Last year when material design was introduced to the world, Google emphasized that its specs were a living document. Indeed we've seen several updates to the spec itself since it launched, but Google's also paying attention to its overall design presence, as evidenced by today's major update to google.com/design.
The site has been made over with a new grid filled to the brim with awesome content.
We have already posted a pretty thorough preview of the features coming with the new Google Photos app, but that doesn't mean Google didn't save a couple of surprises for IO. The big bombshell is that, starting later today, users will be able to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos for free. If you weren't using Google as your primary source for photo archiving, this news may give you reason to reconsider.
Your pictures and videos won't be compressed into oblivion either, they will be stored at up to 16MP for images and 1080p for video.
One year on, Google's material design philosophy is still picking up steam. As popular as it's become in the community though, there are still some holes left to fill in terms of implementation.
Until now, developers have had to rely on third-party libraries (in conjunction with Google's own support library) to create elements like floating action buttons, but Google is looking to fix that, releasing a new design support library today that fills in some of the holes.
Besides new family-friendly and kid-friendly efforts on search and discovery in the Play Store, Google announced during its keynote today that Play Store search will be getting smarter overall.
Specifically, Google wants to more effectively surface apps when users search for vague or topical queries. The example given in the screenshot above shows the user searching for "shopping" apps. The Play Store then returns, of course, shopping apps. But those apps are then categorized intelligently into different sub-genres like Fashion and Coupons.
This may seem like a small tweak to most users, but - if Google is right - it will help introduce users to the right app when the user is not sure exactly what they're looking for, which is a good step in helping along discoverability in the Play Store as a whole.
When it comes to getting users to your app, your Play Store listing counts for a lot. What users see (and read) when they reach your app's listing can make or break their decision to download or buy, so carefully crafting a good listing is important.
To that end, Google has announced that it will open up what amounts to A/B testing for Play Store listings, meaning developers can play with their listings by testing different screenshots, graphics, etc. to see what performs better and end up with the best possible listing.
To facilitate this, Google will add "Listing Experiments" to the Play Store developer console.
Google Now is based on getting you data that matches your context—your location, time of day, what you've been searching for, and so on. A new feature of Google Now in Android M called "On Tap" will take that a step further by using the context of what you're doing on the phone to find answers.
Just as expected, Google has taken the wraps off the latest iteration of Android at Google I/O. So far all we have with regard to the name is the placeholder "Android M." Will that be Marshmallow? Marzipan? M&M? Magneto? We don't know, but we do know what sort of features it will bring. There are six tentpoles in Android M.
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.