Google I/O 2016: The Expected and The Surprises

Google I/O 2016: The Expected and The Surprises
Google I/O 2016: The Expected and The Surprises

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Just last week, the Google I/O keynote address was given. This presentation is one that is an annual event and includes a presentation of everything the industry giant Google has been up to over the last year. Prior to the presentation, there was much speculation about what innovations would be shared. Many of those predictions turned out to be accurate, but there were still some surprises.

The Much Anticipated

Android N is one of the things that tech watchers were expecting from the Google. This is the Android platform’s next major release. Previews that have gone out to developers for their use have foreshadowed the announcement. Some of the improvements in this release include split-screen mode that is built in, streamlined notifications, and power saving technology that doesn’t drain your battery when your device is not in use.

Android Apps for Chrome was expected by those watching and Google delivered. With the addition of Android app capabilities to the Chrome operating system, Chrome is poised to have impressive functionality, and further propel the sales of the incredibly popular Chromebooks.

Virtual Reality was expected as a part of the secret announcements from Google and the giant did not disappoint. Those following the industry heard buzz recently, that Android VR was being worked on by Google.  Unveiled last week, Daydream is the new Google VR platform. The home screen for Daydream contains a variety of apps and there are already customized VR apps for some of Google’s most popular offerings.

Google Home, the company’s version of Amazon’s Echo – a tool to voice-control your smart home – was much anticipated and Google delivered. It was one of the biggest announcements that came out of I/O. It is a voice-controlled smart Bluetooth speaker that brings artificial intelligence to your home, and is paving the way for other complimentary advances.

The Surprises

Duo, the rival of FaceTime, was one of the most exciting announcements to come from Google. Super-easy to use, it allows the call recipient to see who’s calling before choosing to answer. The mobile-only app uses your phone number to allow you to connect with others. It is being launched on both iOS and Android this summer.

Messaging app Allo is a mobile-only option that makes connecting with others easy. Highly secure, all messages are encrypted, and there is even an incognito mode. It also comes with Google Assistant, which makes it easy to get needed information or to generate automated replies.

Google’s own Virtual reality headset was one of the anticipated developments. Past versions of it just weren’t advanced enough and industry experts were expecting Google to rectify that. Their announcement however, was of a reference design that may be completed by fall. The newest version of a VR headset would be affordable yet more sophisticated and functional. However, there are no guarantees on delivery.

Instant Android apps are one of the more exciting things announced. Without the need to download apps, you can still use many of their features. Google loads part of apps, without actually installing the entire app.

With the never-ending innovations coming from Google, you can rest assured that it will remain at the forefront of the industry for years to come. Undaunted by the competition, Google takes on every tech innovation with a version of its own. Take the time to check out its offerings and stay as cutting edge as Google itself.

Larry Nolen is a freelance blogger, digital analyst and aspiring marketing guru who loves technology, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He works as an Digital Analyst for Feel free to follow him on Twitter @larrynolen74
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