Arcalea - Everything You Need to Know About Google IO

The Google I/O keynote has gotten users and developers buzzing with excitement. After all, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has presented a comprehensive roadmap on Google’s future, with its improved processes and innovative technology. Similar to Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), Google I/O is geared specifically towards developers.

Undoubtedly one of Silicon Valley’s major powerhouses, Google has announced that active Android users have already exceeded 2 billion, and that it plans to actively reach and engage its “next billion users” with major upgrades and enhancements in its current tech lineup.

Let us take a look at the major updates and what you need to know about Google’s IO 2017:

Google Announcements and Updates For Developers

Google is actively taking a leap towards next-generation interactions with initiatives such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Progressive Web Apps (PWA), TensorFlow, Google Assistant, and Chrome. This will allow them to expand and develop extensive community projects.

“Mobile-first to AI-first” – Now more than ever, Google gives emphasis to the AI platform with the introduction of Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), which will become part of Google’s AI data centers. These TPUs will effectively handle complex computations which will be completely cloud-based. Examples of this initiative include the user-focused expansion of Google Photos with its use of facial recognition, activating Google Home via Google Assistant, and AR-based (augmented reality) Google Lens, which is now enabled to recognize images in real time through visual positioning.

Multimodal Interactions – Another interesting development is Google’s focus on integrated voice and chat modalities, as emphasized in the features of Google Assistant. This allows for a more streamlined sign-in and sign out flows via SmartLock, streamlined payment flows, and the use of biometrics and fingerprint scanners via enhanced WebAuthN, even without native apps.

Enhanced Developer Tools – Developers will now enjoy more efficient and secure features such as the Google Play Protect that protects and secures data, a better Google Play Console which allows for better management of all phases of app development and publishing, and utilizes Kotlin, now the official language for Android development, as it solves the problem of using more words in source codes and runtime exceptions. Kotlin is developed by Jetbrains.

Google Announcements and Updates For Users

Despite being tech-focused, Google did not miss out on important updates and key features made especially for its Android users:

Android Go – built around the Android O, this aims to further engage the next “billion users” of the Android platform. Android Go targets those with entry-level devices. It comes with a dedicated Google Apps that run smoothly even device-restricted environments, as it consumes less memory, less storage and less data.

Smarter Google Assistant – using a technology called Google Lens, the Google Assistant easily analyzes nearby surroundings and will display relevant content. It is expanding beyond Android to iOS as well, and is now available as an app for the iPhone and iPad.

Google Home – Google’s intelligent speaker is now able to place free calls (also provided by Google). This feature is available in the United States and Canada. Users have the option to switch or use their personal mobile number for this feature. As a speaker, Google Home is now enabled to control and access its Bluetooth radio, and has been expanded to control HBO, Hulu, and SoundCloud, among others. Its so-called “visual responses” allows Google Home to suggest and direct information to the connected screen.

Google Photos – Google added a number of useful features for its Photos, including Suggested Sharing, which instantly recognizes faces in photos, and Shared Libraries, for sharing photos with family members, allowing them to add photos in a centralized collection. Users are also able to control sharing settings, such as the date and limiting the users for photo-sharing. Google has also added printed photo books, which can be created directly from a smartphone.

Virtual Reality Headsets – Google has announced their future plans to launch a special VR headset that does not require a smartphone to work. With its “WorldSense” concept powered by its Tango augmented reality technology, the headset is able to track virtual space. However, no specific date has been announced on its actual launch, so it gives users something to look forward to.

Final Thoughts

With these announcements, it’s not too difficult to guess where Google is doubling down: Home IoT, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence. While some of the announcements are clear responses to existing market trends (Google Home is essentially a competitor to Amazon’s Alexa), these are all exciting developments to follow as Google has such a large reach and wide range of resources at its disposal.

With its innovations and renewed focus on new technologies, Google is sure to continue making leaps and waves in the future. For more information and updates from Google and the rest of the search marketing industry, please visit Arcalea’s blog today.