While Google I/O gets a lot of attention for Android, Chrome, and Search, Google hasn't rested on its laurels for one of its most successful products: Maps. According to the I/O keynote presentation, over 100 improvements to the system are currently in the works, many of which are relying on new AI developments.
Google is planning a radical design change with Material You. But it won't stop at the visual interface. According to announcements at the Google I/O developer conference, Android 12 will repurpose the power button in a way that's familiar to users of other devices. Long-pressing the power button will activate Google Assistant's voice control, at least by default.
Wear OS isn't great. That's an opinion that seems to be fairly universal (with the usual exceptions), especially when you start comparing Android-powered wearables to those from Samsung, Fitbit, and of course, Apple. Google knows this, and they're working on it. Never has that been more apparent than at today's Google I/O developer conference keynote.
Ever since Google bought Fitbit in 2019, we've been waiting to see what kind of effect that combination would have on both Fitbit's fitness-focused wearables and Google's own Wear OS. Today we know. At Google I/O, a Fitbit representative said it flat out: future Fitbit wearable devices will be running Wear OS.
If you've been itching to get your hands on the absolute latest version of Android, you'll be able to later today. Google said during I/O that the latest beta build will be available today, May 18th. Pixel phones will absolutely be at the top of the list, but other devices from other manufacturers are also in the pipeline.
Don't call it a comeback ... actually, yeah, it's a comeback. Google's Blob Opera digital experiment, a curiosity that became a brief sensation last December, will be back for tomorrow's Google I/O keynote speech. Google took to Twitter to make the announcement:
With just a few weeks left until Google I/O 2016 kicks off, Google has dropped a new version of the I/O app into the Play Store. It includes a schedule of events, notifications, a map, and more. The mobile website has gotten very good this year, but the app still provides a few benefits.