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Google challenges Apple's Siri by opening digital assistant to iPhone

18 May 2017

Of course, to most of us, it's the opening keynote that is the most interesting.

Google LensOne of the first new features introduced today is Google Lens - a tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) in order to allow smartphone cameras understand what they are seeing. In the real world, that means you could, for instance, point your phone camera at a restaurant and get reviews for it.

Google Assistant will pull up the correct company and kick off the ordering process, which includes selecting the delivery address stored by Google, then sorting through the products (in this case, the meals).

It's also bringing over "proactive" suggestions from Google Now.

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Google is also launching "Find My Device" a feature in the form of an Android app that you can use to locate, ring, lock, send a message to, or erase your Android devices.

All Android devices with 1GB or less of RAM will automatically use the "Go" configuration of Android, and all Android releases going forward will have "Go" configurations for these low-end devices.

Another novelty is that Actions for Google will be expanded to iOS and Android. The Google Lens isn't quite ready yet; Google says it will be rolling out in the coming months.

Initially only available in the U.S. and Canada, users will be able to link their contact book with the speaker and make free calls over their internet connection. And with the recently added multi-user support, the Google Home can distinguish between contact books based on the voice issuing the command.

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Another new feature is Visual Responses.

The company is realizing the evolving ways in which people take and share photos, and recognizing that even with a bevy of photo-sharing social media tools like Instagram and Facebook, sometimes people just want to share regular photos. You can also display search results and online streaming content by asking Google to cast it on the TV via the Chromecast.

Google Photos will be able to suggest which photos to share and whom to share them with - for example, if the person is in the photo.

This feature will be rolled out "over the next few months", Google said, but potential United Kingdom launch details weren't revealed.

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