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Android: Everything Google announced at I/O for smartphone operating system

Google announcements from I/O 2024 related to Android included Circle to Search, Gemini Nano, multimodal capabilities, scam call alerts, and more

Google I/O 2024

Google I/O 2024

Prakruti Mishra New Delhi

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Google I/O 2024 keynote focused on artificial intelligence and how it would change the experience across its platforms and services, including Android. The US-based software giant announced improvements to its gesture-driven Circle to Search feature, which is set to expand to 200 million devices by the end of this year. Moreover, Google announced new capabilities coming to Gemini app, multimodal Gemini Nano model for on-device AI, new accessibility features, and enhanced spam protection.

Circle to Search

Debuted with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series smartphone, Google said its Circle to Search is now available on more than 100 million devices. For the uninitiated, Circle to Search let’s Android smartphone users search anything on their phone without switching to another app and leaving what they are doing.

With features like full-screen translation now available with Circle the feature is set to get new capabilities to help people do more. According to Google, Circle to Search will soon help students with their homework with not just answers but also explaining to them the concepts to reach the answers.

Google said students will receive step-by-step instruction to solve a physics and math problem, once they circle a prompt. This feature will also expand to more complex problems involving symbolic formulas, diagrams, graphs and more later in the year.

Gemini Assistant

With a better understanding of what is on the screen and what app is being used on the device, Gemini will get better at using generative AI to help the users be more efficient. Google plans to let users bring Gemini on top of the apps (overlay) with support for actions like drag and drop generated images into Gmail, Google Messages and other places. Moreover, there are new capabilities coming to the Gemini app such as “Ask this” to find specific information in a YouTube video, PDF files, and more.

Gemini Nano with multimodality

Google said it will bring its latest Gemini Nano model with support for reasoning across text, visuals, and audio to the Pixel devices later this year. It essentially means select Pixel smartphones will be able to process text input and understand more information in context like sights, sounds and spoken language. Importantly, the information will be processed on-device.

Gemini Nano’s multimodal capabilities will also help differently abled people, especially those who experience blindness or low vision, through the TalkBack feature that is said to offer richer and clearer descriptions of what’s happening in an image.

Scam call alerts

Google’s Gemini Nano with Multimodality on Android will work to screen the calls and notify users with an alert for suspected scams during phone calls. Google said that the conversation data will stay private as this is an on-device feature.

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First Published: May 15 2024 | 12:09 PM IST

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