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Google reveals loads of Android updates, including new Photos service

Google’s massive I/O conference is in full swing and Google used the stage to talk Google Wear, plus helpful new Android features. Here’s a brief summary of the main points.

Now On Tap

Google has worked hard with Android M to make sure you can get all the info you need at a certain moment, with as little fuss as possible. ‘Now on Tap’ is its helpful new feature which adds smarts to Android, so your searches are taken in context.

For instance, if you are playing a Skrillex track, you can ask the Google voice assistant, ‘what is his real name?’ – the phone will then work out that you’re talking about Mr Skrillex and deliver his actual moniker.

Likewise, if you receive an email saying that your partner wants to go to see a new movie, you can hold down the Home button to bring up all the info you’ll need, including reviews and showing times for your local cinema.

Google Photos

Google Photos is a new online home for your photos and videos, giving you the ability to save a lifetime of memories in high quality for absolutely zero cash, providing you’re an Android user. Check out our full write-up of why this is the only cloud storage solution you’ll need.

Android Wear

Android Wear briefly cropped up, but there was no real news, beyond the fact that there are now a whopping 4,000 Google Wear apps available to download. Not bad considering it’s been around for less than a year.

Google repeated the news about its recent Android Wear changes too, including gesture support and the ability to scribble emojis on your smartwatch screen and have your apps always on in the background. We covered those changes here and also told you how to update your Android Wear device.

Google Cardboard

Google hasn’t forgotten its Cardboard VR headset either, a cheap way of enjoying virtual reality. An all-new Cardboard headset is easier to assemble, requiring just 3 steps instead of the original 12, and now supports handsets up to 6-inches – handy, considering pretty much every phone is now over 5-inches.

Google also revealed Jump, a new feature that allows users to shoot their surroundings with a special rig containing 16 camera modules (which you can make yourself if so desired, or else buy from the likes of GoPro, who will be manufacturing a compatible device), before automatically converting it into a VR experience that others can enjoy on YouTube (support starts this summer).


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