Update: Apple knows how to put on a show, right? While the cellphone maker is the king of making big announcements each September with its new iPhones and Macs, this week Google upstaged Apple big time.
The search engine giant unveiled amazing new products that'll change everything about the way you communicate with the people you love, and the way you keep them safe.
Earlier this week, we gave you an insider's sneak peek stating what Google would unveil at its Google I/O conference. But just about everyone has been surprised by how much new stuff Google is introducing. There's a reason you're hearing "game changer" a lot to describe these five new Google tools you'll be using soon.
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This is amazing! Duo is Google's answer to another successful technology program. It's a super simple video chat app for your smartphone. It works like Apple's FaceTime, except it is compatible on both Android and Apple.
It's incredibly easy to use. Just call someone using their phone number. A cool and unique feature it has is called "Knock, Knock," which provides a video preview of who's calling you.
2. Google Home
Earlier this week, we thought that Google might not reveal its answer to Amazon's Echo at the conference, but we're sure glad we were wrong. Google Home, and its virtual assistant the Google Assistant, is the company's version of Amazon's Echo and Alexa.
It's a smart speaker that's capable of many tasks, such as conducting Google searches to telling you what your plans are for the week. It can also control your TV, music, smart home appliances and more.
Note: One heads up about Google Home. Like other Google devices, it's always listening to you, unless you turn it off.
To put it bluntly, Google knows a lot about us, and it wants to know more. It knows our search history, Gmail, personal information, the addresses we look up, the videos we like to watch, and so much more. The upside is, this in-depth knowledge about us can make the Google Assistant customized to you. Google Home is expected to be released next year.
Watch the video below to learn more about this controversial speaker.
Google's Allo is similar to Facebook's smartphone app Messenger, but with a twist. It has the same smart Google Assistant as Google Home built in.
That means you can message your friends and simultaneously ask Google Assistant to look up the nearest coffee shop or tell you where a movie is playing. Allo's chatbots will provide "smart replies," which suggest one touch responses to messages. For example, if your friends send you a picture of them on a beach it might reply for you, "Have fun!"
Security bonus: One major feature of this app is end-to-end encryption. Allo will use the same encryption protocol that Facebook's WhatsApp uses. That means your messages are nearly impossible for a hacker to see when you're in Incognito Mode.
4. Android N
Android N is the next generation of the Android mobile operating system. We already knew about its split-screen multitasking feature, new quick settings, better battery life and of course new emojis. Google unveiled other new capabilities, including Virtual Reality support via Daydream platform, automatically removing apps you don't use from the home screen, better task switching and more.
So, did we discover what the "N" stood for? We did. It stands for nothing. While speaking about this new device Google also announced a contest to name the operating system after a sugary treat that starts with the letter "N." (Note: Do you know what Android "M" stands for? The answer is here.)
5. Android VR
Just like we hoped, Google revealed plans for Virtual Reality. It is still in the beginning stages, but its reference-design headset, controller and tools platform for Daydream was displayed. As of now it requires a heavy-duty phone that should be available to major manufacturers this fall. Google is working on lots of VR-optimized content including games, movies, street view, apps, photos and more.
Bonus: Keep reading Happening Now for all the breaking news from Google I/O 2016.