Google has made multiple announcements at its developer conference (Google I/O 2016) in Mountain View.
Google “Daydream” VR Platform
It is a VR platform built for smartphones, headset, Controllers and applications. It will work with upcoming Android N in smartphones. Company also shared a reference design for headsets & controllers which includes two clickable buttons and a swipeable touchpad and houses orientation sensor, thus making it powerful and intuitive. First Daydream” ready mobile will be Google Nexus 6P. Google has also partnered with Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus and Alcatel to launch daydream ready phones.
Google Assistant[pullquote] It builds on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users’ questions
Google also announced its new Assistant at I/O 2016. It can control smartphones, smartwatches and other devices including Chromecasts. It replies to your question in a conversational manner and can find information, play media or book tickets and have back-and-forth conversations as well. Google will also allow third party developers to join and add their own services, when the Assistant launches. It will directly compete with Alexa and Siri.
Google Duo App
Search Engine giant also announced Duo App, a one-one video calling application. It has a simple and easy to use interface and will be available on iOS and Androids later this year. It makes use of phone numbers and can work with slower connections as well. It has a unique knock knock feature that gives a preview of caller even before you answer the video call. Its allows up to 720p quality videos and high quality audio and further optimizes itself according to network speeds.The Duo App also has end to end encryption.
Google’s Allo App
Google I/O 2016 also marks the place where company announced its new Allo chatting app. Unlike its competitors, this Application includes a built-in search engine. It allows users to register using its Phone numbers and can link their Google ID as well. It has custom stickers and emojis based on different regions. Its search engine integration allows users to search by typing @google followed by query. The application itself is smart and can suggest smart replies based on the what you receive from friends. It includes incognito mode for end-to-end encryption.
Android Instant Apps
Google has introduced Android Instant Apps platform for developers at I/O 2016. It will allow users to run a particular app just by clicking Instant App URL, without having to install particular application. It downloads part of application required to run, thus eliminating need to download full app. This feature will be available / compatible with all the smartphones running on Android 4.2 or higher. It will be available for developers and users later this year.
Google Home voice activated home assistant
It is Google’s voice activated home assistant device that takes in voice commands, manage day-to-day tasks and enjoy music. Users can book a cab, send flowers, ask weather, control gadgets, house temperature, and ask about day to day events and queries using Google Home. Users can initiate search with “Okay Google” voice command. Google Home is cylindrical and fits most decor. It is similar to OnHub router and directly competes with Amazon Echo powered by Alexa. It will launch later this year.
Android N developer Preview 3
Google has released developer preview 3 image for Android ‘N’ (build NPD35K) at I/O 2016. This latest update brings in several features and is available for Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus PLayer, Nexus 9/9G, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One). Stable releases will be available in Q3, 2016.[notice]
Android N Developer Preview 3 Includes –
- VR Mode for Android: Android N adds platform support and optimizations for a new VR Mode to let developers build high quality mobile VR experiences for users. Performance enhancements, including access to an exclusive CPU core for VR apps. Take advantage of intelligent head-tracking, and stereo notifications that work for VR. Very low latency graphics
- Sustained performance mode: Android N includes optional support for sustained performance mode, enabling OEMs to provide hints on device performance capabilities for long running applications. App developers can then use these hints to tune applications for a predictable, consistent level of device performance over long periods of time. (Nexus 6P devices only)
- Multiprocess WebView: Starting with version 51 in Android N, WebView will run web content in a separate sandboxed process when the developer option “Multiprocess WebView” is enabled. The WebView team is looking for feedback on compatibility and runtime performance in N before enabling multiprocess WebView in a future version of Android.
- Keyboard Shortcuts helper: Android N lets users press Meta+/ to trigger a Keyboard Shortcuts screen that displays all shortcuts available both from the system and from the app in focus. Developers can add their own shortcuts or trigger the Shortcuts screen from their apps.
- Keyboard Themes: 14 preset solid color themes and option to add your own image as the background for the keyboard.
Android Wear 2.0 Developer preview
Google also announced Android Wear 2.0 update that brings improvements and enhances users experience in terms of watch faces, messaging and fitness.
- Android wear app can now access the internet directly over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or cellular without relying on the Data Layer APIs. It can also receive push messages via Google Cloud Messaging and access account manager directly on the watch
- Google has made multiple changes in UI that enhances users interaction. It has new app launcher, new notification design and includes new watch face picker. The system UI adopts darker colour palette and makes better use of rounded displays.
- It also brings new material design for wearables, making app’s interface more consistent, intuitive and beautiful. It has new navigation drawer and action drawer components.
- Its new complications API are the information display to users directly on watch faces. Android Wear 2.0 now comes with system-wide framework to publish data to wide variety of faces.
- It now includes remoteInput and EditeText, two new input methods that accepts text from users.
- It has new messaging style notification and include new notification template for optimized and quick messaging. It will be available to Android N users.
- It also brings improvements to Google Fit platform, making it easier to use fitness data and activity detection and takes advantage of latest Android N features like Data Saver and Java 8 Lamda suport.