What a day. The doors open early. The coffee and tea was flowing. There were so many people here. So much brain power. Things kicked off with a great keynote. Google I/O 2016 developers conference in Mountain View, CA this morning covered a lot of information. Google debuted a lot of new products including its answer to Amazon’s Echo & Alexa called Google Home. They also had a new VR experience called Daydream. Two new messaging apps, Allo and Duo. Google also talked about new features coming to Android N. Of course since this was a corporate sponsored conference there were lots of stats thrown our way.

50% of Google searches that now take place on mobile. Of those, another 20 percent use just their voice. 20 million Chromecasts has sold to date. There are 200 Million active monthly Google Photo users. The jumbotron does not lie but seriously? Who are these people? The accuracy of Google Allo’s ability to correctly determine whether or not it’s looking at a cute dog is 90%.

Here are the key points today;


  • Google Home will is the answer to Amazon’s incredibly popular Echo line of smart home assistants. There were rumors but now its official, from the horse’s mouth so to speak. The search giant’s Google Home will be a speaker and virtual assistant using the newly announced Google assistant. Like Amazon Echo, the Google Home It also allows you to control third-party apps using your voice.


  • Android Wear is getting a much-needed upgrade. Android Wear 2.0 will focus on making notifications better. There is an updated UI for complications, notifications as well integrating compatibility with Apple iPhones.  should take a big step forward. Google is releasing Android Wear 2.0 it to developers today, but consumers will have to wait until later this year.


  • Android N  “There’s no ‘Android is upgrading’ [pop-up], no delays. It’s just a really nice, seamless way to do it.” said VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke. That pretty much sums it up. From the ground up Android N is made to correct the issues that developers have asked to be fixed. Google also released an Android N developer update to play with today as well.


  • Google Play added a dedicated VR section for its Google Daydream. This will make sure that customers can find VR content easily. EA, Ubisoft, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MLB and NBA have joined to pack the section with content. Of course Google’s own native apps will play along. You can expect to have Google photos, Play Movies, Street View and YouTube videos all play nice with the new Daydream VR platform as well.


  • Google Daydream is Google’s new VR platform. Daydream seems to take notes from Wii for its input device. The new controller has two buttons and a smooth, clickable touchpad at the tip. It has an orientation sensor that allows users to perform motion-enabled tasks in VR.


  • Instant Apps to me is the most important news out of Google I/O. Instant Apps is just what it sounds like. These apps will be Android apps that can be used on your phone without having to visit the Play Store. You simply tap on a URL and it will take you to what seems like the app. However it is just the part of the app you need to complete the task you were after. Such as buying a product from B&H. You get the full app experience without the hit on data or time it takes to download the app. If you do want to download the app, there’s a link in the corner so you can download the full version.


  • Duo is a video calling app that just focuses on the video. No chats to get in the way and a killer feature called Knock Knock. Duo will be released later this summer for mobile devices only. Android and iOS are both invited to the party. The Knock Knock feature is like call screening for video.Knock Knock lets users see live video who’s calling before picking up.


  • Google Assistant is Google answer to Alexa, Cortana and Siri but in a chatbot form sort of like Facebook’s M. Google’s aim is to have the Assistant communicate in a comprehensive way fluid way. It will be AI-powered. OpenTable, Spotify and Uber are all set to join the platform. Bots are the future.
  •  Allo a cross platform chat program with the power of Google Assistant. One of the features showed off was its ability to play games. One such game was called The “Emoji Game.” You basically try to guess a movie based on a string of emojis. Google said there are more games to come. It all depends on what developers come up with. Allo has a feature called Whisper Shout. The feature lets you slid your finger down or up to show small-text “whisper” or while large-text “shout.” You draw on pictures. Allo even has timed messages just like on Snapchat. As stated before Allo is cross-platform. Connecting Allo to your Google account is completely optional. You use your number when you sign up for Allo.

By Rubens Saintel

Proud father, #Haitian, photographer, consultant, writer & entrepreneur. I love video games, movies, plays, technology (surprise), beta testing apps and all things sci-fi. | |