Google I/O happened in the last week of May and there were was a lot of anxiety. What was Android M going to be called? M&M? Marshmallow? Or Milk Chocolate? Also, was there any progress with Project Ara, Google’s modular phone? Google didn’t announce the name of the next Android but, they did talk about many of their products including Project Jacquard, touch-sensitive clothing.
The main attraction of the conference was Android. Google’s Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai started it off by talking about how Android has evolved over the years to encompass many different platforms. He told us that Android Auto has extended to 35 different auto brands including GM, Audi, Ford, and Honda. Also, Android TV has been taken up by Sharp and Sony. Then Vice President of Engineering, Dave Burke came on stage to talk about Android M. He told us that he thinks that, “The central theme of M is improving the core user experience of Android.” He talked about having 6 major improvements. The first three were better ways to control app permissions, chrome custom tabs, and app links. Then came Google’s reply to Apple Pay, Android Pay. Android Pay uses NFC to securely pay at any NFC-enabled paying option. Also Android Pay can be used within certain apps to pay for many things. Google has also partnered up with American Express, Discover, Master Card, and Visa so you can use your credit and debit cards with Android Pay. Dave Burke explained how Android M is going to support fingerprint scanning. Last, but not least he explained Android M’s new feature, Doze. Doze is a feature that limits background usage while you are not using your device. This improves your device’s battery life. Android M is also going to support USB Type-C charging which is faster than the mini-USB chargers we use today. Next on stage was David Singleton, a director at Android Wear, for an update on Android Wear. He talked about adding support for Wi-Fi, Screen Lock, Wrist Gestures, and many other features.
Back came Sundar Pichai to talk about how Google is going to take over your home. Project Brillo is a system that connects all your devices to make a smarter home. But as Sundar Pichai detailed there ae many other things Project Brillo can be used for. The way the devices in your home speak is Weave, a software that connects everything. Then Sundar Pichai started talking about Google Now on Tap. He, along with Aparna Chennapragada a director of Google Now, explained how Google Now will start anticipating what you want to know and it will give you more information about it. Next Anil Sabharwal, a director of Photos, and how Google Photos will now allow you to easily share, organize, and store photos. Then. Sundar Pichai and Clay Bavor, Vice President of Product Management, talked about Google Cardboard. Google Cardboard is a Virtual Reality Eyewear that uses your phone for the content. Google Cardboard now fits any phone with a screen size of up to 6 inches and the button works with any phone too. It also now only takes 3 steps to assemble a Google Cardboard VR. He also announced Google Expeditions in which you can see places around the world with your Google Cardboard. Also Google has partnered with GoPro to create a VR camera rig. Finally, Sundar Pichai covered over all of Google’s projects; self-driving cars and Project Loon, an attempt to bring internet connectivity to the world in balloons.
The next day there was more about these projects. They also talked about Project Tango, a depth-sensing tablet/phone, Project Jacquard, an electronically controllable cloth, Project Soli, a way to use gesture controls for all devices, Project Ara, a modular smartphone, and many other projects that Google’s ATAP division works on.
Google I/O was an important conference for Google’s progress and I hope you enjoyed it. It covered many new announcements from Android M to Project Brillo and was an important conference in the tech world.