Now Google I/O annual developer conference is no more a developer conference only? After a decade, it has become a platform from where Google announces new things and shows off its latest technologies that the company will launch in future. Same happened in the recently held Google I/O 2017 in which the company unveiled a number of new products and improvements to be implemented. Here are the top 5 highlights.
Android O Beta released
Google has been unveiling new versions of Android in every I/O conference. Same happened this year too. Google officially launched Android O beta. Of course it is going to be quite helpful for advanced Android app developers who want to update their skills for the next version of Android OS. But you can only play with Android O beta if you have a Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X
Google launched the alpha of Android O in March but made it available only as a system image. It could not be installed without unlocking boot-loader and the installation required a desktop computer with the Android dev tools installed.
To installed Android O beta, you need to have the devices as mentioned above and then select the phone you wish to enroll in the program. After several minutes an OTA update for Android O will appear but it will not require you to unlock your bootloader and also, the installation will not delete any of your data.
Note: Go for Android O beta cautiously as it is pre-release software and things could go wrong. Before you do that, please read all the guidelines.
Google Home and Assistant
This year in I/O, Google’s executive talked a lot about machine learning. The target was Google Assistance – an intelligent personal assistant. It’s a voice-activated control platform with several new enhancements. On a Phone, Assistant has turned more than a voice-only app. On your phones the Assistant is now capable of answering the questions you will ask.
Now Assistant on your phone can also use “actions”. These actions are third party services from companies like Alarm.com, Logitech Harmony, and Samsung SmartThings. Google allows you to switch over to them, from standard Assistant control.
Assistant on phones is also capable of using “actions” now. Assistant actions are the third-party services that you can switch over to from the standard Assistant controls.
Also, the phone version includes a directory of available services . The app is made for both Android and iOS. Yes, you read it right. There is an iOS version of Google Assistant.
As far as Google Home is concerned, its Bluetooth is now open so that you can connect your device to use it like a regular Bluetooth speaker. It can also place calls – you tell who you want to call and it will make it for you. On the other hand, the person receiving your call will see your regular mobile number. It means they never know that you are calling via Home. Also, it will offer proactive notifications about your upcoming schedules.
Google released Android Auto in 2015 and since then it has been making improvements in the project. This year Google goes a step further by showing Android Automotive, a platform which is far more ambitious than Android Auto.
Android Auto was a project but Android Automotive, in itself, is the Android OS running the car. Google showed two demos of the Android Automotive platform in its I/O conference.
Some demos were also offered about what Lens can do. In a demo, Lens correctly identified SSID and password and logged the phone in to WiFi network. In another demo, Lens shown restaurant front-end and discovered what it was and offered the reviews fetched from Maps.
Google will make Lens a part of Assistant and photo when the company will roll out it. Users will be able to capture image using the Lens and then get data from the real world.
Google announced Kotlin – an alternative of its dependency on Java which, for now, is used in Android app development. Kotlin is designed to be run on Java Virtual Machine which means it can completely replace Java for Android app development. It’s a modern language and is compared to Apple’s Swift programming language.