Google and Apple Keynotes May & June 2018

Watching the Google the I/O Keynote and seeing what a huge event with around 7000 people at the amphitheater and many more watching the video shows the significance of keynotes for companies to position themselves as key innovators in the industry. Usually, before Apple announces key events there will be a lot of media chatter around the fact that Apple rented a conference space or auditorium at a certain location, finally followed by Apple’s announcement of the event. The Apple Keynotes are highly anticipated events in the industry. Both companies are showing great strength in choreographing their keynotes in such a way that it creates a huge push and momentum for their products and services.

Google’s key announcements:

  • Google Assistant enables continued conversations without having to say the wake word repeatedly
    • This shows the growing significance of voice interfaces and conversational human to machine interaction
  • AI-powered fixes for photos (colorization, brightness, rotation)
    • Google is working to become the hub for all pictures of the users because each additional picture Google gets helps them to get better at image recognition
  • Google Assistant for smart displays
    • Smart devices that users interact within their home are becoming mainstream. Answering users’ questions is not limited voice responses but extends to visual responses.
  • Google Maps integrates assistant and combines it with street view and camera and image recognition technology
    • This is a great push in Augmented Reality and enhancing the user experience through additional information by combining camera data with maps, resulting in even more information for Google to create more user stickiness
  • Creation of customized AI hardware
    • This is the general trend to specifically design the chips for AI applications, whether in the cloud or even on the iPhone or any other smartphone (e.g. Huawei, Kirin chip)
  • AI–powered News App
    • Offering better news locks users into the ecosystem
  • ML Kit
    • By lowering the barrier to entry for developers Google will be a strong player in the B2D2C business

A great resource summarizing the above-mentioned news can be found on TechCrunch (­


Apple’s key announcements:

  • iOS 12 next-generation iPhone operating system
    • Own file format for Augmented Reality and the developer community as the audience to join the push into AR
  • AR Kit 2.0 next-gen software for developing AR experiences
    • The future will include AR experiences and whoever has the best AR experiences will keep the users on their platform or OS
  • Better efficiency of the new OS on older hardware
    • It is important to keep users with older hardware as well and newer OS working on less hardware heavy or older devices keeps or expands the addressable market
  • Customized avatar
    • Strengthens the iMessage lock-in and users are expected to increasingly use avatars, especially when entering VR experiences
  • FaceTime video calls for up to 32 people
    • Video traffic already makes up two-thirds of all network traffic and user-generated video will become even more prevalent when next-generation mobile networks which will be optimized for video uploading and streaming
  • Apple Watch OS updates (workouts, automatic detection)
    • Collection of biological and physical data is key to health and wellness application. Leveraging those data can create new insights and opportunities for the medicine and the medical industry itself, which presents a new and huge addressable market
    • Digital wellness is represented by the smartphone usage tracking features, that both Apple and Google announced
  • Custom commands for Siri
    • Underlines the significance of voice interfaces and interaction and making user-device interaction more conversational
  • Mac updates (dark mode, file organizing) show the significance of the cross-device ecosystem which includes Apple Watch, Homepod, Apple TV and the car-focused OS CarPlay

TechCrunch summarizes the above mentioned Apple WWDC news in the same fashion as the coverage for Google I/O. (


It is great to see and compare all the announcements. In general, for a technology product it is important to attract a critical mass of users, eyeballs, etc.. Most technology companies have been very successful by “defaulting to open” how Google does it. Making their products and services available across devices and systems. Apple, on the other hand, is a great example of being successful with a closed system, even if historically closed systems have not always proven the best way to attract masses. Commonalities in both their announcements are the pushes into AR and AI.

See here for great additional reading and resources:



3 comments on “Google and Apple Keynotes May & June 2018”

  1. ML kit is really interesting. Everyone can learn and perform mobile ML process anywhere and it’s becoming increasingly accessible. It is great news for startups to create useful values from their business transactions and data they collect from various sources to help their business grow and prosper

  2. I really appreciated your post about the innovations of Apple and Google! I noticed, that a majority of the Google reports made were in the ai/ml field. They have grown their assistant software like no other, while Siri and Cortana are sinking behind, the Google assistant is thriving. They released the demo of Google duplex, a service that makes appointments for you. It adds ummm, and pauses as if it were human, deceiving the human on the other side of the call. Many, including myself, think that this is revolutionary and great for society. It will save time and will make it easier for us. Although, a group of people disagrees with this change, commenting that, “Google just gave a weapon to the masses that will be abused.” I can agree with the idea that it will lead to deception since soon we won’t know if we are talking to a computer or human. And jobs could be lost, when the system can interact on a higher level. Overall I found the post very interesting and informative, thank you!

  3. A great addition to the discussion around AI and the releases from Google and Apple is the thought in the previous comment on jobs being lost. While striving for technological advancement we should always be empathetic and aware of how progress can impact peoples lives and livelihoods. We have seen that manual labor was replaced by machines, some say that has already happened for thousands of years, considering the tools that have been built by humans. I like to look at it as a transfer of work to machines and automated systems and believe it is a value add. So the quest for us is to continue creating jobs that add more value than machines and automated systems. Some pundits argue that our societies might not be able to create jobs for everyone. This is worrying. But halting progress and advancement are more worrying because I believe it will put societies in even more disadvantaged positions. Thank you for this great discussion – it is a topic which will keep us engaged in the future.


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