Google I/O 2015 kicked off yesterday in California with a keynote address packed with big announcements and great new developments. This keynote proved that Google is doing everything it can to produce software that will improve our lives and the way we interact with every device we encounter along the way. Let’s go through a few of my favorite announcements from the keynote and explore what’s ahead this year for Google.
Google Photos – Software to Organize, Store, and Interact with Every Photo You Take
One of the biggest announcements during the keynote was the debut of Google Photos. This inclusive software will be available for Android, iOS and desktop interfaces. Frankly, I was blown away by the potential in Google Photos. Imagine being able to organize your photos so that you can see, with one click, every photo you have ever taken of a loved one. Then imagine taking those photos and automatically creating a collage with a photo assistant that is directly built into the software. Google Photos is thoughtful, intuitive and will help even a total novice take their entire photo library to a digital platform without costing a penny. That’s right…the best feature of Google Photos is no doubt the fact that users will be able to store an unlimited amount of photos and videos for free! This is a huge value-added incentive when you consider that most smartphones offer limited storage and all of us are taking more photos and videos than ever before. Never again will you have to miss out on the cool moments of life because you have no room left on your device. Oh, and Google Photos is available NOW!
Project Brillo – Things we Use Everyday Interacting with Us and Each Other
A while back we talked about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how the future of development was being geared toward taking things we use every day online. Well, Google has been hard at work designing the language and software items like our stoves, HVAC units, and washing machines need to be able to talk to us, via the web. Project Brillo is underlying operating system for the Internet of Things. Brillo enabled devices can communicate with each other, with the user and understand context. Google is working with many manufacturers and is already developing products that will have Brillo built in. Soon you can start your oven warming, turn on the A/C and schedule your lights to turn on from your smartphone – and that’s just a small example of the endless possibilities Project Brillo brings to enhancing our lives.
Android M, Google Pay and Google Now on Tap – Enhancing Your Mobile Experience
Android users were treated to some great news with the announcement of Android M – to be released later this year. The updated OS will include features like fingerprint sensor recognition and Doze. Doze is a tool that kills background applications when the device recognizes they’re not in use. This will help conserve battery life, especially on devices running many processes. Google Wallet never quite took off, and Apple debuted Apple Pay earlier this year, meaning Android users did not have a mobile pay option. Google has fixed this and showed off features of Google Pay. This mobile payment system will be able to be run on any devices using Kit Kat or higher, allowing users to safely store card information and pay anywhere that accepts wireless payments. Google Now on Tap is a powerful new component of the mobile OS and will help your device be able to add context to your interactions, provide you with smarter answers and take action based on this information. Even if you are already familiar with Google Now, you will be very impressed with Now on Tap’s ability to run inside apps and services giving you instant information.
Enhanced Virtual Reality – Coming to a Smartphone Near You
Google showed us Cardboard last year – the cool little device that can be folded into a VR headset for your smartphone. Yesterday they showed off Cardboard 2015, which now allows for smartphones with screen sizes up to 6 inches. They also announced Expedition, a program that will provide smartphones and Cardboards to classrooms so that teachers can “take” their students on VR fieldtrips anywhere in the world. But the news that got the room buzzing most was Google’s partnership with GoPro to show off Jump. Jump will allow any smartphone to record VR video. It puts any camera you use in a ring to be able to shoot 360-degree video. YouTube will support this platform later this summer.
Participate in Google I/O 2015
It’s not too late to participate in this conference and you don’t have to be in California. Check out the live stream up on the I/O site, which gives you instant access to the presentations happening now. Even if you aren’t a developer I promise you’ll learn something cool and amazing about the world of Google.
Even More News to Follow
Like I said, I have only hightlight a few of my favorites, but at over 2 hours, yesterday’s keynote was full of great stuff. Take a look at a couple of other articles that summarize the keynote and the products unvieled.