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Google I/O 2016 - a roundup

What was your favorite announcement from the Google I/O 2016 keynote? Here is a roundup of the biggest news coming out of Google I/O 2016 for you: 

Android N - smarter, faster, better:

Google released a new beta for Android N with features revolving around three key points - performance, security and productivity - lots of new features for N.

  • Android N puts its biggest lead forward with ‘Volken’ - a modern 3D graphics API designed to give game controllers direct control over the GPU to produce incredible graphics and compute performance.
  • Next comes the all new Just in Time or ‘JIT compiler’ which ensures that the app installs are 75% much faster.
  • To capture security, N introduces File based encryption, strong media framework security and allows seamless updates.

The new operating system also improves productivity by adding new features into multitasking, multi window operations and enhanced notifications system and better emojis.

Android N is expected to release later this summer. The N could be for anything, our best guess Nougat or Nutella!

Android Wear 2.0:

Google announces a drastic overhaul to Android Wear. All updated to offer better battery life, phone-free operation, better fitness support and smarter, more predictive operation. Smart Reply, handwriting recognition and a new keyboard are some highlights. The developer preview launched last night, and it will be live in the fall.

The two all new communication apps:

Allo, the smart messaging app: Google’s brings AI into messaging with Allo which smartens your text conversations. Allo’s best feature is Google Assistant integration, smart photo recognition and a better focus on emoji. The app also features an Incognito Mode, which includes end-to-end encryption, message expiration and private notifications.

Duo-video calling app: Duo is a video companion to Allo. A competitor of Facetime. Duo come with an interesting feature ‘ Knock-Knock’ that shows you a live video stream of the caller before you pick up the call.

Both Allo and duo will be available later this summer for iOS and Android.

Welcome to Android VR:

Android steps into mobile VR through DayDream, built on top of Android N. For the feature, Google has revamped the Play Store, so users can browse and download apps with the VR headset on. Movies will also be viewable in VR now, as well both regular and 360-degree YouTube videos. And while Google mentioned (but didn’t display) a new headset coming later this year, they did show off a new VR controller.

Google Home:

Your new housemate from Google. Google Home is  a small white and grey speaker with always-listening microphones that integrates into a broad range of services.  It plays music and lets you control smart home devices. And yes of course, you can ask Google Home anything you want to know.

Updates to Android Auto:

Google also announced a number of improvements for car drivers. The popular traffic-tracking app Waze is now built directly into Android Auto, letting drivers see speed trap warnings and accident alerts in real time.

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