Google I/O opens today and what we know for sure is that Android M will be showcased at the event. As Google’s biggest developer conference looms, we take a look everything that is expected, at least according to the rumour mills.
Android M: The next version of Android is a given at the Google I/O conference. Of course, Android M’s roll-out for consumers won’t take place till October or even later, but the developer preview will be shown.
So what will be new in Android M? Rumours says that Google will finally be taking user privacy seriously and plans to tweak privacy controls for apps in Android M. The feature will give users an option to decide what information they want to share with apps. Currently Android does not allow users to restrict permissions like location, contacts, messaging, etc when they install an app.
Another report on Android Police says Google plans to improve battery life in Android OS and is also working on improving RAM efficiency. The report says that Google wants to reduces the number of “location checkins.” With Google, one is never really sure what the OS will offer and these rumours can never be taken as 100 percent sure.
A photo-sharing service from Google like Yahoo’s Flickr will be an interesting offer and it remains to be seen if Google will dole-out extra cloud storage space for users who sign up for such a service, if it is launched.
Brillo for Internet-of-Things: Google is also looking at powering low-memory smart home devices like smart bulbs, thermostats and is working on Brillo, an OS for these devices. Reports on The Information (to read full article users will need to subscribe) and Fortune said that Google’s Brillo OS will run on devices with 64 or 32 MB of RAM and that it will be part of Android brand.
Brillo will not be a part of Nest, which was acquired by Google, said the reports. It remains to be seen if Brillo actually makes an appearance in Sundar Pichai’s keynote on Thursday, or if this will be a separate launch later on.
Android Wear: Google I/O’s schedule mentions one session titled Your App and always-on screen, which indicates a new feature for Android Wear. The session talks about how Android Wear’s new always-on feature “transforms the watch into whatever app” a user is on from map to shopping list to fitness. The session will help developers design and build for always-on screens.
Given that Apple Watch has been rolled-out, it will be interesting to watch how Google will spruce up Android Wear to fight off the Apple challenge.
Android Auto: Android Auto also has its own dedicated sessions at the I/O Conference and it will discuss Android Auto APIs that allow developers to bring existing audio and messaging apps to the car. Google’s driverless cars are also expected to hit the road this summer in the US and thus it remains to be seen how Android Auto has evolved.
In addition to these, Google will also showcase Google Cast, its new version of the mirroring Chromecast device, as well give more news on Google Earth and real-time updates.
Of course the most important question that everyone will be asking that I/O still remains only one: What will M finally stand for in Android M?