Last year we did a GOOGLE I/O 2016 : COMPLETE RECAP WITH VIDEO and it was well received. So this year we thought we would give a preview. What can you expect from the Google I/O conference this year? Well… maybe not much. I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for that statement. Rubens Saintel actually is looking forward to the event and can’t wait to do a write up of the event but I’m just not really seeing it. The big three are: Android O, Google Assistant everywhere, and a stand alone virtual reality headset. Maybe I am on the cynical side, or maybe I have high expectations, but I’m just not feeling that this is all that big. Don’t take this as me hating on Google. In fact, I love almost everything Google does. But I’m struggling to see how this is so huge.
But let’s start with Android O. The developer version has been released, so you can see what Google has been doing with the platform for the last year. And also what to expect when it’s released. According to a post on androidcentral.com, they anticipate that the Android O will be released along side a Pixel 2. But that’s not what we’re hearing from Google. Or at least not at the conference in May because it is a developer conference, which means they typically don’t announce devices. But maybe in the fall? The platform itself is getting a lot of visual changes, like dynamic icons and a refresh from the old quick settings menu. Ok, so that’s kind of cool.
But what else? The Android Wear 2.0 was finally brought to market this past February in the form of an LG watch. With that watch having just been released it doesn’t make sense for another version to be out so soon. Perhaps they are going to let us know about some fancy features for the 2.0? Or maybe just some fixes as I’ve heard there are several issues with the watch itself. A recent article from Digital Trends outlines the issues and some workarounds. But who wants to work around a problem when the solution should be provided by the developer. Or at least that’s my theory on these things. But giving Google the benefit of the doubt, maybe these updates will be revealed at the conference?
Google Assistant anywhere is pretty cool. The platform is now available to anyone so where this will take us is anyone’s guess. Essentially giving us whatever we want from a smart home perspective. To me, this is a big one. I like when we bring different groups or ideas together in order to be able to create a better product. And I think that’s what is being done here as the platform is available to all developers. Have fun with this one guys!
And last, but not least, and maybe the coolest feature in my opinion is Google VR. Virtual reality is huge these days. And it seems like everyone is attempting to get on board. And you can’t blame them. While there isn’t a lot of details around what this would look like, Google themselves indicate that they are “on a mission to bring amazing experiences to the world”. And knowing Google, this could be pretty amazing. Just look at the recent updates from Google Earth. I’m not saying that’s the direction they are going, but if they are able to bring that kind of detail and enhancement to a “static” platform, then imagine what they could do with virtual reality.
I’m not trying to sound like Google isn’t doing anything. But I am the type of person that needs to understand the big picture. What are these new features, products and idea going to do in terms of the big picture? How can I integrate these into my life? Maybe I’m a common consumer, but development isn’t my area of expertise. I like it when Samsung or Apple releases a new product. It’s tangible to me and I can understand what it does. But I struggle with these concepts a bit. I would love to be enlightened, so please feel free to help me with my understanding of Google’s announcements.