Google I/O 2016 announcements recap !
I love keeping up to date with new tech and stuff, so I watched the entire keynote on a live stream and here’s what I think were the most significant announcements at Google I/O 2016 :
- Android N
- The new JIT compiler. Not only does it speed up system updates but also improves app install times by a whopping 75%.
- Multi-Window support. Even though Samsung and some Xposed modules have already brought this to Android, native multi-window support is a pretty significant update.
- The new update system – Similar to how Chrome handles updates. A new update, when available, will be downloaded in the background and willseamlessly update the old system image with the new one, keeping your apps and data intact. This means no more ‘Android is starting’ and ‘Optimizing apps’ dialogues after an update! 😀
- Google’s platform for creating rich VR experiences on Android devices. Google has created a basic reference design for a VR headset and remote for other manufacturers. VR will also be heavily supported in Android N, with OS-level optimizations allowing latency to drop to only 20ms for a butter-smooth performance. Also, Android N will feature a VR based interface and also a full dedicated app market in Google Play for VR.
- Google Assistant
- Google Now is getting a lot smarter now with intelligent detection ofcontexts. Two way conversation while understanding your context. For example, if you ask Google “Where is the Taj Mahal?” and after that “How old is it?”, it intelligently learns the context of what you are referring to. Pretty cool, eh?
- A brand new Firebase SDK, launching today, will work on Android, iOS and the web. It has got a slew of new features like Firebase crash reportingwhich help to identify issues and bugs and take action on them accordingly. It should help developers see app crashes updating in real time. Also there are other tools in the SDK which help developers send specific targeted notifications to users without writing a single line of code and a remote configuration tool which helps in app testing and experimenting at scale. How cool is that? 😀
- Android Studio 2.2
- A new layout editor, constraint layouts which help build UIs for multiple screens and resolutions easily. Enhanced support for C++.cmake and NDK build support apart from Gradle. Also there is Test recording which will help you test your app locally or in a cloud and will give you an auto-generated signed report.
- Android Instant Apps
- Use an app (rather specific parts of it) without even installing it. Once implemented in your app, even clicking on a link pertaining to your app will download only those specific parts or modules of the app from Google Play and run them. There would also be an install option if the user wishes to install. A big big step forward.
- Android Wear 2.0
- Pretty cool new features like support for cellular data, using it seamlessly even when the phone is not with you or even switched off for that matter. Introduction of standalone apps is also a really awesome addition.
- Advancements in Machine Learning, Natural language Processing and AI.
- If there was one thing that Google was determined to announce and show at Google I/O was their advancements in Machine Learning, AI and Natural Language Processing. Google has open-sourced parts of its TensorFlow and Cloud Platform APIs allowing developers to access its Computer Vision APIs. Google has also made progress in the robotics field, an example of which showed us robotic arms picking up specific things without any special programmed instructions (that’s the power of Deep Learning for you!) Google has also started building specialized hardware called Tensor Processing Units or TPUs which was the same hardware that powered AlphaGo in its match against Lee Sedol (again, Deep Learning, Machine Learning and AI together in tandem!) They displayed their prowess and progress consistently throughout the keynote and these three are definitely going to be kinda the 3 pillars which they intend to build on.