Google’s annual keynote, I/0, took place last month, revealing the biggest upcoming projects. Among them is Google Assistant – introduced by CEO Sundar Pichai – enabling search with a conversational approach and working across devices, including Google Home – a voice-activated device that will switch on the lights, set the oven timer or play a song. The as-yet-unnamed Android N is also on its way, bringing background downloads, better graphics performance, reduced battery consumption and storage, and streamlined notifications. You can help name the successor to Marshmallow at android.com/n
Allo is a new messaging app that will allow you to use information from Google Assistant within the message stream – it could suggest a restaurant nearby for you and your mates or provide information from your calendar. Smart Reply learns your style of texting and suggests appropriate responses.
Duo, meanwhile, is designed to make video messaging faster. Like Allo, it’s based on your phone number, so you can use it with any contact in your phonebook. It features Knock Knock – a live video preview of the caller before you pick up, and adjusts quality if the bandwidth is limited so you can still connect. Both apps are out in the summer, for Android and iOS.
A new ‘power-saving mode’ has been added to Opera’s browser for computers, offering an impressive 50 per cent increase on battery life for notebooks and laptops. As soon as your power cable is unplugged, an icon appears for you to click and activate the power-saving measures, which include ad blocking, code simplification and smarter memory management.
Impossible Project’s I-1 is built to bring instant photography to the digital generation – Polaroid-style. With iOS app integration and unique editing opportunities, the funky I-1 also features a one-of-a-kind ring flash providing diffused light with soft shadows for beautifully lit portraits. On sale now, priced from £229; film costs around £30 for a pack of one black and white, one colour, with eight shots each.
Sony’s latest wireless headphones provide high-resolution audio, a 20-hour battery life and intelligent noise cancelling that analyses the ambient sounds around you and automatically selects the most effective mode to suit your current environment. The carefully designed ear pads not only offer comfort but also minimise sound leakage. Available now, priced at around £220.