2016. is definitely the year of virtual reality. Google started that with his Cardboard which is very simple, inexpensive and can be used with almost any newer smart phone, but isn’t very advanced. After success of Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Google wants it’s part too. They announced the Daydream – new platform for high quality mobile VR. They showed reference design for the headset and controller. Daydream will be available this fall with special VR versions of Play Store, Youtube, Movies etc. The smart phones with new Android N and certain required specs (high-end) will be Daydream ready.
On the tenth I/O conference the star of the night was Android N, of course, with many new functions. Our favorite is native support for multi-window on every device (similar to split-screen on LG and Samsung devices). We also like Doze mode – deep stand-by mode which should prolong your devices battery life. JIT Compiler will improve the overall performance. System will also have two partitions – one is used for installing system update while other is at the same time used for applications and system running at the moment. This way end users will gate seamless updates in a faster manner.
Other changes include improved interface, new menus, replying on notifications from lock screen, changing display size… Nevertheless Google needs help because they still didn’t think of name for the seventh version of Android. If you like, you can contribute on this link.
New I/O was also the ground for announcing the Android Auto support for smart phones with new Android N. Android Auto is in-car mode for smart phones which helps you by connecting with A/C, stereo and navigation system and is voice operated.
Two new apps from Google were also announced – Allo messaging app – which uses AI for reply prediction, help with making appointments, using Google search and internet knowledge. It comes with Duo, the app for video conversation. If you want to know more, you can preregister here.
Regarding wearables, the new version Android Wear 2.0 has also been announced. Chrome OS will soon support Google Play Store. This means that you will soon be able to use all of your favorite phone apps on your Chromebook.
Last topic of Google I/O conference were devices for improving the quality of life. Firstly announced was Google Assistant app which will replace Google Now (voice assistant, "OK Google!"). Next thing was revolutionary “speaker” Google Home which is voice-commanded and it can change parameters in your smart house, it knows of your arrangements and helps you with everyday tasks at home.
There were also driver-less cars, Project Ara – modular phone that has been rumored for a long time, Levi Jacquard smart jacket and Project Solus which uses natural movement of fingers and hands for controlling devices. We got kind of sad because the new Nexii were not yet announced. All in all – very interesting conference, I can see huge progress in many different fields although some which are not very useful are pushed to the fore.
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