Biggest takeaways from Google I/O 2019

23 June 2019

Google’s developer conference dubbed Google I/O takes place every year and focuses on hardware and software news. Here are the biggest take-aways from Google I/O 2019.

New devices update

a. Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL launched

There were rumors that Google was going to launch low-cost Google Pixel 3 phone versions at the Google 10 2019 in response to Samsung’s S10e and Apple’s iPhone XR. The rumors were true. The 3a and 3a XL have 5.6 and 6-inch screens and a starting price of $399 and $479 respectively. The phones come with advanced camera features synonymous with the Pixel brand. These features include; Night Sight, portrait mode (on the rear and front camera) and Super Res Zoom. Other notable features include; an AR maps mode, active edge, 30-hour battery life and directional markets to real locations via your camera, phone’s screen and GPS components. The phones also have free photo storage on the cloud.

In case you are wondering how Google was able to offer a lower price with the 3a and 3aXL, the phones don’t come with wireless charging and waterproofing features. The phones are available in white, black and purple-ish colors in 13 countries currently.    

b. Nest Hub Max

Google has a new $229 Google Assistant smart display dubbed Nest Hub Max featuring a camera with many applications including video calling and home security monitoring. Unlike its predecessor (Google Home Hub), the Nest Hub Max features a 10-inch display and built-in camera with facial recognition features that personalize results between family members. To address privacy concerns, mics and cameras can be switched off physically using a slider on the back.

Software updates

a. Android Q beta 3   

To commemorate its 2.5 billion+ active Android devices globally extending to smart screens, navigation systems and TVs, Google has launched Android Q beta 3 (the 10th generation Android OS) featuring a new mode (wellbeing mode), smart reply and Dark Theme. The software will be available on 21 devices including OnePlus, Nokia and Pixel phones.

Unlike in Android Q beta, Beta 3 can be turned on/off. Other interesting features include inverted app colors and a focus mode that grays out the screen. Parents and caregivers can also link accounts and set app limitations for their kids. Features like smart reply will be offered in messaging apps among other related apps like Google Maps prompted in messages about commutes or address. In regard to privacy and security, the software comes with an incognito mode for maps, reminders on sharing and location usage, TLSV3 encryption and faster security updates without the need to reboot a device.

 b. Google search To continue it’s dominance as a search giant, Google has included AR camera trickery on search results. According to Google’s on-stage demonstration of this feature, a medical student searching for muscle groups via a mobile device can now see results with a 3D representation on the muscle group they are searching for and seen at real scale via their Smartphone screen.

c. Google Lens    Google has also updated its image recognition software by combining image recognition and mapping data. You can now get recommendations from a restaurant’s menu by simply pointing your Smartphone camera at the menu. The feature can also show tipping information as well as offer bill splitting help.

d. Google duplex    Google Assistant is now on over 1 billion devices worldwide. The recently launched Google Assistant feature, Google Duplex, is capable of making calls and bookings on your request is now smarter. The feature has can now plan trips for you which includes filling in reservation details, hiring cars and more as per your confirmation of the inputted details. The feature can perform many other tasks like helping users write emails, reply to messages, get personalized direction results all via voice commands.

Ads updates

Ads Data Hub

Google’s Ads Data Hub enables advertisers, 3rd party vendors and agencies to input data into BigQuery and sync it with event-level ad campaign data. The benefits include; better attribution, advertising efficiency and a more holistic view of advertising channels.

Discovery Ads

You can also showcase your ads on Google search discover section on mobile, a feature that can lower your ads cost by 25% per lead compared to other platforms (Hint: Facebook) and Google’s search campaigns.

Gallery Ads    

Text ads featuring pictures are now available on search result pages. 4-8 images per ad, a maximum of 70 characters under every image and 3-headlines per main ad. Projected engagement is 25% more clicks.

Deep linking

You can also link applications to ads rather than sites so that apps users have sent directly to your app and not your website. This feature is expected to double conversion rates. Smart bidding You can now maximize conversion value using the smart bidding feature to be availed soon. This feature allows you to set conversion value rules during bidding.    

Bumper machine

Using this new ad feature, you can make 6-second video ads inside Google Ads. You can also use your YouTube videos to create ads automatically. 6-second bumper ads enjoy a better ad recall rate (107% better) than 30-second ads.

Custom audiences   

It’s now possible to set custom audiences on YouTube and Gmail in discovery and display ad campaigns thanks to custom infinity and intent audiences.

Audience expansion tool   

To get more targeted audience, audio ads will now be available for podcast searches in line with the 85% increase in such searches over the last two years. Audio ads that have been traditionally heard on radio will be available on relevant podcasts.    

Google shopping

You’ll also be able to purchase TV ads through display and Video 360 on local and national TV channels. Purchases can be done directly through Google Shopping on YouTube and through search instead of going through websites. To enjoy this feature, you need to be part of the Shipping Actions Program that comes with a Google Guarantee and personalized experience based on purchases in past ad campaigns.

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