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Google Play Award winners announced, highlighting best app and games for 2017

20 May 2017

Google has now officially added Bluetooth support to their Google Home speakers, allowing for users to connect their phones to the speaker directly for playing music and also taking calls, through any Android or iOS device.

Google made a number of updates to Assistant's capabilities, including an interesting tie-in with yet another new Google product called Google Lens.

On Wednesday evening, onstage at the Google I/O developer conference, Sundar Pichai the multinational's India-born CEO announced that over 2 billion active devices were now part of the Android ecosystem.

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This week's show runs a little more than 15 minutes.

Google's leap into augmented reality could change the way we use smartphones by reading and contextualing what it sees in photos or through a camera, and helping Android users take action based on what it finds.

The push marks another step toward infusing almost all of Google's products with some semblance of artificial intelligence - the concept of writing software that enables computers to gradually learn to think more like humans. They build upon the core Google experience, and that's something even more people will be able to take advantage of.

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It is due to be added to the company's smart virtual helper, Google Assistant, before being rolled out. The company also introduced a new initiative it is calling Google.AI, which will work to centralize all of the company's AI efforts under one roof. Shutterfly a digital photo storage service that also creates photo books and calendars. Google believes its assistant can get people what they want more quickly because it draws upon the knowledge that the company has accumulated while running the world's most popular search engine. Considering how few countries Pay is now out in (just 10), this is big news.

The rollout of products and services was created to establish Google's bona fides as a company clearly driven by its AI capabilities, and the message was driven home that the company is putting its machine learning expertise front and center, adding more personalization and more contextual awareness. This is already available on the Echo and other devices that use its Alexa assistant.

More information is expected in the coming days on Google's plans for wearables with Android Wear, as well as Android TV, and at the end of the three-day event there will be a live-streamed concert by LCD Soundsystem.

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Android Go is created to run smoothly on phones with 1 gigabyte or less of memory.