Google I/O is a three-day event focused on exploring new technology that provides a great experience. In this 2016 edition, developers got together to showcase all the new software and hardware updates in Google products.
The event started on Wednesday and it was a journey full of innovation. Home-tech devices and some other gadgets were released and software updates were explained. Android N, the new version of the Android software for smartphones, got several but simple updates that generated applauses, like the add of a new “clear all” button for the multitasking carousel.
As it was announced, Google finally revealed the hardware that is going to compete with Amazon’s Echo, Google Home. This is a device that will work as a home assistant with a voice-command platform. It is meant to be placed on any surface at home, and one of its features is the possibility to customize it in different colors.
It has speakers and a microphone incorporated, and it can connect with all kind of smart devices in order to execute simple tasks like making lists, checking the weather, among other activities where you may need a digital assistant. The home-tech device is going to be available in the market until fall.
Virtual Reality getting real
Google finally took the step toward making a more sophisticated system for Virtual Reality platforms. The big announcement was the release of “Daydream”, a new VR platform. It is still under development but already has a set of guidelines to create VR apps on Android. Google even released the list of the technical specifications Android devices (and smartphones) must have in order to provide a better Daydream experience.
However, the hardware is still on hold and the headset does not exist yet. It seems that Google prefers some other developers built the hardware since they only showed a sketch as a reference.
Google Messaging Services
If there is one thing where Google is not the giant, is in instant messaging services, since Facebook Messenger and iMessage are more popular than Hangouts. Google’s response has been to reinvent their messaging services, offering Allo and Duo, two apps that will be available on mobile platforms.
Allo is mostly an instant messaging app with artificial technology that understands and learns what you write, in order to learn enough about you and predict what you are going to answer before you actually write it down, while Duo is an app devoted to direct video calls, competing with FaceTime.
The software of the smartwatch got a bunch of updates, including improving fitness tracking and notifications, as well as new features to respond and interact with the notifications. Users can now handwrite responses, use the regular digital keyboard or the smart reply with built-in responses to reply quickly and interact with the messages received in the smartwatch.
There is a lot of excitement around Google I/O and in the next two days, a lot more will be exposed.