no matter where your phone is or even if it’s off.
“Finally, we’re introducing Android Instant Apps – which let you run Android apps instantly, without requiring installation,” he said.

Source: IANS

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  • Pritam Go Green

    I wonder sometimes where are we going. From a traditional society to a fully automated life. Well i must admit the fact that already google smart watch is doing wonders and now this !!!!! #GoogleHome
    I think the level which Google possess this is going to be a big challenge for SIri and Cortana. Brace yourselves people !!! cz some serious automata is about to enter in ur lives !!!!

  • Pritam Go Green

    I wonder sometimes where are we going. From a traditional society to a fully automated life. Well i must admit the fact that already google smart watch is doing wonders and now this !!!!! #GoogleHome
    I think the level which Google possess this is going to be a big challenge for SIri and Cortana. Brace yourselves people !!! cz some serious automata is about to enter in ur lives !!!!

Next Story

Google’s first Indian Cloud Platform set to empower enterprises

Since the migration to Google Cloud, Hike has seen a 25-30 per cent reduction in latency, improving the overall user experience on its platform.

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The Google Cloud Platform will help in the growth of enterprises in India. Wikimedia Commons
The Google Cloud Platform will help in the growth of enterprises in India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Google’s first cloud platform India will help the growing enterprises greatly.
  • Owners of the enterprises and technology buffs are really excited about it.
  • The new GCP will help the enterprises work more efficiently and quickly

Several Indian enterprises have chosen Google Cloud to grow their businesses in the past few years. With the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region now live in the country, the behemoth is one step closer to helping more local firms embrace Cloud.

The Cloud region in Mumbai — that uses Google’s core infrastructure, data analytics and machine learning — offers several services, including computing, Big Data, storage and networking.

“The launch of the Cloud region opens up new opportunities for several new partners who will benefit from building their services on Google Cloud,” Mohit Pande, Country Manager-India, Google Cloud, told IANS.

Google is bullish on India when it comes to Cloud adoption.

When it comes to cloud in India, Google is the most dominant. Pixabay
When it comes to cloud in India, Google is the most dominant. Pixabay

Hike Messenger — the first homegrown messaging platform — has migrated its entire messaging application and network as well as all front-end traffic on to Google Cloud.

Since the migration to Google Cloud, Hike has seen a 25-30 percent reduction in latency, improving the overall user experience on its platform. Google Cloud is also allowing Hike to scale with efficiency and reduce its go-to-market time and effort.

The GCP has helped Hike Messenger in increasing its efficiency and speed. Wikimedia Commons
The GCP has helped Hike Messenger in increasing its efficiency and speed. Wikimedia Commons

Big enterprises and emerging businesses like Ashok Leyland, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC), Dainik Bhaskar Corp, Reliance Entertainment-Digital, Dalmia Cement, DTDC, Delhivery.com, GoIbibo, Royal Enfield, Air Vistara, Tata Sky and Walnut have chosen Google Cloud as their technology platform.

“The new GCP region will help more customers build applications and store their data, and significantly improve latency for customers and end users in the area,” Pande added.

The Mumbai region joins Singapore, Taiwan, Sydney and Tokyo in the Asia-Pacific, making it easier for customers to build highly available, “performant” applications using resources across those geographies.

The GCP region has three zones. Developers and network admins can distribute apps and storage across multiple zones to protect against service disruptions.

Hosting applications on GCP can improve latency up to 90 per cent. Wikimedia Commons
Hosting applications on GCP can improve latency up to 90 percent. Wikimedia Commons

Hosting applications in the new region said the Google executive, can improve latency from 20 to up to 90 percent for end users in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai, compared to hosting them in the other closest region which is Singapore.

With over 50 million SMBs, India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. “We have an incredible local team of seasoned enterprise and developer experts connecting with start-ups, SMBs and large corporations to understand their needs and offer solutions accordingly,” Pande told IANS.

According to Manish Verma, Chief Technology Officer at Hungama, they wanted to have a low latency and secure cloud platform to create their active-active, high-availability and load-balanced multi-Cloud set-up.

“Google Cloud Platform gave us a low latency network, better than expected SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] performance, and the ability to optimise costs further with custom machine types,” said Verma.

For Sandeep Kalidindi, Head of Technology at one of India’s largest education networks PaGaLGuy, once the company was exposed to GCP and understood the superiority of the platform, its mindset changed from “let us do everything on our own” to “let us do what we do best” and delegate the rest.

Cloud networking is also a great way of lessening the work burden. Pizabay
Cloud networking is also a great way of lessening the work burden. Pixabay

“We are always eager to see what new services are being launched and are extremely excited about what GCP can provide as part of its roadmap,” Kalidindi added.

“We really appreciate the stability and scalability of the GCP platform. As a fast-growing start-up, we can scale our platform up and down in minutes without any worries,” Gaurav Tripathi, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder at Innoplexus AG, wrote on the GCP Mumbai webpage.

Innoplexus caters to the life sciences industry, offering Data as a Service (DaaS) and Continuous Analytics as Service (CaaS) products.

Google recently announced a partnership with Cisco to help its customers improve agility and security in a hybrid world with a fully-supported, open solution for developing and managing applications on-premises and on Google Cloud.

Google has collaborated with Coursera and Cisco to improve its Cloud Platform, Pixabay
Google has collaborated with Coursera and Cisco to improve its Cloud Platform, Pixabay

To meet the growing demand for industry-ready workforce in cloud computing, data analytics and machine learning, Google has also collaborated with Coursera, a leading US-based global online education platform, to launch a series of on-demand GCP training courses.

These courses range in skill levels from beginner to advanced and include topics like cloud fundamentals, operations, security, data analytics and machine learning. IANS