Everything important from Google I/O: Virtual reality, Google Lens and more

What’s Google got in store for us in 2017 and beyond? We tuned in to its Google I/O developer conference on its 10th anniversary to bring you the lowdown. Unlike the hardware-centric announcements of last October, I/O focuses mostly on software and how to to get the most out of those devices.

In the beginning there was the recap — essentially AI and machine-learning everywhere — and the numbers. No surprise: there are a lot of Android devices out there (more than 2 billion, the company said) and we spend a lot of time and bandwidth using Google services.

And in a random comment, Google announced that Gmail gets the smart reply feature that’s been available in Inbox and other services for a while.

The company announced several new efforts. Google.ai is a spinoff division to encompass learning systems, research tools and applied AI to inform all of its work, including an AI that can build more AIs

Google Lens is a new recognition engine that enables intelligent mixed reality — performing text and object recognition and feeding it into other apps to act upon, such as using the camera to view your router serial numbers and automatically provide related links.

And lastly it announced Google Jobs, its platform to bring its contextual intelligence power to making it easier to find the jobs you’re looking for.

A crowd watches the keynote address at Google I/O, the company’s annual developers conference, May 17, 2017.

James Martin/CNET

Android O

Google released the developer preview of Android O, its next generation operating system, in March, but a lot can change in a few months. Today we saw the official version of Android O, along with the new Android Go, a slimmed-down, less demanding version of the operating system to power devices in emerging markets.

We did get demos of picture-in-picture, Notification Dots, smart copy-and-paste, and other features to streamline…

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