In mobile, there are only a few key events each year. One of them is the Google I/O and it has begun! Because of the huge demand for tickets to the conference, a lot of people were to be disappointed. However, because the event is hosted by Google, a lot of presentations are being streamed live. Which results in lots of viewing parties around the world called Google I/O Extended.
The unofficial one
Sadly, the official dutch Google I/O Extended was sold out even faster than the actual event. However, the dutch public broadcaster NOS together with the Dutch Android User Group initiated a meetup as the official unofficial Google I/O Extended. The meetup started with a small introduction by the meetup hosts. After that, diner was served and the keynote started.
Below are the highlights of the keynote.
To slap you in the face with it, no new Android version was released. Also no new Nexus devices. However, the rumours about a Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android were true. This will probably give a boost to Samsungs smartphone sales. That’s just what they needed to destroy the competition.
For developers there is now Android Studio. This is an IDE which is based on ItelliJ. This studio is optimised for developing Android apps. This results in string previews in your code that you actually defined in xml. It also enables previews on multiple device sizes for the layouts you defined in xml. For now it’s an early access preview. So you could also consider the Eclipse + ADT Bundle.
A number of new or updated services were presented. There are some new location based apis. The new apis allows geofencing up to three hundred fences per app. Google Cloud Messaging allows data being send from the device to the server. The gaming service enables developers to easily setup multiplayer connections.
Google already changed a lot in the developer console before the event. The new layout was introduced and for only a month, the old developer console became deprecated. Since last week, it is possible to respond to user reviews. But they saved the best for last. They enabled alpha, beta and production releases within the developer console. For the production release, there is also staged rollouts. This is just awesome!
Another item on the list of the Chrome team is standardised payments. This means that you only have to enter your credentials into Google Wallet once. The credentials are synced across all your devices.
Google Play for Education
Google announced Google Play for Education. This is basically a filter per school grade. The cool part is though, that a teacher can recommend apps that are useful for education and can buy it for the entire school. Of course, the distribution is executed based on Google accounts of the scholars.
Above are the most interesting announcements, but there were many more. Google Plus analyses your post to automatically add hashtags and display related content. The new app Hangouts means competition for Whatsapp. Google Search answers your question, but also anticipates your next question. Google Maps reroutes based on traffic incidents. A wrapup of the keynote can be found here.
The keynote was quite disappointing from a hardware point of view. But from a software point of view it was quite awesome. The announcements are really impressive. However, it also becomes very scary. Of course it is common knowledge that Google collects all data that we are providing them. But they integrate that more and more in their services. This enables great innovations, but it also makes the users that much more dependant.