3 Hot Announcements from Google’s Next ’18


Date: August 9, 2018
Author: Jeremy Quam

With approximately 25,000 professionals, developers, engineers and partners taking over San Francisco, Next ‘18 was an event to remember. Two weeks later, I’m still nursing that “head in the clouds” feeling from all the exciting announcements. Here’s my take on the 3 most rousing announcements from Next ‘18.

Announcement #1: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
The most buzzworthy announcements focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and the increased availability of machine learning (ML) tools. Examples of the new features include:

  • Smart Reply: Using AI, Smart Reply identifies messages requiring response and proposes casual reply options appropriate for the workplace.
  • Smart Compose: Used in Gmail, Smart Compose autocompletes email by filling in greetings, common phrases and more to help you collaborate more efficiently.
  • Grammar Suggestions in Google Docs: Similar to Microsoft Word’s online document tool, this tool uses a unique ML translation-based approach to recognize a wealth of grammatical errors and suggest corrections.
  • Voice Commands for Hangouts: Google Assistant has entered the conference room! Now, teams will be able to connect to video meetings faster than ever before.
  • BigQuery ML: This new capability makes ML more accessible to all by enabling data analysts and scientists to build ML models directly from BigQuery with simple SQL commands.

Announcement #2: The True Hybrid Cloud
With the ever-present need to work smarter rather than harder, it is no surprise that hybrid solutions were an integral part of discussions. Enter GKE On-Prem, a Google-configured version of Kubernetes. GKE On-Prem includes multi-cluster management and can be deployed on-premise or in other clouds to support true hybrid computing. Following a quick and simple installation and upgrade experience, organizations can compartmentalize on-premise applications and create a single-pane-of-glass view for managing clusters. Applications are “cloud-ready” for moving at your own pace. 

Announcement #3: The Transition of Google Maps Platform
This summer has been a season of change for Google Maps.

  • To support greater flexibility, the pricing model for Google Maps has changed to pay-as-you-go. Customers no longer need to guesstimate quotas since they only pay for what they use.
  • Google’s API offering has been simplified into three core offerings: Maps, Routes and Places. This simpler approach to licensing will help teams grow and expand their use cases without having to focus on the nitty gritty of how the APIs are consumed.
  • Finally, Google simplified its terms of service. You no longer need a PhD to work within Google's Terms and Licensing models, and fewer limitations on data use will drive productivity.

While Next ‘18 showed off the improvements to the Google Maps Platform, it also hinted at future capabilities. As the Maps Platform aligns with other cloud tools, its focus is expanding to include even more location intelligence capabilities, including new verticals for gaming and ride sharing. Google Gaming puts the power of Google Maps into the hands of game developers, making it possible for gamers to catch Pokémon or run from dinosaurs—in the real world! Meanwhile, the ride sharing vertical provides ride sharing apps with the tools they crave without the need for development legwork. 

Needless to say, Next ‘18 was a fantastic event. We truly enjoyed networking with so many professionals, developers, engineers and fellow partners. Is it too soon to start planning for Next ‘19?