At its Made by Google hardware event today in New York City, Google shared a few numbers to update us on its progress, but none of them were particularly significant. First up, Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh said that Smart Compose in Gmail, which leverages AI to autocomplete emails, “is saving people a billion characters of typing each week.”
That’s only worth noting in the context that Smart Compose rolled out to all G Suite users last month. Oh, and it’s only available in English. Google promised that in the coming months, Smart Compose will gain support for four new languages: Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
Smart Compose is also coming to the Gmail mobile app next, starting with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Smart Compose’s rollout to mobile devices is slated for sometime next year.
Google Home, Nest, and Google Translate
Osterloh also naturally talked about smart speakers, revealing that Google Home daily active users have grown 5x year-over-year. He didn’t share a hard Google Home sales number, though, even after unveiling the Home Hub. The same goes for the Pixel and Pixelbook: No sales figures were revealed.
Last year, Google shared it had built up a database of over 100 million answers for users via Google Assistant. That figure wasn’t updated today, but we did learn that “the number of queries to Google Home has gone up 400 percent in the past year,” as Diya Jolly, Google’s vice president of product management, said onstage. Again, no exact number — just growth.
While Osterloh didn’t share Nest sales numbers either, he did say the smart thermostat “defined the thoughtful home.” Nest has saved over 25 billion kilowatts of energy to date (the exact number shown onstage was 25,391,776,751 kilowatt hours).
Osterloh noted that Google Translate translates 143 billion words daily across 100 languages. Too bad CEO Sundar Pichai already shared that figure in July. That was the biggest theme of the event: Google confirming a bunch of news that everyone already knew.
When it comes to Google’s AI + Software + Hardware strategy, this year’s event made it clear not to expect any real progress in the hardware. That’s why Google didn’t share any sales numbers. Instead, the company is hoping its iterative progress in AI and software updates, such as Smart Compose, carry its new products forward.