Google CEO Sundar Pichai just tweeted the first details on when and where Google I/O 2016 will be happening. Google's annual developer conference will be taking place May 18-20th this year, but it won't be in San Francisco as it has been in recent years. It's going back to the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, which is where the first I/O took place a decade ago.
Google releases an Android app each year providing Google I/O attendees with the schedule for the upcoming conference, and it uses the opportunity to show off how an Android app is supposed to feel. Then a couple months later it releases the source code, providing developers with a look at best practices. The source code for 2015's app has taken longer to arrive than last year's, but at last, it's here.
The Google I/O 2014 app arrived during the pre-Lollipop time when full material design wasn't yet possible on most Android devices due to the lack of the necessary APIs. Read More
Touchscreens are okay, but what about putting those pipes to better use? The description of one of Google's talks at I/O later this month points to an interesting new feature called Voice Access. Basically, instead of touching the phone, you talk to it to control apps. So essentially Star Trek? That'd be rad.
Mobile electronics use power. And as the software becomes more complex, they use more and more of it. At Google I/O 2015, the company has announced an improvement on the ultra low-power mode found in Lollipop. They're calling it "Doze," for obvious reasons, and it will debut in the M release of Android scheduled to go into a developer preview soon. It should debut in public builds later this year.
Specifics on the improvements made to the low-power mode are scarce, but apparently they are extensive enough for some dramatic power savings. According to the I/O presenter, a Nexus 9 equipped with an Android M developer preview build saw nearly two times the battery life in low power mode versus the same hardware running Android Lollipop. Read More
At the Google I/O 2015 keynote address, Google is moving fluidly between broad Android improvements for the upcoming M preview build and more specific improvements for the company's apps and APIs. One of the first reveals was for a new Chrome feature, Chrome Custom Tabs. This is basically a more robust alternative to embedding a web view in an app, adding a minimal and customized window of Google Chrome on top of the active app. Read More
A while back, Apple got to announce exclusive access to HBO's standalone application called Now that lets users watch content without a pre-existing subscription to the service. Of course we were all jealous, but today, that jealousy ends. Sundar Pichai just announced at Google I/O 2015 that HBO Now will be available on Android "across all devices."
That last bit is pretty important, because that means Android phones, tablets, and Android TV - just like how the service was released for Apple devices.
Unfortunately, there's no word as to when Now will hit the Store (but I would look for it soon). Read More
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Google I/O attracts thousands of developers from around the world to San Francisco, California for a few days each year. Combined with the already dense population of tech companies, it's an opportunity to hold parties and events to build relationships with developers. Read More
The 'Internet of Things' is a bit of a nebulous concept, but it boils down to adding smart, connected features to the objects and tools you use in everyday life. Things like wearables can loosely be put into this category, but it's usually applied to less conventional products like connected thermostats, home monitors, "smart" appliances, remote car tech, et cetera. It's a growing if somewhat unfocused segment, and according to a report on The Information, Google wants to get in on the ground floor.
An oven with an Android-powered manager and companion app. Photo source: Engadget
The project, codenamed "Brillo," would create software specifically to power and connect this new class of device. Read More
Google I/O 2015 is drawing ever closer, and that means it's time to start lining things up for the big event. As tradition dictates, Google is working on a fresh update to the Google I/O app. We've now got a beta release of the app, which just started rolling out to a small group of people who signed up last year. The changes aren't too elaborate, but they do some visual refinement and a few adjustments to the feature set. There are even a couple tidbits to learn from a quick teardown. Read More