- A source told The Washington Post that Sundar Pichai’s keynote address at Google I/O will emphasize the company’s “responsibilities.”
- If true, it appears the speech will be a response to the social outcry against large tech companies for violating the public trust.
- It’s expected that a future version of Android will feature screen time management tools to curb “smartphone addiction.”
It appears that the keynote address will be a response to the recent social outcry against the practices of major technology companies like Facebook, Apple, and yes, Google. Pichai is expected to focus much of the address on examples of how Google plans to earn back the public trust.
As an example, the anonymous source indicates that Google will add new features to future versions of Android that will help individuals and families monitor and manage the amount of screen time they spend on mobile devices. This feature is likely related to multiple reports that “smartphone addiction” is becoming a threat, especially to young people.
Since Google products are used by billions of people around the world, Google’s role in social issues can’t be denied, just like Facebook’s role in the outcome of political elections can’t be understated.
Google already has several products available to parents to keep children from spending too much time on their phones, through its app suite called Family Link. However, if Google incorporates device usage management tools directly into Android, that would put the operating system head-and-shoulders above rival iOS, which currently only offers a small selection of management features related to screen time.
The source did not make it clear if these new management features would come with Android P or a future OS version. However, with the keynote address focusing on the topic, it’s likely we’ll see the features in Android P.
Pichai focused last year’s keynote on the importance of artificial intelligence. The anonymous source indicated that AI will still be discussed at this year’s keynote, with an emphasis on new features coming to Google Assistant that will make conversing with the app more fluid and natural.
Google I/O 2018 officially starts tomorrow. We’ll be posting news from the conference as it becomes available.