All You Need to Know about Google I/O 2016

Have a look at this ultimate guide and know all you need to about Google I/O 2016.




August 4, 2016


Mah Noor


Google IO is the yearly developer’s conference of the company. Which is usually held at Moscone West in San Francisco, but this year moved to Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, right in the backyard of Google.

Since 2013 it was the biggest I/O event that took place over three days. Google brought some new exciting announcements and things to look forward to. This year the announcements came so fast that most of the products were not ready for demoing or release.

Google announced improvements to android and displayed its vision for a more appealing and intimate way to interact with technology. Google Assistant, Home, Allo and Duo, Android instant apps, and Android N Beta release were all the announcements Google had made at its mega event.

Quick Review of all the Google IO 2016 news and updates you need to know.


Google Assistant

Sundar Pichai the CEO of Google has unveiled a Conversational Assistant. That will understand your context and will help to get things done in the real world.

According to Pichai ‘we are building an individual Google for each user’. The Assistant is an ongoing 2-way dialogue that will ask ‘Hi, How can I help?’ and will give you control of it.

20% of Google search queries come from the voice on mobile devices. The AI provides contextual suggestions and recommendations and will help bring better results to that information.

Google Assistant is now broader than ever. For example, if you ask ‘Where is the Taj Mahal?’ it will show you the location and when you ask 'How Old is it?' it will know your context and will provide you with the desired information.

Google Assistant can now help automate the buying process. Like, if you want to go to a movie with your kids Google Assistant will find you a movie nearby and will book tickets for you as well. Siri, you have got competition!


Google Home

Google Home is a voice-activated smart speaker that is used to connect Google Assistant to your home devices and more.

With Google Home, you will be able to interact with Google Assistant without touching your phone. You will be able to do it using your voice because the device has voice recognition technology.

Google Home let you enjoy music and entertainment throughout your home. It includes speakers for responses to queries. It supports direct streaming from the cloud and casting. It also supports Google Cast which let you play multi-room music.

Google Home manages your everyday tasks more easily. You can set alarms, perform a search, can create a task, and manage your to-do list. You can also use Google Home to interact with third-party services like uber etc. You can do things with Home you already do with Google but now using your voice.

Google Home is a competitor to Amazon Echo and will be available later this year.


Google Allo

Google Allo is a smart messaging app. It learns over time to make conversations easier, more expressive, and more productive. Allo is based on your phone number. So, you can easily get in touch with anyone in your phonebook.

Google Allo now allows you to add more emotions to your messages like adding a ‘whisper’ or ‘shout’ effect to your reply. The level of emotion can be achieved by pressing the send button and by dragging it up or down. The font size will change depending on your choice.

Google Allo also enables smart replies where you can use emojis in a quick reply. The stickers and emoji will appear on your keyboard according to the pictures sent to you. Google will be building its new Assistant feature in Google Allo too. It also supports Incognito Mode and provides end-to-end encryption of your data and keeps your messages private.


Google Duo

Google introduced Duo, a new one-to-one video calling app and a companion to the Google Allo chat app. It’s fast and performs well even on slow networks.

Google Duo is also based on your phone number and it is also E2E encrypted. It will be available for both Android and iOS.

Google Duo introduced a new amazing feature called knock-knock. It shows you a live video stream of the caller before you even pick it up.

Google Duo monitors video quality every second and uses QUIC for fast connections built by the team behind WebRTC.


Android N

The first appearance of the Android N developer preview was two months earlier than Google I/O. So at the developer conference of Google I/O, there was a beta release of the developer preview of Android N.

According to the VP for the engineering of Android Dave Burke, Android N still doesn’t have a name yet. The company is giving a chance to the fans to suggest a name for Android N but, Google will be the one to pick a winner.

Android N is focusing on performance. Burke revealed that Android N is using a graphics API called Vulcan. That has a lower CPU overhead. That will make everything run smoother.

Google also made improvements to Android Runtime with the JIT compiler. That will get app installation 75% faster and will reduce 50% the compiled code size.

The three ways Android N can improve security are:

  • File-based encryption
  • Media-hardening framework
  • Seamless updates

The 'Android is upgrading' dialogue will vanish due to seamless updates. Good news for Android users.

Burke explained the most exciting feature of Android N, how split-screen mode would be coming to both Android phones and tablets. It allows users to open two screens at a time with a long tap.

Burke also announced that users will be able to give respond to notifications right there, without leaving the notification panel.

There will be 250 new features in Android N, which is coming this fall.


Daydream VR

At the Google IO 2016, Clay Bavor the vice president of the virtual reality team revealed Daydream. That is a platform that consists of smartphones, a headset, a controller, and Android apps built for high-definition VR.

The Daydream platform will be available by this fall. Google has provided the list of specifications that will make their Android smartphones Daydream certified to the manufacturers.

Bavor revealed the group of companies that jumped on board including HTC, Huawei, Samsung, LG, ZTE, and much more.

Android N will be optimized according to the features specific to Daydream VR.

Google has created a reference design for a headset and now sharing it with partners. This headset won’t be made of cardboard but will be the actual hard headset.

The controller will be a rounded remote and will be supporting a motion sensor, a scrolling touchpad, and a few buttons. Daydream users will be able to access Google play from within the VR experience.

Google is rebuilding its apps for Daydreams like movies, Google photos, and street views. YouTube will also be rebuilt from the ground up for VR and will be supporting voice search, playlists, audio, and more.

The Daydream platform will be launching in the coming fall.


Android Instant Apps

The vaguest announcement of the Google IO 2016 was Android Instant Apps. It allows people to access app content without actually installing the app. A tap on a URL will open an Android app.

Google ran a demo on a smartphone running Android KitKat and said it will be compatible with android phones all the way back to jellybeans.

Instant Apps will be available to users later this year.


Android Wear 2.0

The wearable operating systems were released back in September 2014, but at the Google IO 2016, David (head of the company’s wearable) announced Android Wear 2.0. Which according to him is the biggest change with the software.

Android wear is an app that will run without any phone nearby. These watches will now connect to Wi-Fi on their own.

This version of Android Wear will focus on messaging, fitness, and customization. Watch faces can show data from any of the apps.

Conversation through text with Android wear is now a lot easier with handwriting recognition, better auto-replies, and a tiny swipeable keyboard.

The software now will automatically recognize, sync with apps, and exchange data via Google Fit.

Google released a Material Design guide for the software that covers every aspect of Android Wear. this will help developers to create more persistent experiences for Android smartwatches.

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