At Google, A's Have It: Celebrating 2B Android Devices, Moving Toward AI-First

As of this week, Android is now active on more than two billion devices, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Wednesday. “This is all because of the growth of mobile and smartphones,” Pichai told attendees at Google’s I/O developer conference.

Rather than celebrate its mobile successes, however, Pichai said Google has to move fast to continue positioning itself for the AI revolution.

At least for the past year, Google has been shifting from a mobile-first to an AI-first strategy, the young CEO said. “In an AI-first world, we are rethinking all of our products, and applying machine learning and AI to solve user problems.”

To that end, Pichai on Wednesday said Google is adding its Smart Reply feature to Gmail. Using AI, the feature “reads” emails in order to suggest appropriate responses. 

Google on Wednesday also unveiled a new augmented reality feature called Google Lens, which can identify objects in images and then suggest related material.

More broadly, Google now measures just about all of its products in billions. On a daily basis, YouTube users now watch more than a billion hours of video, Pichai said on Wednesday.

Every day, Google Maps users now navigate more than a billion kilometers.

Meanwhile, If not quite a billion, more than 800 million people now actively use Google Drive, while more than 500 million people are actively using Google Photos.

Of course, the success of these respective services are all helping boost Android adoption.

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