They always promise to bring in the good stuff to all Android addicts, and for 10 years or so, Google I/O has been stunning everyone with their revolutionary technology. This year, Google took advantage of their annual developer conference to make some announcements. The keynote presentation of this year’s Google I/O focused on virtual reality, key improvements or updates, and even better versions of existing apps and services, and in case you’ve missed it, here we bring it all to you, so keep your eyes peeled and read carefully.
The voice assistant comes with a LOT more functionality that what is currently possible with Google Now, and interacting with it is also more conversational in nature. Google Assistant will be available later this year and will across numerous devices, including smartphones, tablets, in your car, and with Google Home.
Taking virtual reality up to a whole new level, Google announced their Daydream, which encompasses what they’ve planned, including standardizing the requirements for smartphones and headsets, as well as baking in the new virtual reality mode right into the upcoming Android N.
The nature of Cardboard is no longer a possibility with Daydream, due to the need for certain sensors and a motion controller to meet the standards set out, but anyways, a lot of OEMs will be if not already on-board, including HTC, Samsung, and LG, along with Huawei, who have already announced their Daydream VR plans. Apart from third-party OEMs, Google will also release a headset and controller. Also, Google has set the minimum requirements from smartphones, that lean towards the high-end, dubbed “Daydream-ready,” that will allow for the fast and seamless experience that Google is aiming for.
Virtual reality mode will be baked into Android N, and is already available with the third developer preview, that currently includes a VR optimized version of the Google Play Store, as well as a VR version of YouTube. The official release of all hardware and software associated will be likely alongside the 2016 Nexus smartphones, by this Fall.
Android Auto in Any Car
This app functions the same way the Android Auto in-car system works, and offers the same functionality, you will only place the phone on a car mount in order to enjoy Android Auto on your phone. With the new update, Android Auto is getting the ability to recognize “OK Google” voice commands without having to push a button on the console first. Waze integration is coming to Android Auto as well, so those who prefer Waze’s navigation features can use that instead of Google Maps. The update to Android Auto will be available later this year, and can be used on smartphones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and above.
It’s simply a compact wireless Bluetooth speaker with a built-in microphone, enabling you to interact with using the Google Assistant. Using conversational speech, it will let you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google, it also acts like a Chromecast, and lets you play audio wireless through it or other connected speakers, and enjoy content on your TV as well as controlling home automation systems like Nest, and finally, also take advantage of Google Now and Google Search using the device, all with simple voice commands and conversations, without needing to reach for your phone. It will be available with different color options, also interchangeable shells will be available, and like the most of them, it will be officially available at the end of the year.
Google Play Store Coming to Chrome OS
Chromebooks have been gaining in popularity and market share recently, and the availability of Android apps could be the boost it requires to compete even more effectively in the low-cost laptop market. Google announced that the Google Play Store and Android apps will soon be available with Chrome OS.
The Play Store will be available specifically for developers in early June on the ASUS Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015), and the Acer Chromebook R11, and will be available to all other users later in the year.
Seamless Updates for Android N
The processes initiated by Android devices, from downloading an update automatically, device rebooting and the odd lengthy installation process that follows, will no longer be with Android N’s case. Now, your Android smartphone or tablet will also install the update in the background, and the device will reboot only once the installation is done. This option will likely be limited only to smartphones that release with Android N out of the box however.
Allo and Duo
Brace yourself, Google has announced two new communication apps – Allo, a messaging app, and Duo, a one-to-one video calling app, which will seem pretty exciting just as you get acquainted to them. Allo will tap into your contact list, and will be linked to your phone number, just the same as Whatsapp. Allo features stickers and emoji, just like most of its competitors, but then comes the new feature Whisper-Shout, which makes it different from the rest. Whisper-Shout lets you resize text to better express your feelings, instead of resorting to something like all caps. Ink lets you draw images, and Google Assistant is also built into the app.
As for Duo, it’s a simple one-to-one video app that aims to make video chatting much easier, no matter what platform you’re on, or how fast your data connection is. Like Allo, you can use your phone number to sign up, but that’s not all.. one of the features of this app is called Knock Knock, which shows a preview of what to expect when you answer a call, which is cool actually, let’s say that someone calls you on Duo, you’ll get to see them through their front-facing camera even before answering it.
Android Wear 2.0
NOT YET EXCITED???, CHECK THIS OUT !!! Google’s Android Wear has finally received a much needed update. The main focus of Android Wear 2.0 is to make your smartwatch function better as a standalone device, actually you won’t need to pair it to your phone anymore, as long as you have a device that supports cellular connectivity, for complete separation, it will also feature the availability of a full QWERTY keyboard, the ability to add app shortcuts to any watch face, access to standalone apps without needing the watch to be tethered to a phone, and exciting updates to the device’s fitness tracking capabilities.
Android Instant Apps
If you’re looking forward to use a certain app for a limited time, Android Instant Apps is just the thing you’ll need, allowing to a quick and simple way of accessing an app without actually having to download it. When a developer adds support for Android Instant Apps, simply tapping on a URL will give users access to a full-fledged Android app. When the user clicks on the URL, the Play Store will be able to search for that application and download only the code necessary to run the app. You get the full functionality of the app using your fingerprint sensor. Google says Android Instant Apps will work with devices running Jelly Bean and later.
Important Updates to Firebase
The company has announced several key updates for the development platform which they bought in 2014, with Firebase gaining a lot of new features, improvements to existing functionality, and better integration with Google’s suite of development tools and services. Among several new additions, the key ones include a new free Analytics module, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Firebase Storage, Firebase Remote Config, and a whole lot more.
Haven’t you ever had the feeling that you need to upgrade your smartphone’s hardware but thought it impossible?? .. now Google have made it possible. For someone those not acquainted with Google’s technology, this might sound like a military operation initiated by the tech giants, but actually, it’s a genius step to invade the world with this wholly new technology. A working prototype of a Project Ara smartphone was shown off during a special session at Google I/O, and there was a lot that was revealed about the device. The phone will have six slots in total, with having the option to add any module to any slot, and you will be able to swap between various components without having to shut down to phone. A developer version will be available later this year, and a commercial launch expected in 2017.