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Google

Google always throws out a ton of new technologies at its I/O developer conference. Historically, some thrive while some others fizzle. Here's a look back at last year's key announcements and how they have fared since, plus some thoughts on where those products are headed.

Assistant: Google showed off its AI-powered digital assistant last year. In the year since introduction, Google's Assistant has come to a broader set of Android devices as well as in the Google Home speaker, which was also previewed at I/O last year. Look for it to come to even more devices, both from Google. Bloomberg says a version should be coming to the iPhone this week, but it will almost certainly not be as ubiquitous on Apple hardware as it is on the Google-controlled Android operating system. It's also said to be coming to kitchen appliances.

VR: Google announced its Daydream ecosystem at I/O last year and followed up with its first headset, the Daydream View, in the fall. We have seen a few more Daydream-compatible phones in the intervening months, but probably not as broad an ecosystem of Daydream-capable phones as we might have though. Nor has anyone else yet build Daydream compatible headsets, even though Google said it was making the schematics freely available. In addition to an update on Daydream, Google is reportedly planning to show its vision of a standalone mobile VR headset at I/O.

Messaging: Last year Google added two new messaging apps, Also and Duo, to its lineup. Its messaging story has continued to be a murky one, with a number of different products including Allo, Duo, Hangouts and the messaging program built into Android. While it would be nice to see the strategy come into focus this year, I'm not necessarily holding my breath.

Android: Google previewed Android N ahead of last year's I/O, detailed it further at the event and shipped Nougat in the fall. The company appears to be on a similar path this year, having released a preview of Android O in March, but not going into great depth on its features. One thing Google talked about last week was Project Treble, an effort to make it easier for device makers that want to offer operating system upgrades.

Instant Apps and Android Wear 2.0: Both took a little longer than Google had expected. Watches using Android Wear 2.0, originally scheduled for late last year, were pushed back until this year, while Google is still working to make its vision of Android apps that run from the web a reality.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

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