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Google unveils Android P features, Google Assistant updates and more

Google showed off on Tuesday a first look at its next mobile software.Users of Android P, which will debut lat...

Posted: May 9, 2018 9:43 AM
Updated: May 9, 2018 9:43 AM

Google showed off on Tuesday a first look at its next mobile software.

Users of Android P, which will debut later this year, will get access to gesture-based navigation, battery saving features and an impressive new text selection tool that works on photos and the real world.

In addition to Android P, the company previewed at its annual Google I/O developer conference a number of new products, including an overhauled News app, features that help you use your phone less, and new Google Assistant voice option including one with singer John Legend's voice.

Android P packs new powers

Google is known for naming its mobile software after candy -- in alphabetical order -- and we're now up to "P." Although we don't know its proper name yet, the company announced a beta version now available for some phones.

Several Android P features address the problems with liking your Android phone too much. A new dashboard gives insight into how you spend time on your device. Flip the phone over and it turns on Do Not Disturb mode.

Meanwhile, a new app timer serves as a parental control for adults. It notifies you and grays out the screen when you've been staring at Twitter for too long.

To help you sleep, a new mode called Wind Down turns your screen black and white at a set time. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the focus on "digital wellbeing" is an ongoing effort across Google Products.

There is also a new way to switch between opened apps called Overview -- an addition reminiscent of the iPhone X's app-switching feature.

Android P tries to stretch out battery life by prioritizing certain apps and adjusting brightness, too.

New News apps add broader view

Google News has been around for 14 years, but it just got its biggest overhaul to date. Google unveiled a new News app and web version that collects top news, opinion articles and fact checks national and local stories.

The company said it will use artificial intelligence to analyze each story and make judgment calls about quality and its type. A new view will show the same top stories to everyone, but it will get more personalized based on your location, favorite sources and topic preferences.

Google Assistant gets more voices

It's the only voice assistant without a human name, but Google Assistant is finally serving up more personality. Starting now, Google's voice assistant has six new voices and one from John Legend coming later this year. Legend's voice will gladly sing you "Happy Birthday," in addition to regular Google Assistant responses.

The coolest new Google Assistant feature will launch later this summer. It will place phone calls for you and accomplish simple tasks, such as making an appointment. In theory, the assistant will interact as naturally as a real human, and the hair salon or dentist will have no idea they're not talking to a real person.

Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are popular with kids, but some experts and parents have expressed concern about how they interact with its voice characters. An optional Google Assistant feature will reward polite kids with replies, such as "Thanks for saying please," "What a nice way to ask me," and "You're very polite." Amazon recently added a similar feature.

Smartphone cameras get smarter

Google Lens, which uses real-time image recognition technology, has a new home within the camera app. It uses uses image recognition technology to look up images you see through the camera in real-time.

For example, if you take a photo of text -- like a restaurant menu 00 Google Lens will let you copy and paste the text from that image. It can also provide context about the words, such as linking to a Spotify artist when you photograph a concert poster. It can match the style of a piece of clothing from a picture, too, so you can find it for sale online.

In the Maps app, Google Lens will help you navigate by detecting what's in front of you and overlaying directions on the street you see. A new, cute animal cartoon will help show you the way. Google says the camera is reading landmarks to help determine your exact position and orientation, something it calls a visual positioning system.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307836

Reported Deaths: 7119
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
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Clouds increase a bit more on Tuesday, though there will still be plenty of sunshine at times. Temperatures will remain very warm. An isolated sprinkle or shower is possible later in the day, though rain chances are much more likely into Wednesday as a cold front passes.
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