Google I/O, the annual developer conference from the search giant, is all set to begin, live in the next hour and for most Android fans this is an eagerly awaited event. Android M, the never OS from the company will be revealed today, although the user roll-out won’t probably happen till the end of this year.
Google is running a live-stream of the keynote event and the key developer sessions at the I/O conference. You can check out the stream below. We’ll also be following the key announcements from Google at the event and you can read about those below.
So what should we expect from Android M? According to the rumours, Material Design which we saw in Lollipop will continue with perhaps some fine-tuning. Reports have spoken about how Google wants to improve battery life and RAM usage in Android M as well give greater privacy controls to users. The latter will see users controlling which permissions an app gets access to in Android M.
There are also reports that Android Pay, Google’s own answer to Apply Pay will be showcased as well. Other reports have hinted at Brillo, Google’s OS for IoT devices like smart locks, light bulbs, thermostats and this will be under the Android brand. Brillo, according to rumours, will help provide a Real-Time Operating System of these the low-memory devices.
Google will also spruce up Android Wear, Android Auto, Google Maps as well as show us Google Cast, the next level of Chromecast. We’ll have more once the live event starts, which should be in another hour.
10.03 pm: The Google event is all set to start now. The event starts. Scenes from outer space on the screen now. Feels a bit like watching a 3D film. All this flying through space is raising the question: Will Google show something around Virtual Reality?
10.10 pm: Ok what we’re seeing on the screen is probably one of the most elaborate animations ever shown at a Google I/O opening. Finally Sundar Pichai, czar of Google Products appears on stage. Pichai says 2 million people are watching the event on live-stream.
10.15 pm: Pichai on stage talking about the history of how Google has evolved from being just a search giant to the technology giant that it is. “We serve over a billion users in each of these products,” he says.
10.20 pm: Pichai shows a visualisation with a dot representing each Android phone that is active. Very beautiful but also a little vague. “We’ll also talk about how we are taking computing beyond mobile as well,” says Pichai.
He’s giving a quick round of how Android Wear and Android Auto are expanding. “Over 17 million Google Chromecast devices have been sold. Also HBO Now is coming to Google Play as well,” says Pichai.
10.25 pm: Pichai confirms Android M Developer preview is coming. Dave Burke, comes on stage to talk about Android M. Focus is on improving the issues that existed in Android.
Yes App Permissions will come to Android M as it was rumoured. Basically Google is giving Android users more control of their privacy which was long overdue. The app will prompt for permissions for using say camera or location, etc, when you use it and not directly at the time of installation. Users can revoke an already-granted permission.
Web Experience on Android will also be improved, says Burke. Chrome Custom Tabs is how developers can harness chromes abilities while keep their overall look intact when a user is browsing on mobile. Custom tab is super fast to load. Below is an example. Also App-linking is part of Android M.
10.30 pm Android Pay is here. Will use NFC to pay, no need to open app. It’s secure because it only uses a virtual card number during the transaction and not your real card number. Google says they are working with US banks and US carriers to allow customers to use Android Pay.
Android Pay will work at 700 partner-stores in the US including Macy’s, Bloomingdales. Google is also working with app developers which will soon start using Android Pay.
Android M will get FingerPrint Support as well. Of course, you can use this fingerprint support to unlock your devices, make purchases with Android Pay. The API for Fingerprint will be available for developers as well and they can incorporated it into their app as well. Not sure how secure this will be. Of course, though to use fingerprint support will require a phone with a fingerprint sensor.
Power and Charging is the next focus area of Android M. Android M will have a new feature called doze. Doze will detect if the device has not been touched or moved for a longer period of time and the device will then sleep aka use less battery. Devices with Android M last upto two and a half times longer than Android L, says Burke.
USB Type C charger is coming to Android M. These connectors are flippable and offer faster charging, says Burke. He does not mention which smartphones will support the USB Type C chargers.
Sharing is easier in Android M as the OS will automatically guess which apps you use the most when sharing. Android M Developer Preview is out today with Nexus 5,6,9 and Player.
— Google (@google) May 28, 2015
10.38 pm: David Singleton on stage talking about Android Wear. Android Wear’s ‘always-on’ screen is coming for apps as we knew it would. It means that if you have a shopping list on your Android Wear watch, that will stay on the screen while you shop.
Android Wear also comes with new wrist gestures. In addition to this, the Watch lets you draw and send an emoji. So far this feature has seen the most excitement from the crowd.
“There are more than 4000 apps built specifically for Android Wear,” says Singleton.
