Every year, Google hosts their I/O conference and shares plenty of new projects and features web users and developers can look forward to.
There was no shortage of major announcements from Google I/O this year, and it means that there is a lot for marketers and developers to get excited about. It’s tough to say what’s been most exciting to see, but I would have to say that the heavy focus on the Internet of Things (something most of you should know by now is one of my favorite things) has me very excited.
On to the announcements…
You’ve probably seen this title hovering around the web (particularly in every article posted by tech blogs to Facebook) and that’s because Android M is Google’s newest OS, and it comes with plenty of great upgrades. (Well, it will come with great upgrades when it’s rolled out in the Fall.)
The first major change is App Permissions. Now, instead of lengthy permissions screens appearing when you download an app, you’ll be prompted to give an app permission to use a feature (like your camera, for example) only when it needs to.
Photo: The Next Web
Other great features include battery saving capabilities, Chrome Custom Tabs, which allow developers to overlay custom features on top of existing apps (like the Pinterest app in Chrome) a more ‘intelligent’ operating system that gets to know your habits and optimizes your experience, and much more.
This is nothing new, but it does open up the possibility of seeing more retailers accepting NFC payments through mobile devices. It’s been interesting to see what’s happened with Apple, and what kinds of hurdles it’s faced.
As with Google Glass – Google’s miserable failure which was attributed largely to the fact that people weren’t ‘ready’ for it – it’s possible that Apple Pay launched a little too soon. Maybe Android Pay will come into the market when people are more willing to adopt this form of payment. Time will tell.
The Internet of Things
Project Brillo, Google’s IoT operating system, and Weave, Google’s IoT language for connected devices, are huge announcements. There has been talk about what Google’s massive acquisition of Nest would turn into, and it is looking like a portal into the home and the increasingly exciting Internet of Things space.
Both Brillo and Weave are slated to launch in the latter half of 2015, and if Google can offer an user-friendly platform on which the Internet of Things market can expand, it is going to mean big things in 2016 for the market. Keep an eye out.
Now On Tap
If you own an Andoird device, then you’ve probably tried Google Now. If you’ve tried Google Now, you know that it is a pretty impressive function (when used properly). The only downside is that it is still very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get model. There isn’t much in the way of evolution – until now.
Now On Tap is Google’s promised update to Google Now, which will make your smartphone even smarter and more intuitive. The idea revolves around learning your behaviors and prompting you with options based on your activities. Just landed in New York? Prompt to call an Uber. Searched for vacation packages to Maui? Prompt for a great deal just announced on Expedia. You get the idea.
It’s still early on and there is certainly more to come as we get close to Q3 and Q4, when most of these announcements are set to go live. Keep a close eye on what you see happening with Google – like the launch of Google Photos following its announcement yesterday – because it sounds like they’re going to have a big, exciting year.
For more great announcements – like Google’s improved speech recognition system and Polymer 1.0 – take a look at this list from Venture Beat.
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