| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Google lays out new features to keep users clicking after lockdown

On Tuesday, Alphabet Inc’s Google released a range of services including Maps and Docs that highlights its role in a pandemic-related world that is more digitally connected.

The search by Google, video conferencing and other tools have increasingly been used in recent years, forcing people to shop and share online lockdowns and other pandemic limitations.

Google wants to make a case with the resumption of its own activities and to compete with services from Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc. and others, including through features that promote hybrid operations.

Chief Executive Sundar Pichai is headlining a two-hour livestream on Tuesday as part of Google I/O, the company’s annual three-day developer conference. The forum was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 and has a mostly virtual audience this year.

Pichai on Tuesday touted an effort to help drivers using Google Maps reduce sudden braking by navigating them on “safer” routes, and Google also shared new editing and viewing options for Google Docs and other collaboration tools.

Later, Pichai also may highlight Google’s progress on issues that have become bigger priorities for Corporate America over the past year, including climate change and racial justice. He has called for features, such as eco-friendly directions in Maps, that help users live more sustainably, and has sought to ensure Google technology works well for people of all backgrounds.

Increasing data privacy and expanding various subscription businesses have been other areas of focus, along with improving the performance of products through artificial intelligence (AI), custom computer chips and potentially quantum computing.

I/O is normally held outdoors near Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters, with thousands of software developers from major companies and startups attending to learn about new programming options to jazz up their apps.

  • Reuters