10.47 pm: Sundar Pichai talking about Internet of Things (IoT) and the need to connect a smarter home. Time for Brillo, Google OS for the smarter home? Pichai talking about building a new operating system for these smart devices.
Project Brillo is unveiled, which is the underlying operating system for IoT. It is derived from Android, according to Pichai and this is the base versions of Android. It can run on things like door-locks which have sensors in them. Brillo requires minimal management from the developers, says Pichai.
Pichai talks about how a communications layer called Weave will allow these devices to connect with others. Weave will be cross-platform and developers will need to get a license for this as well. Voice-APIs will be a part of Weave.
Any Android device will recognise a device built on Brillo or Weave. You can then select how to set-up the device. Pichai calls this a beginning of a journey. Brillo Developer Preview by Q3 2015 and Weave Preview by Q4, 2015.
10.55 pm: Pichai moves into geek territory and talks about how machine learning has improved. He’s talking about Google’s deep neural networks which helps with things like speech recognition, recognising photos, etc.
“This insight will be used to organise users’ photos,” says Pichai. He’s hinting at the new Google Photos service that will be revealed soon.
10.58 pm: Aparna from Google Now team on stage talking about what’s coming next with the service. Three important points for Google Now: Context, Answers and Actions. Google has built-up a natural language engine, and also a context engine which doesn’t just look at places but also at other details.
And finally its actions, which will be aided with apps. Aparna talks about how Google Now has tied up with some apps as well.
New facility called Now Tap which will be a part of Android M. Now Tap will quickly answer your questions with a full context. From the demo, it looks like you just need to tap on Google Now button and it will show the relevant information. Now on Tap works on any app and the app does not need to make any modifications.
11.09 pm: Anil on stage to talk about how machine learning will be applied to photos. This is where we get to hear about Google’s new photos service.
The product is called Google Photos. This will be a home for your phones, it will help you organise your memories and it will make it easy to share and save the photos. Google Photos will store all photos across devices, no matter which phone you’re on. Photos can be organised according to days, years, etc.
Collections showcases all the timelines and important albums you’ve made. Lots of sharing options for Google Photos Service from Instagram to WhatsApp to Facebook to Twitter. The app will organise photos according to people, places, etc as well. Photos Assistant will give suggestions on how to organise photos. The app lets you drag more than one photo in a single go and you can then share a whole album without clicking individually on each photo.
Also once you share a link of photos, the other user does not need an extra app to view the photos.
The best part about Google Photos: Store unlimited videos and photos for free. Also Google Photos goes LIVE TODAY. Available on Android, iOS and Web.
11.24 pm Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of engineering, on stage talking about the next one billion users who will come online for the first time via the mobile Internet. She’s talking about the Android One programme, which has not really set the market on fire in India, at least.
Google to have an optimised Search page for faster loading search results on low-connections. India to get a Network Quality Estimator, which will ensure that pages load faster on Chrome. Google is working on offline abilities on Chrome. YouTube offline, which has been around in India, for sometime is also mentioned. Lets you play videos from YouTube offline for 48 hours.
Also Google Maps and their offline ability is discussed. You can find places even you are offline in Google Maps. Also coming: Turn-by-turn voice-directions when you’re offline on Google Maps as well.
11.52 pm After discussing what Google is offering for developers, it’s time for Google Play now. Google Play has had 50 billion installs in the past 12 months, and 1 billion active users. Over 180 million users on Games. Results for app search will be organised in a better way.
Family Star will now be on Family-friendly app in the Google Play Store.
11.58 pmSundar Pichai on stage talking about Android Nano Degree a $200 course Google has designed for app-developers. Google has apparently spent $4 billion in the programme.
11.59 pm: Pichai now talking about capturing the real-world. “Virtual Reality” is now the focus of the I/O keynote. There are 1 million Cardboard viewers in the world. New Design for Cardboard now fits screens as big as 6-inches. There’s a new input button. Also the Cardboard SDK will now support both Android and iOS as well.
Expeditions will allow a teacher to take their entire class to a field trip via Cardboard. All the cardboards and phones are synchronised.
Jump is the third new feature of Cardboard. Open camera design, which turns raw-footage into VR-video. Go Pro will sell a 360 degree ready Jump camera for virtual reality video. Also by the summer, YouTube will support Jump and VR video.
12.16 am: Pichai is back on stage talking about Google’s Driverless cars, Project Loom. Pichai says that Google’s balloon’s can stay up for 100 days and that they are testing it live with Vodafone.
And it’s sign off from Pichai.
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