Google returns for its annual developer conference and I look ahead to what will and could be in store for us from the search engine giant.
The Important Stuff!!
Date: 17th – 20th May 2017
Place: Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, California
Keynote: May 17th 10:00 am
Not on the Guest list: Google will stream on its Google Developers YouTube Channel. Here!
A look at what definitely will be present at the conference.
- Android O
This is a certainty and will take a big chunk of the keynote. The next iteration of Android, at present named “Android O” (Any guesses as to what desert this could be?), is already out as a developer preview. There seems to be a focus on battery optimization, with code looking at reducing the drain caused by apps, not in use. The user will also gain more control over their notifications with changes that can be made to what’s shown and apply setting for future notifications. Last year we got split screen, this year we will get “picture in picture”, giving users ability to minimize an app and have it on screen whilst using a different app. The final stand out feature is the ability to add extra shortcuts to the already present navigation bar on the phone giving users extra functionality. Android O seems to be more of an evolution rather than a revolution with Google fine tuning an already stable and useful OS
- Android Wear
Staying with android Google will look to shed more light and give insight into Android wear. More and more companies have jumped on the android wear band wagon and I wouldn’t be surprised if the platform for the wrist receive more updates with a roll out of Android wear 2.0 due at some point this year. Apple has taken a big chunk of the small but growing wearable market and Google would look to try and claw back some ground.
- More VR
At last year’s conference, Google debuted the Daydream VR and had a large focus on making its products VR compatible. I believe the story continues at this year’s event, where we could see an updated Daydream VR, with higher resolution viewfinder supported by better refresh rates and head tracking but keeping to the affordable price point. I believe we could also see a further push in VR apps and google pushing more headsets into schools and businesses to hit home that the future is VR.
- Google Home & IoT
Along with VR, last year also saw the announcement of Google home, the assistant in your house. Since its introduction, it has made strides and continued to develop and build its artificial knowledge. It still faces stiff competition from Amazon’s Alexa but I believe at this year’s conference we could see some major strides taken, including having multiple profiles on one device to making payments via the Google home device. This brings me onto Internet of Things, google will look to expand and gain a foothold in this market by introducing more products that connect to Google Home and with Nest being under the Alphabet umbrella this could truly be the next big step Google takes to make automated living accessible to all.
In the wings:
Potential tech to appear at the conference.
- Project Tango
Like Daydream took a stride forward for VR, Project Tango looks to be the force behind getting AR into the forefront of developers and alike. The combination of motion tracking and 3D mapping seem to be at the heart of this and we could see further developments announced at IO. I also think that there maybe a project tango device unveiled which will build upon the aforementioned mapping and tracking. A project tango device in the hands of keen developers maybe the next step for google in getting engagement and exposure.
- Project Andromeda
Last year Chrome OS was absent, and I believe this was due to Project Andromeda. Rumors have been around since android apps have been able to be installed on Chromebooks, that there will be a unification of both operating systems that will work across all devices and screen sizes (Similar to Windows 10). This could be the next big thing from Google and some hint to the future of this would be a welcome addition at I/O.
- Google Media
Looking at the I/O schedule, there seems to be a focus on media and music throughout the weekend, due to that I believe we might see an overhaul of the play store and maybe a branching of the media section. Another possibility may be the consolidation of the various platforms such as YouTube, Google Play Music, and the recently announced YouTube TV.
- Android Pay
Android pay has been growing, with the number of transaction carried out via this medium increasing on a daily basis. I’m not too sure what could be announced but there seem to be suggestions of enhanced security measures that could be built in, along with more integration into products such as Google Home.
It’s a wrap:
Google IO sets to be another jam packed developer conference for us all to follow until then more information can be found at the conference website and more specifically the schedule for the event here.
Tech Off Melon!