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Editorial: Assistant is the key to Google's Android Automotive project

Google spent much of the I/O 2017 keynote talking about machine learning. In fact, we heard the phrase "AI first" as a description of Google's current plans. You probably have a little sliver of Google's AI capabilities in your pocket right now—Google Assistant. There's one place in particular Google really wants Assistant to live, and that's in your car.

Voice commands in general are extremely well-suited to the car, so it should come as no surprise that Google had two Assistant-infused "Android Automotive" demos on-hand at I/O—one from Volvo (above) and another from Audi. It's more clear now than ever that Google wants to be the smart interface for your car, and it plans to do it with Assistant.

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Android O feature spotlight: You can automatically enable WiFi near trusted networks, and it now works in DP2

The Android beta program gives us a chance to see the latest features of Android, some of which don't actually work yet. That was the case when the first developer preview came out with an option to automatically switch WiFi on when you get near a trusted network. The toggle was non-functional in the first dev preview, but it works in DP2.

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Android O feature spotlight: VolumeShaper lets audio apps perform cross fades, fade-outs, and more

Android has a long and complicated history with audio output, but Google has been improving audio on Android with higher quality sound and lower latency. In Android O, developers will have a new tool to perform audio transitions and effects.

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Google's Dave Burke: The first rule of Fuchsia is you don't talk about Fuchsia

People have been buzzing about Google's Fuchsia project, an open source operating system that popped up on GitHub a few months ago. Some have even speculated that Fuchsia could be a replacement for Android down the road. Someone brought this up at the Android Fireside Chat, and VP of engineering for Android Dave Burke replied by basically not talking about Fuchsia.

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Graphics drivers can be updated from the Play Store in Android O

A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming.

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Android O Dev Preview 2 swaps around WiFi and cellular status icons for some reason

Google is always making little tweaks to the UI during the developer previews, but there's usually a reason. The new Android O preview inexplicably swaps the cellular and WiFi indicators around in the status bar. It's very weird to see.

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Google Assistant gets an app directory with categories and sample commands

Until now, the only place you could see all the apps with Assistant support was the gigantic scrolling list in the Home app. With the updated Assistant implementation rolling out today, you can finally check out what Assistant has to offer in a more sane way. It's got an app directory now.

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Google Assistant on Android now has query history that you can edit or delete

Google is in the process or rolling out typing input for Assistant on Android phones, which was announced on day one of I/O. When you get it, there will be a few more goodies that Google's didn't see fit to talk about. It turns out there is a full editable history of what you say to Assistant.

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Here are all the Instant Apps announced at Google I/O

Instant Apps were announced one year ago at Google I/O 2016, but only now are they rolling out to a large amount of users. Now any developer can make instant Apps, and Google showed off a massive list of them at a session earlier today (seen above).

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Google is preparing Daydream 2.0, Chrome VR, and new tools for virtual/augmented reality developers

In all of the hubbub of yesterday's I/O keynote, Google took some time to mention a few changes and additions coming to Daydream and Tango, its virtual and augmented reality platforms respectively. While we got some interesting news about Standalone and WorldSense, Google has revealed more information about what we can expect from the future of VR/AR.

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