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Google I/O 2024: AI Takes Center Stage with Gemini, Project Astra, and More

TLDR: Google I/O 2024 focused on AI and software, with Gemini powering new features in Gmail, Android, and Search. Project Astra, Google Veo, and Imagen 3 showcased AI’s potential. Android 15 and Wear OS 5 also received updates.

Google has just wrapped up its I/O developer conference for 2024, and the focus was squarely on AI and software, with no hardware announcements or teases.

The star of the show was Google Gemini, the company’s latest AI powerhouse, and its various applications across Google’s services.

Project Astra: The AI Assistant of the Future

Google unveiled Project Astra, an AI assistant that uses video captured with a phone and voice recognition to deliver contextual responses to your questions.


Gemini Comes to Google Workspace

Gemini is being rolled out to more Google services, like Gmail, which can now summarize emails that are part of longer chains. There’s also a smart reply feature that allows Gemini to deliver more contextualized replies after analyzing your email conversations.

More AI in Android

While Google didn’t directly show off or mention features specifically about Android 15, they did share how more AI features are coming to Android. Circle to Search is getting a broader roll out, and there’s an AI feature called TalkBack for Android that serves as an accessibility tool to announce descriptions of photos for those who are blind or have limited eyesight.

Google Search Gets an AI Boost

Searching with Google is getting a tremendous boost with new Gemini features such as faster answers with AI Overview, creating a travel itinerary, and the ability to use video to solve problems.


Google Veo and Imagen 3: AI-Generated Videos and Images

Using generative AI, Google Veo can create realistic, detailed 1080p videos based on your request. Meanwhile, Imagen 3 can generate images based on text prompts.

Android 15 Beta 2 Highlights

The second Android 15 beta is out, and Google has highlighted some of the features coming to your phone later this year:

  • Private Space: An area for hiding sensitive apps
  • Theft Detection Lock: Uses AI to determine if your phone has been swiped
  • Adding passes to Google Wallet with a photo
  • AR content in Google Maps

Wear OS 5: Efficiency Improvements

The big story with Google’s newly unveiled wearables software is improved efficiency. Google says that the new version will preserve 20% more battery life when running a marathon than Wear OS 4 did. You’ll also get new metrics such as Ground Contact Time, Stride Length, Vertical Oscillation, and Vertical Ratio.

While there were no hardware announcements, Google I/O 2024 showcased the company’s continued focus on AI and software improvements across its services and platforms.


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