This Week’s Tech and Mobile News: Google Assistant, Android P, Robots and Jetpacks

google io

Google had it’s IO conference last week and there were a number of improvements announced to Google Assistant, the virtual assistant you can access on your phone by saying ‘Hey Google’. The stand-out demonstration was a real call to a hairdresser’s where Google Assistant was able to carry out a normal conversation with the person who answered the phone and book a hair appointment. It was a certainly a look into the future where we’ll be able to automate more and more simple tasks like this. See the other changes coming to Google Assistant here.

Android P or Android 9 is the next version of the mobile operating system which is now available in beta, with the full version expected to come in August. Here are some of the new features. Google is applying its AI to work out which apps you are likely to use and save power by waking up apps selectively. Adaptive brightness is a way to automatically adjust the screen display according to the environment and past use patterns. See details of the other changes coming to Android.

Rumours are pointing to Google launching up to three Pixel-branded watches later this year to take on the Apple Watch. Other manufacturers have been producing watches using Google’s Wear OS, but this would be the first time the company have released a smartwatch under it’s own brand.

boston dynamics

Boston Dynamics has said that it’s headless dog-like robot, the Spot Mini will be available for sale next year. The robot can run for 90 minutes between charges and can work by itself or partially under human-control. Different arms can be attached to the body and uses could include security or construction.

Finally, this Guardian article looks back at the long history of the jetpack and wonders why we are all not yet flying to work!