While the Google Search app brought the voice recognition and smart responses of the most recent update to the Google Search engine to iOS, this week it goes in-browser with Chrome as well. The Chrome web browser update comes in with natural voice recognition and searching without typing - sort of like what you get with Siri. Here voice recognition gets a boost, quicker recognition with text streaming as you chat, and responses spoken aloud.
Over on Google's Developer website, two YouTube videos have appeared for what is being called a Chrome Mobile Special Event. Both are going to be live events, with each set to take place a week apart in the middle of June. Unfortunately, no information about the videos are given, merely a promise that "More details [are] coming soon."
Most everyone we know will play a browser-based game from time to time. While there are plenty to choose from, there are some from Google that are a bit more unique. These, while games, are actually experiments. To be specific, Google launches these games as Chrome Experiments. We got a look at one called World Wide Maze a few months back and Google was showing one called Racer during I/O.
Like something out of an Inspector Gadget cartoon, a new plugin for browsers called OTR allows users to send messages to other users that will self-destruct a few seconds after they are read, (hopefully) disappearing forever. The plugin was launched today by Lamplighter Games, a company run by two brothers who wanted to bring Snapchat-like functionality to Web browsers. We've got a demo of it in action after the jump.
Today the Android version of the Chrome web browser has been updated to "Chrome 27", this bringing with it the first wave of desktop abilities promised at Google I/O 2013. This update will be a free update for users - as always - and is optimized for both smartphone and tablet-sized devices. As it is in Chrome on one platform, so too shall it be on the other.
Google's new "conversational search" feature for Chrome has quietly been enabled, with the new feature appearing in the latest version of Google's browser. Announced at I/O, the new Voice Search feature builds on the existing ability for Chrome to accept spoken search terms, now listing out your query on screen as you say it, and then able to show the results in Google Now-style cards as well as reading out the answer.
It's a return to form here at Google I/O 2013, with none other than Google’s own Vice President of Android Product Management Hugo Barra letting us know that he'd personally fought hard for a more developer-focused single keynote address. As past years had been notably more consumer and product-focused than 2013, it's not a flash-bang the company has gone for here, it's a return to form: Google I/O in its purest form.
This week the folks at the development studio known as Instrument have brought a virtual reality demonstration to Google I/O 2013, complete with a multi-display drop from the upper atmosphere down toward the earth in freefall. What this demonstration consisted of was seven 1080p displays, each of them run by their own Ubuntu PC working with a full-screen version of Chrome version 25. A motion tracker works to track the user, their arms, and the angle at which they're standing - or leaning and falling, as it were.
This week Google I/O 2013's single keynote session focused not just on Chrome and Android, but on Google Maps as well. In an update that Google simply calls "The new Google Maps" and won't be available to all users until later this year. Developers attending Google I/O 2013 as well as those that get early invites to the system will be able to take part in the roll-out first: here Google begins to truly integrate their smart search results and their maps systems, here that Google's promise that the map itself will become the user interface.