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Google I/O 2016 – Top Announcements, Recap & Summary

This is the time of year when all things Google happens. Yes, it’s the time for Google I/O 2016. At Google’s annual developer’s conference, we are expecting some cool announcements ranging from Android N finally getting its name to what’s latest to the Android Wear. We may also get a peak into Google’s plans to invade Virtual Reality Headset market with a Proper VR Headset. As well as there might be an introduction of a standalone platform for VR, just as we saw first Wear OS from Mountain View giant two years back. There are also hints of an Amazon Echo competitor from Google.

Note that we would be updating this post as the Google I/O 2016 even goes on. You can refresh this page to see the latest updates.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is the AI from Google we have been waiting for, that understands you and brings you a personalized experience. With 20% of the total queries being Voice Search in the US, the assistant would help you in getting your answers. The feature primarily helps you in the follow-on queries where you make additional searches based on the primary search & without context too, it finds you the right results. Far ahead than any other in competition, asking questions in many different ways. Help gets things done in your conversation context.

Google Home

Google Home

Google home is a product that’s pretty small in size but comes powered with a lot of unique features where you could do a two-way communication inside your home. You can easily manage music, that was earlier managed through Chromecast Audio. This is clearly on the lines of the Amazon Echo that has been in the news from the past few weeks. It is technically a little cylinder which has a speaker and it has the capabilities of the Google’s OnHub router. You can easily control multiple speakers all over your home through different rooms and play music in any room but all connected to the same Google Account. A beautiful addition to anywhere in your house, it would be your in house Google search engine”, as said by Mario Queiroz, VP Product Management

Google Photos

Google Photos

Last year at Google I/O, the Mountain View giant introduced the Photos app, which was a revamped version of the Google + Photos app. But it turns out to be more than that, while everyone liked the idea of storing unlimited free high quality images, there was a chance that the searching and sorting won’t be that easy on this app, because let’s face it. There was no app which offers free unlimited cloud storage and bunch of other sweet features and eventually replaces Gallery app on your device to become one. Well, since the last year, Google Photos app just did that. Sundar at the I/O 2016 announced that the Google Photos now has 200 Million Monthly active users. A total of 2 Trillion photos have been tagged, our of which 24 Billion of them are selfies.

Google Allo

Google Allo (2)

Erik Kay (Director, Engineering) announced two new communication apps. The first one is “Allo”, that’s a Smart messaging app, allowing you to make easier & productive conversations. Its connected with your phone number, the way WhatsApp works. The Application is secure, probably on the same lines of WhatsApp secure communication along with the Google Assistant technology. Using the Machine wording as mentioned above, it learns and suggests you responses. You can go on replying as shown in the above photo, it would keep suggesting you more options and answers that you can select and continue your discussions.

Google Allo (1)

The messaging app also works on hotel reservations, checking out sports updates, sports schedules, finding information about a celebrity. The assistant also responds by sharing google search results directly into the chat in the form of images, videos and more. Chats are E2E Encrypted especially when they are made in the incognito mode where you can have Private Notifications & Expired Chats. Once the chrome browser is closed, all the chats are gone for ever.

Google Duo

Google Duo

Google had also introduced Duo, a simple video companion to Allo that’s expected to work on a slower network too. The application is available for both Android & iOS, coming with a live video stream of the call prior to picking up. Erik Kay, the Googler touts that their new video calling app has the most advanced video calling codes that allows faster and smoother connectivity. The Google Allo and Duo, both will be available in Summer this year for iOS and Android platform.

What’s new in Android N

Android N

Dave Burke announced that there were more than 600 Android phones launched in 2015 alone. Android is everywhere from Cars to TV’s & more. There are 12 brands that are working on Android Wear, while there are few of the biggest names on the Android Auto & TV. Android N is focused on three things; Performance, Security and Productivity . With JIT (Just in Time) compiler, you’ll not be seeing Android is updating dialog at all. Cheers! Android Developers. Now there is a clear all button on the recent menu UI, as well as it will automatically close the less used app, so that you don’t have to scroll through tons of running app to jump to more relevant app. Android is the first mobile platform to bring Unicode-9, which brings more than 72 new emojis. Burke touts that there are more than 250 new features since they released the first beta couple weeks ago.

Android VR – Daydream

Google Daydream Controllers

VR coming to Android N. Started with Google Cardboard, which enabled developers to create for VR. Google Cardboard app saw more than 50 Millions Apps installed since its launch. Mobile, Approchable and should be for everyone unlike those costly VR Headsets. Creating more immersive and richly comfortable headset, Clay Bavor lead Virtual Reality team at Google has built, Daydream. It’s a platform for high resolution Virtual Reality. There are three parts two it, Smartphones, Headset & Controllers and Apps. Daydream is built right in for Android N. The daydream ready phones from companies like Asus, Xiaomi and many more coming this fall. Apps. Daydream is built right in for Android N. Bavor talks about controllers being important for far more amazing virtual reality experience as he showcased a demo of one. It would be also available in the fall later this year.

HBO Now, Netlfix, Hulu and IMAX films are coming to the Android VR – Daydream, which would be available for Google Play VR Apps. Google apps like Movies, Street View, Maps and YouTube are all getting daydream compatibility. The latest developer preview comes with this, so developers can started building apps from today.

Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear 2.0

Now you can mix and match the watchfaces with all the data these smartwatches collects such as calorie counts, steps taken and everything else that is collected by the watch. The new wearable OS introduces the smart replies, as well as enhanced fingerprint writing support. The Google Fit is getting more integrated features such as Data API, activity recognition, as well as sharing music. It will be done by apps like Strava, etc.

Android Studio 2.2

Android - Layout Designer

Jason Titus, touts that development is getting easier with Android Studio 2.2. No nesting requires with new Layout Designer, which is the default layout designer for the new IDE. It also brings APK analyser, which will help developers to bring down the size of their apps. The platform features support includes Java 8 and enhanced C++ support. It’s available for download now. Developers go ahead! That’s not it, the Firebase integration sees a lot of new features, such as mobile analytics. Interesting part is that it works on iOS and Android and completely free and unlimited.

Android Instant Apps

Opening an app without installing an app. Well, we have heard about this earlier that without installing an app you can preview. Now this is an official introduction, thus allowing users to check how the apps look without even installing on their devices. Once you tap the required button, Google Play downloads the part of the code and takes you to the interface that is important to showcase the functionality. This makes seamless understanding of the apps that you want to install or exploring. Yes, it’s supported even on the Android Jelly Bean, but that’ll be little slow.

So, that’s a wrap for the Google I/O Keynote this year. We would be covering further events. Stay Tuned.

By Vishal Toshiwal on Wednesday 18th of May 2016


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