Google I/O 2016 saw a strong opening with some big ticket announcements from the Mountain View based tech conglomerate. Here are 9 of the most prominent announcements made by Google at this annual developer meetup.
At its annual developer conference - Google I/O 2016, the company released a new beta for the Android N operating system. We already experience the Android N preview back in March. Now, the California based tech giant has introduced some more features in the new Beta release. There’s a new picture-in-picture mode, better battery optimisation, along with a brand new API called Vulkan, which lets developers take control of a smartphone’s GPU for improved 3D graphics. No, Google has not been able to name the upcoming OS and has asked fans to help them put a name to the ‘N’ in Android N.
Google’s has worked hard to ramp up machine learning and artificial Intelligence in its all new digital assistant conveniently named, Google Assistant. The voice based assistant is smarter than ever and will reside across devices from Google. One of its most exciting implementation will be in Google Home, the most promising consumer grade IoT device we have seen till now. Thanks to Google’s extensive research in natural language processing, users will now be able to speak to the Google Assistant as they would naturally converse with another human being. The Assistant will also feature in Google’s new Allo messenger as well as Android Auto.
Google Home is coming to your living room sometime later this year as confirmed by CEO, Sundar Pichai. At first glance, the Google Home looks like an attractive and edgy little speaker, compact enough to travel around the house and maybe even outside. The smart voice-activated speaker powered by Google's latest voice assistant will act as your own personal 'Jarvis', searching anything and everything on Google, running your smart home appliances, browsing and playing movies & music on Google Chromecast, keeping reminders and lots more.
Allo is a fresh take by Google on messaging and the app does not share any design aspects with Hangouts.This new chat app will not be tied to your Gmail account like Hangouts, instead it will require a phone number, just like WhatsApp. With the launch of this new app, Google also showcased its answer to chatbots, the Google Assistant, which is baked into the very core of the chat app. Allo includes a message received indicator, there are a new set of custom emojis, users can share images and can even doodle on them (a leaf from Snapchat perhaps). There is another feature called ‘WhisperShout’ which will let users enlarge or shrink text before sending.
Duo Video Chat
Just like Allo, Duo is a video calling which is tied to a user’s mobile number, instead of a Gmail ID. The Duo app is optimised to offer video calls in “crisp” 720p HD video resolution, but if the connection is spotty, it can adjust the quality without breaking the connection. Also, if you are on the move, the app can seamlessly switch from WiFi to cellular, without interrupting the call. the best part of this app is its 'Knock Knock' feature which shows a live video preview of the incoming call. You can read more about the Google Duo app here.
Android Wear 2.0
Finally, Google has announced an upgrade to its wearables OS and Android Wear 2.0 is here with a serious overhaul. One of the key features of the new OS is that it will now allow users to be more independent in using smartwatches sans their smartphones. Data from any app will also show up on any watch face with Wear 2.0. Google also showcased a small keyboard which can be brought up with a swipe, for those who want to type on their smartwatches, although we can’t say how useful that will be.
Google announced Daydream, a VR platform built on top of Android N. Daydream is a much more advanced version of Google Cardboard and there are some basic hardware requirements that a smartphone maker will have to fulfill for the smartphone to be Daydream ready. Daydream will work on new phones with specific components like SoC, sensors, and display. Google has announced hardware partners that will manufacture Daydream-ready phones. These partners include Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, and Alcatel.
Android Instant Apps. That’s what Google is calling its new Play Store feature, which will allow users to access parts of an app without having to download the entire app. This is not only aimed at saving users some storage space, but is also aimed at those who want a preview of an app before they decide to download it. Previews of some apps will show up as videos and others can even be used without a download. How would this fare with app developers? We will have to wait and find out. Google will start rolling out the feature later this year.
Xiaomi Mi Box
Xiaomi has unveiled a new Mi Box set-top box at Google I/O 2016. The device is a standalone set-top box running Android TV 6.0 and is capable of streaming 4K videos at 60fps. The device also supports Google Cast, which lets users stream images, video and music from their phone or tablets. Click here to know more about the Mi Box.
Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of Thinkdigit.com as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.
We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.