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Google I/O 2019 Day 1 top announcements: Android Q Beta 3, Pixel 3a series, and more

Google I/O 2019: Here are top announcements from the annual developer conference.

Slower processors and cheaper materials helped Google price the Pixel 3a with a 5.6-inch screen at $399. The larger Pixel 3a XL has a 6-inch screen and costs $479. That's roughly half the price of the company's existing Pixel phones,
Slower processors and cheaper materials helped Google price the Pixel 3a with a 5.6-inch screen at $399. The larger Pixel 3a XL has a 6-inch screen and costs $479. That's roughly half the price of the company's existing Pixel phones, (Bloomberg)

Privacy took centre stage at the inaugural day of Google's annual developer conference, I/O 2019. It announced users will soon be able to access Google Maps in incognito mode, easily access privacy tools under the profile, and even track apps that are accessing your location data. It also introduced a new Next Hub with Amazon Echo-like physical button to disable access to microphone and camera.

Apart from new privacy features, Google announced new updates to its existing services. It also launched a new Pixel 3a smartphone series to target the affordable premium segment. Here are top announcements made by Google at its I/O 2019 conference.

Google Pixel 3a

Google launched its new Pixel 3a series, a cheaper and lighter version of its Pixel 3 flagships series. Google Pixel 3a will be available in India at 39,999, while the bigger Pixel 3a XL will retail at 44,999. The new Google Pixel series comes with the same design, and camera features as well. Google Pixel 3a will go on sale in India on May 15 via Flipkart.

Google Lens

Google revealed its AI-based Google Lens has already been used a billion times. The latest update to Google Lens includes "visual answers" to "visual questions."

"Say you're at a restaurant, figuring out what to order. Lens can automatically highlight which dishes are popular--right on the physical menu. When you tap on a dish, you can see what it actually looks like and what people are saying about it, thanks to photos and reviews from Google Maps," said Google in a blog post.

Google Lens will soon be available to Google Go users. Lens in Google Go is under 100KB and is said to work seamlessly on low-end phones.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address at the 2019 Google I/O conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 07, 2019 in Mountain View, California.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address at the 2019 Google I/O conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 07, 2019 in Mountain View, California. (AFP)

Google Search

Augmented Reality is coming to Google Search. Soon, users can view and interact with 3D images appearing in the search results. You will get an option in Google's Knowledge Panel to view the 3D images in AR. Google said it is working with the likes of NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, and Wayfair among others to bring such AR-3D images on their platform.

Duplex on the web

Google's Duplex AI tool will soon be available on the web in English for users in the US and UK. The web version of the Assistant tool can automatically fill up your information online. With Duplex, Google Assistant can book car rentals with information directly pulled from calendar events. It can also book movie tickets for users.

Android Q

Google announced availability of its Android Q Beta 3 for all users. Android Q beta can now be downloaded on 21 more devices from 13 brands including the Pixel phones. The latest iteration of Android comes with new features primarily focused on better privacy controls. Google demonstrated Android Q's support for foldable phones, and system-wide dark mode. Android Q will also natively support 5G connectivity.