United States

Check Out Latest AI Enhancements That Google Announced At MWC; Messaging Assistant, Driving Summaries, Accessibility Tools, And More

Check out all the upcoming latest updates that Google announced at Mobile World Congress 2024.

Photo: Google

Google announced a wave of Android updates Mobile World Congress (MWC), highlighting advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) for improved user experiences across messaging, driving safety, and accessibility.

Gemini for Messages: Messaging users on Android can now interact directly with Google's AI chatbot, "Gemini," without leaving the app. This beta feature will allow users to request basic tasks like composing messages, planning events, or simply engage in casual conversation. Currently, English-language users are the first to experience this feature.

AI-powered summaries for safer driving: Android Auto receives an AI boost aimed at minimizing distractions while driving. When messages overwhelm your phone, be it a group chat exploding or a friend sending a novel, Android Auto will summarize and read the message concisely. Additionally, it suggests quick replies and actions, like sharing your estimated arrival time (ETA), allowing you to respond with a single tap and maintain focus on the road.

Enhanced accessibility features: Google announced new accessibility features at MWC. The Lookout app gains AI-powered image captioning, generating descriptions for online or received images and reading them aloud. This feature initially rolls out in English globally. Additionally, the Lens feature in Maps receives an improved screen reader option. Users can point their phone at a location like a restaurant or transit station and receive information about it.

New casting controls for Spotify: The Android update includes new casting controls for Spotify called "Spotify Connect." Similar to the existing functionality with YouTube Music, this allows users to seamlessly switch playback between devices, such as headphones and speakers.

Gemini rebrand and subscription plans: Google continues its "Gemini" naming theme with the rebranding of its enterprise-focused AI, previously known as "Duet" within Workspace. Businesses can choose from two Gemini for Workspace plans:

Gemini Business: A new option for $20 per month, available to organizations of all sizes.

Gemini Enterprise: A $30 per month offering tailored for larger companies and "heavy users of generative AI."

Consumers can access AI features in Workspace apps through a Google One AI Premium plan, starting at $20 per month.

Both consumer and business subscribers can also access the Gemini chat experience directly through a dedicated website. Google ensures "enterprise-grade data protections" and copyright indemnification, guaranteeing that user conversations will not be used for advertising, AI training, or data sharing.

"By leveraging Gemini 1.0 Ultra, one of our largest AI models, we are able to provide insightful and expert responses to help people at work," stated Aparna Pappu, General Manager and Vice President of Google Workspace, in a blog post. "Now, diverse teams in SMBs to large enterprises can use Gemini in more sophisticated ways with confidence that their interactions can be kept private."