This year’s Google I/O 2016 event was action-packed.
Google now has a mobile virtual reality platform called Daydream. It’s a backbone of software inside Android N (simply known as “VRMode”). There will be a home screen with apps and they have created special VR versions of its own apps like YouTube, Street View, the Google Play Store.
They also have blueprints for a new VR headset that would be more affordable than HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
They announced Google Assistant, which is the next generation of search. This feature supports “conversational understanding” to make search more natural and to better support voice searches. So for example, “Who got punched at the Jays game last night?” It will answer, “Jose Bautista.” And then you can ask who were they playing, and it will answer, “Texas Rangers.”
The Google Home speaker features microphones that will always listen to you when you’re home. It will compete with Amazon Echo. It will let you control connected devices within the home and you’ll be able to cast content with the speaker as well. The entire experience is hands-free with no buttons, powered only by your voice. It will integrate with Google Assistant and third party services like Uber and Open Table.
Google announced it’s new messaging app, Allo. The app has a whisper/shout feature that changes the size of the text you send using a slider to help communicate volume. It has smart replies that create canned responses that evolve over time based on your conversations. The chat also has bots like Open Table where you can book a table all within the chat. It also has the ability to chat incognito by sending messages that will self-destruct. And when you close the chat, it’s gone forever.
Google Duo is Google’s companion app for Allo that adds in video calling, which will compete with FaceTime. Knock Knock lets users see the incoming video call feed before answering the call.
Android N is Google’s next major mobile software release. It will have performance and graphics improvements. It also features file-based encryption instead of block-based encryption. It will download and install system updates automatically. It will automatically remove apps from eh UI when it determines it is no longer needed. It will also let you split-screen apps. It’s still not named and there’s a crowdsourced contest to name it.
They also updated Android Wear so that it can work without smartphones and cellular connections.
With Instant Apps, users can begin using an app instantly right from within the Google Play store without ever having to download and install the app.
What were your favorite moment from Google I/O 2016 event? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!