Everything You Need to Know from Google I/O 2015 Keynote
It’s Keynote Day!
On May 28th, I attended Keynote day at Google’s 2015 I/O Conference held in San Francisco, CA at Moscone Centre West, and you know what that means: Cutting edge innovative announcements, announcements, announcements. Here they are:
HBO Now on Android
HBO’s standalone, no cable-required streaming service was exclusive to Apple… temporarily. It’ll come to Android and Google Play this summer.
Google Play Hits Huge Numbers
Google Play now has 1B active users, with 50B app installs in the past 12 months.
The “Family Star”
Apps can now get a “family friendly” designation called The Family Star. These apps will also be available in a special family section, with categories for different age groups.
Android M is coming!
The next version of Android, shipped as a developer preview today. It has 6 flagship new features…
#1: App Permissions
App Permissions (like camera or GPS access) are now requested the first time they’re used, rather than in one big blast at install. Permissions can also be toggled on a one-by-one basis after install.
#2: Chrome Custom Tabs
Developers now have a full featured, skinnable version of Chrome they can embed in their app
#3: App Links
App devs can now lock down Android intents. If you click a link that should open in Twitter, for example, Twitter can keep third-party apps from hijacking that intent
#4: Android Pay
Remember the NFC, touch-to-pay part of Google Wallet? It’s that, but rebranded and built into the OS by default. Unlock your device, hold it up to an NFC reader (in Whole Foods, McDonalds, or many other retailers), and bam — you’ve paid. Your
#5: Fingerprint Reader Support
While Android phones with fingerprint readers already exist, such things were always built by the device makers — not Google. Android now supports fingerprint readers at an OS level, allowing for things like making purchases in the Play store
When you haven’t moved your device in a while, apps can be pushed into low-power “doze” modes. Google says this can extend your device’s standby life by up to 2x.
The little things…
Other, smaller features include:
– An improved copy/paste workflow
– Greatly improved volume controls with indepedent settings for ringer/alarm/music volume.
And as an added bonus: USB C support is coming to Android soon.
Oh! I forgot to mention. This whale came out briefly right before the keynote started, swimming across the wall-to-wall panoramic projection display. People. Went. Bananas. Really. It was probably the loudest applause of the day. It was kind of
Android Wear is getting an overhaul. The gist: wrist flicking gestures for fast (if goofy) navigation, emoji recognition, an always on display, and a rearranged (and improved!) UI flow.
Google goes after the Internet of Things
Google announced two new projects focusing on the Internet of Things: Brillo and Weave. Brillo is a Android-based operating system for IoT devices; Weave is a standard for IoT devices to communicate with each other. Gadget makers can use
Google has improved the speech recognition error rate from 23% in 2013 to 8% in 2015.
Now On Tap
Google Now can now use the current, on screen information as context to provide you info. If you’re looking at a text about a certain restaurant, holding the home button will bring up details about that restaurant or movie. If you’re listening to a song by, say, Skrillex, saying “Okay Google, What’s his real name?” will auto-scrape that “his” refers to Skrillex. Mind blowing.
Google is breaking its photo hosting stuff out of Google Plus. Google Photos is a free, unlimited storage service. It’ll host photos up to 16MP, and videos up to 1080p. It’s available for Android, iOS, and the web.
Google Maps is getting deep offline support. Once you’ve saved a map for an area, you’ll be able to search for businesses within that area, read reviews, and even do turn-by-turn navigation without an internet connection.
Google Cardboard V2
Google released V2 of their super-economical VR viewer. It now supports phones with screens up to 6″ Meanwhile, the incredibly neat magnet-button from V1 has been replaced with a more universal button.
Cardboard In The Classroom
Google will begin shipping teachers “Expedition” kits, complete with everything they take their class on Cardboard fieldtrips. All of the Cardboard viewers in the class are synchronized and controlled by a teacher’s tablet, allowing
A counterpart to Cardboard, Google is working on making it easier to film immersive 360° VR video. They’re opening up the plans for a 360° camera rig, and launching server-side software that stitches the video together in a way that
GoPro JUMP Rig
Google isn’t selling a VR camera rig of their own, but GoPro is building one based on the JUMP specifications