From Google Assistant to Allo to Google Home and Daydream, this year’s Google I/O was almost magical. For the first time ever, Google I/O was held in open space at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. With over 7,000 attendees, the place was bustling with the noise of excitement and innovation. This year’s Google I/O was almost magical and unexpected that it clearly signified the future Google is expecting from its existence. Let’s straightaway jump to the announcements made in Google I/O 2016.
Google I/O 2016 Announcements
As the name is suggesting, yes, this is Google’s own version of a full-fledged personal assistant that CEO, Sundar Pichai kicked off the event with. Pichai described it as “Conversational” which “get things done” for you “in your world”. The assistant learns your context and your patterns in asking the questions that it truly becomes your personal assistant. It seamlessly integrates with all of your smart home, wear, TV devices and carries on the conversation based on the previous queries which is truly remarkable. Next up is Google Home.
This is by far the best alternative to Amazon’s Echo that is going to change the way you “manage your everyday tasks”. Google Home is a compact device to enjoy music and entertainment and do everyday tasks be it setting alarms, controlling your thermostats and lights, ordering dinner, starting your car, and many more use cases using just your voice. This is integrated with the Assistant and hence you can ask Google for anything. It just sits in your room and is always ready to answer you. Here is a small video to understand it better.
Next up is messaging and video calls.
Allo and Duo
Allo is a brand new messaging application from Google built to do the things right inside the app. It also leverages the power of the Assistant and shows smart results using the state-of-the-art machine learning and artificial intelligence to recognize the context and allows you to do the things right into the Allo that might require switching between apps. There is also an incognito mode to enable end-to-end encryption, private notifications and auto expiry of chats. Allo also includes fun games like guessing the movie from a string of emojis.
Duo on the other hand is an instant video calling application that works on even the slowest of the connections. A feature called ‘Knock Knock’ allows you to see a live feed of the caller before you pick up the call and slides seamlessly when you pick up without any latency. The app proactively monitors the network quality and seamlessly switches between Wi-Fi and cellular. Next up is Android N.
First up log on to www.android.com/n to submit your suggestions for the name of the next generation Android OS and it should start with N. What’s new in android N? A hell lot! The performance is improved in two key areas, graphics and runtime. For graphics the Vulcan API was released to design breathtaking graphics on lower CPU and memory usage.
The new JIT compiler installs apps 75% faster and also cuts off the app size by 50% after installation because it selects what modules to install. This means that the time wasted while updating your android OS to the newest release and then waiting for the app optimization process after every update will be doomed forever. Exciting enough?
The security in N is also highly enhanced in terms of file-based encryption in addition to batch encryption and also media framework hardening which makes the overall system secure.
There are also small enhancements like multi-window and enhancements in multi-tasking and a clear-all button for all the recent apps. Next up is virtual reality.
It is a platform for high quality mobile virtual reality. Desktop-class virtual reality on phone is now not a dream, thanks to Daydream. The technology requires daydream-ready phones which will be available this fall from many manufacturers. There is also a reference design for the Daydream headset and remote control to control your content while experiencing Daydream. And lastly the apps that will work with Daydream, some of these can be Netflix, HBO, YouTube, CNN, Hulu, IMAX, apps from Google like StreetView, games from Ubisoft and much more.
Android Instant Apps
This was by far the most exciting news form the I/O this year. Google is working on the feature to launch apps without actually installing them form the Play Store. For eg. Your friend sends a Buzzfeed video and you don’t have the app installed. You don’t need to worry about it because Play Store will fetch only the modules from the Buzzfeed app to your phone that requires the video to play in Buzzfeed environment. Cool isn’t it. Other use cases that might be helpful is ordering food from different apps without actually installing them.
Other announcements were form the Andorid Studio section where Android Studio 2.2 was released. Firebase, a complete analytics and monitoring tool for your applications was also announced and Android Wear also showed its new iteration with the Wear 2.0 announcement with handwriting recognition and complete independent usage without the phone.
All in all, this year’s I/O was up to the mark and symbolized what great use of machine learning and artificial intelligence Google is making. Instant apps is as magical as the Daydream. Let’s see how Google stands up with its announcements.