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AZ Tech Beat | May 29, 2017

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Google IO Keynote Wrapup: New Tablet, Siri Competitor and More

Lanni Solochek

As Google I/O is held every year, new technology released on an hourly basis flies into the media and creates excitement for the upcoming year. Google I/O (Input/Output), is one of the largest technology unveilings and information conferences in the world. Held at the Moscone Center in San Fransisco, just outside of Google’s Headquarters (Googleplex) in Mountain View, this two-day convention is full of wild new technology out to raise the bar for other companies. Stakes are high this year with the incredible releases by companies like Apple and Amazon, but, as always, Google can easily surprise.

What’s Been Released:

In big news today, Google has delivered on their promises of major competitive products. In just the last few hours, the multi-billion dollar company has released prototypes of a streaming media player, a Google tablet, and voice search technology similar to Apple’s SIRI. Teaming up with companies like Asus and Android, Google has set to make their mark on all technology. With new ideas sprouting around the world every day, Google has finally begun to catch up off the web.

The Tech:

Nexus Q-The Nexus Q is the most recently released idea by Google. Bragging to be “the first social streaming media player”, the Nexus Q will connect directly to Google Play to play media from the user’s account. Google Play, which launched recently as a mock-iTunes in March, essentially allows users to upload all of their media into a cloud, including books, movies, music, and apps. The major one-up from iTunes is that Google Play, which includes Google Music, allows you to also download your library from your cloud to a new device, making it revolutionarily easier to transfer music from one computer to another. The Q allows users to create a “queue” of their music through Google Play and the device will use that playlist. It also grants others access to the queue to add their music and create a “party”, as it’s been nicknamed.

The Nexus Q does have a major downside for many prospective users, though. To create the device, Google partnered with Android and allowed their team to single-handedly create the Q. This brought about the inconvenient factor that the Nexus Q is controlled solely by an Android-run smart phone or tablet. This leaves those of us who have shifted to the iPhone at a general loss. While the concept is relatively new and entertaining, as is the black orb-like design, the success of the product may be greatly reduced due to the technicalities of the system. The $300 price-point is also a major barrier to entry, hinting that this product is intended for early adopters to help work out the kinks.  A lower price will be necessary before it sees anything remotely close to major adoption.

Credit to blogee.net

Nexus 7-Google’s most highly anticipated creation, the Nexus 7 tablet, has finally been launched, putting Google in real competition with Apple and Kindle. The tablet is 7”, significantly smaller than the iPad’s 9.7” display, and runs on Android’s latest software, Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean. Nexus 7 is centered on the use of Google Play, just like the Nexus Q. Users will automatically tap into their Google Play accounts and be able to access anything in their cloud. The Nexus 7, though, was not designed to compete with iPad. Most say it is more likely to be compared to the Kindle Fire, which is due for a software update later this summer. The Nexus 7 presentation focused much more heavily on the Android Jelly Bean operating system than the Google Play connectivity, which begs the question of which company is benefitting more from this creation. Only the future can tell what will come of the Nexus 7. All we know is that we’re excited Google has finally joined the age of the tablet.

Mock-SIRI-Though the new Android operating system, which will first be used on the Nexus 7, Google has added a SIRI-like voice search for the tablet; however, this “SIRI” is said to be kinder than Apple’s. With similar style, Jelly Bean’s (Android 4.1) voice software responds to and questions in a computer voice, displaying results for the user smoother, more soothing voice than SIRI, which many say they appreciate. Equally, Jelly Bean provides answers in the voice interface window, rather than opening up a new window like SIRI often does for google searches and maps. The biggest note, though, includes the use of Google’s new Knowledge Graph technology, which is essentially a card that holds all of the information the user has asked for, rather than displaying multiple results like SIRI. Needless to say, many Android users look forward to having their own best friend to talk to inside their phone. Everyone needs someone to answer the age-old “what is the meaning of life” question.

Overall, Google has fulfilled most expectations so far. In just a few hours, they have released some of their biggest advancements in years. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Google and all of their new products.