Google I/O 2016 came to a close on Friday, and it marked our sixth year in attendance to Google's annual developer bash. A great many topics were covered from divisions all over Google, with lots of announcements big and small, both consumer and developer-facing. Our first I/O recap covered the front half of the show, while Mark takes a look at some of the announcements from Google's ATAP division as well as shares some thoughts on the show and news overall this year.
Looking to get your head around the majority of the announcements at Google I/O? We've got a video for that. Our summary of all the announcements from the keynote and day one of the show will catch you up with the major happenings at I/O 2016, with our very own Mark Burstiner.
Remember Gello, that neat Android browser based on Chromium code that was teased by the CyanogenMod developer team a little less than a year ago? It looks like the app is finally finished, or at least ready to make a version 1.0 debut. Joey Rizzoli, the CM developer who teased Gello last July, says that it's ready to go and that managers can begin to incorporate Gello into nightly builds. The browser will be added by the individuals or teams of developers responsible for upkeep on each CyanogenMod device build, so Gello may or may not be immediately on your device's nightly release.
These days advertising seems to be looking for an edge, a unique and original approach that will engage potential customers and hold their attention better than the bombastic and simple ads of days gone by. And then again, sometimes it doesn't... sometimes subtelty goes out the window, right before you apply a sign the size of a 25-story building to the other side of it. Such is the case with a Samsung advertisement in the Sokol district of Moscow, which uses a 262-foot tall building as a backdrop for the world's largest Galaxy S7 Edge.
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On this week's show: All things Google I/O 2016!
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It's alright if you've already forgotten about Project Soli - with all of the crazy futuristic stuff that the Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team works on, it's easy to get confused. Essentially, Soli is a system that adapts radar-style techniques into tiny hardware in order to enable the tracking of hands and fingers (or anything else, really) which in turn allows software to recognize hand gestures with precision and accuracy that beats anything on the consumer market today. It's pretty cool - watch this video from last year's Google I/O for a crash course.
Fans of the burgeoning art of 360-degree short-form storytelling have probably been enamored by Google's Spotlight Stories, a series of videos designed to highlight the narrative potential of the VR format. The latest one is Pearl, a sort of extended animated music video about a man, his daughter, and the beat-up hatchback car that they share over about 20 years. The short is directed by Patrick Osbourne, and the original song "No Wrong Way Home" was written by Alexis Harte and JJ Weisler and performed by Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz.
Mobile payments are often viewed as a replacement for cash and cards. Why carry layers of bills and plastic in your wallet when you can simply make purchases with your phone? But without universal acceptance, the reality is that there are places where swiping your phone isn't an option. Sometimes even a card won't do. You need cash. And what do you need to get cash from the ATM? A card. Great.
For Bank of America customers, that situation is about to change.
There are many opinions about wearable technology, but most criticisms focus on the awkwardness – or just plain unattractiveness – of many products that have come thus far. One of the more interesting presentations from I/O 2015 came during the ATAP session, in which Project Jacquard was introduced. This is a touch-sensitive fabric that can be woven into regular clothing and used a bit like a trackpad. This technology is being put to real use, and in a partnership with Levi Strauss, the first product using Jacquard will be launching next Spring.
Levi's is calling it the Commuter Trucker Jacket, a denim jacket with Jacquard woven into the left sleeve.