On 18th May 2016, Google kicked off its 10th annual I/O developers conference to announce what Google has been developing the past year and what they have new for both users and developers. Sundar Pichai started off by saying that back when the first I/O conference was held, over 300 million people were using desktop machines and now in 2016, over 3 billion people access information through the internet with a majority of them using mobile devices. He also added that Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is now more important than ever. Google announced some very interesting things in their I/O 2016 opening keynote which we were all excited to hear. Here is Everything You Need to Know about Google IO Keynote Event:
Google announced a new product called “Google Home” which brings the Google Voice assistant to your home. The product is a small speaker to which you can say “Ok, Google” and then tell it to do anything like make a reservation, book a flight, play a song, set a timer or turn on your lights. Google Home is designed for your home and its base is changeable with customized bases that come in different colors and materials. Google Home will be available later this year.
The Google Assistant has become even more advanced to help you in any and all of your daily requirements. The assistant is conversational and it can know you and help get your things done. It makes easy to plan out whatever you want just by talking to the Google Assistant.
Google announced its new messaging app which was a bit unexpected but the features they have including in this simple looking app are impressive. Allo is a smart messaging app which predicts what you would say by learning your behavior. It’s based on your phone number, so you can contact anyone in your phone book who is using Allo. Allo has built-in smart reply so you can respond to messages without typing anything. Allo gives you suggestions to reply to messages based on what you usually type. It can also recognize pictures and give suggestion for you to reply to them.
The Google Assistant is also within this app so you don’t have to leave this app to search Google for something every time. If you want to search something like a restaurant, you ask Google for a restaurant and it will present suggestions in cards and you can select one to send it to your friend or whoever it is you are talking to. You can also chat separately to the Google Assistant and ask whatever you want to for example if your flight is delayed or you want to change your dinner reservation.
Allo will also have an incognito mode for end-to-end message encryption and discreet notifications.
“Allo” will be available this summer for Android and iOS. The not so good news is that Hangouts is here to stay.
Duo Video Calling App
Google also announced a video calling app called “Duo” to compete with Apple’s FaceTime. Duo is a simple one-to-one video calling app based on your phone number, so you can contact anyone in your phonebook who is using Duo.
Duo has a very nice feature called “Knock Knock” which shows you a live preview of the caller before you pick up. Calls in Duo are end-to-end encrypted and in clear 720p with crisp audio and it is optimized to work with any sort of network. If a network is not very good, Duo optimizes the video and audio quality so you will still be able to connect.
“Duo” will be available this summer for Android and iOS.
Android N, Wear and Instant Apps
At the Google I/O keynote event, Google launched the first beta-quality candidate of Android N which is available to be tested on Nexus 6, 9, 5X, 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C and Android One (General Mobile 4G). Google introduced seamless updates so that Android N devices can install system updates automatically in the background and install them. The first developer preview of Android N introduces a brand new JIT compiler to improve software performance, make app installs faster and take up less storage. The second developer preview brought the Vulkan API, a new 3D rendering API to help game developers high performance graphics on mobile games. The Android N developer preview also brings multi-window, direct reply from a notification.
Google announced another amazing feature which they are calling “Android Instant Apps”. Android Instant Apps are apps but they are not installed on your phone rather it just opens up specific modules from the Play Store and shows you a part of the app, so you can use it without having you to install it at all. If you see a link on Google Search or if someone sends you a link which opens an app, the Play Store downloads just the things the specific app will show if it is installed on your phone, but without having you to install it. Google demonstrated this on a phone running Kit Kat and also announced that Android Instant Apps will be supported on Android 4.2 and above.
Android Wear 2.0 was also announced which features standalone apps and UI changes. With the support of standalone apps, you can view information on your watch even of your phone is far away. Google has evolved the platform to improve key watch experiences like watch faces, messaging and fitness.
Google is now working with Android manufacturers to develop a VR platform for Android devices called Daydream. Daydream will require a specific type of specifications for a phone to be able to run Daydream VR. Google also unveiled a VR headset they are working on which will define the standard of a Daydream VR headset. The headset will also have a remote controller with it. Daydream will bring all of your favorite apps to VR. There will be Play Store specifically designed for Daydream and will be accessible from inside the Daydream menu. Google Daydream will be available in Fall 2016.
Google launched a massive update for the Firebase platform for developers to help them quickly build high-quality apps, grow their user base and earn more money across iOS, Android and the mobile web. Firebase now has good documentation features, ease-of-use and can be integrated easily wherever possible with its intuitive APIs.
Google announced Android Studio’s 2.2 update with a new layout designer, constraint layout, APK analyzer, Layout inspector, Firebase support and enhanced accessibility.
These new announcements in the Google I/O Keynote were widely anticipated and in this article we have told you everything you need to know about the Google I/O keynote event. Google just started as a simple search engine but it is now offering tons of options for not just consumers, but developers, engineers and lots of people from different fields of science. Google’s work with machine learning and artificial intelligence to make its apps more intuitive and feature enriched is making way for more exciting times in the world of tech.