Google Assistant, Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) based personal voice assistant is now available on more than 100 million devices since launching last year, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said during a recent call with analysts. Google Assistant has seen device-level integrations in chat application Google Allo, in its smart home device Google Home, and exclusively on Pixel phones that were launched last year. Google, however, opened up the voice assistant platform on its latest Android versions Marshmallow (6.0) and Nougat (7.0) supported devices in select countries in February.
Apart from this, Pichai said that the AI based assistant is available on “more than 70 home automation partners on the Assistant on Google Home and Phones, including Honeywell, Logitech and LG. The tech giant is also increasingly focusing on machine learning features in Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail and Google Photos. Pichai added that these products with machine learning/AI features are used by more than 500 million monthly users, and they are backing up at least 1.2 billion photos and videos every day.
Some other takeaways from Alphabet’s earnings and call with analysts:
On Android, Play Store and Daydream VR
Pichai also revealed that Android now has 2 billion monthly active Android devices around the world. “We’re seeing a number of hardware makers launching devices to positive reviews, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6.” During the quarter, the company gave developers early access to Android O, which according to Pichai will help better “vitals (capacities) like battery life and performance.”
Users have also downloaded 82 billion apps from Google Play in the last year alone. “That’s 11 apps for every person on earth,” Pichai said. Google is also expanding its Daydream virtual and augmented reality platform to “11 Daydream ready devices on the market from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola and Asus” by end of the year.
On YouTube and Video
“YouTube now has 1.5 billion monthly viewers and people watch on average 60 minutes a day on their phones and tablets,” Pichai said. The fastest growing stream for YouTube is in the living room, he added. This means that YouTube is most accessed via Smart TVs one device like ChromeCast, Roku, and Amazon Fire Stick.“YouTube watch time on TV screens has nearly doubled year-on-year,” according to Pichai.
Google is also focusing on original video content to make money. During the quarter, Google unveiled 6 new ad supported YouTube original series from celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres and Kevin Hart, and YouTube creators like Rhett & Link. It’s live video streaming service YouTube TV was also expanded to 10 new metro areas across America. YouTube TV live streams TV channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and popular cable networks in the US. With these launches, Google is taking on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
On Google’s connectivity projects
Google’s Loon project—a weather balloon that beams Internet—was we recently demonstrated in Peru. Pichai said that Loon was “successful (in) delivering basic internet connectivity to tens and thousands of people affected by the tragic floods there. We worked in partnership with the Peruvian government and Telefonica.” Apart from this, Google Wi-Fi, a router and modem solution, was launched in Canada, Germany and France during the quarter.
Google unveiled a new ad format in May which allowed the company to measure Store Visits, which according to Picahi allows advertisers to measure and understand user behavior that starts online and ends in offline stores. This is done by recording WiFi signal, SSID, locations mapping and other calibration tools to locate a user, as per this TechCrunch report.
“Our store visits measurement have now measured over 5 billion store visits in 17 countries.Every month Google helps drive 100 billion visits to business websites and creates more than 3 billion direct connections between businesses and their customers,” Pichai added.
- Net Income: Alphabet Inc (formerly Google Inc) posted a net income of $3.52 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (Q2 2016), a drop of 38% YoY from $4.87 billion.
- Total Revenues: During Q2 2017, overall revenue was at $26.01 billion, an increase of 21% YoY from $21.5 billion.
- Other Bets revenues: $248 million during the quarter, which is up 34% YoY from $185 million. This includes its fiber business, life sciences and X business (the company’s research and development division).
- Google Other Revenues: (cloud business, Play store revenues etc.) stood at $3.09 billion, up 42% YoY from $2.17 billion last year.