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Google I/O 2016 Conference Recap: The 5 Biggest Announcements

android robots

Google I/O has come and gone, with the primary headlines being the release of a few new products along with updates on ones we already knew were coming down the pipeline. You can watch the full two-hour keynote here:

 If you’d rather just get the CliffsNotes, here are some of the biggest announcements they made:

Android N Releasing Soon, Name Being Crowdsourced

android nPrepare for an onslaught of “Androidy McAndroidface” and other such predictable memes as Google has opened up the naming of their next gen Android platform — currently codenamed “N” — to people they don’t have to pay for their ideas. Our money’s on “Nougat,” but crowdsourcing may provide a much more creative name.

Android N will remain in beta until at least late this summer before it drops to Android devices near you. Shiny new features include side-by-side splitscreen multitasking, customizable quick-set buttons and a slew of new emojis! Yay! ???? 

Other features include battery optimizations, speed boosts and picture-in-a-picture mode. Google also promises that Android may be easier to develop games on thanks to a new API called Vulkan that allows direct control over the device’s GPU.

Android Wear 2.0

Alongside Android N’s release is a new OS for wearables. Most changes are just minor optimization tweaks, but Google promises added functionality away from smartphone connections. Third-party apps should theoretically sync better, too. Google also added a microscopic swipeable QWERTY keyboard in case you want to relive your Nintendo Power Glove days by typing on your wrist.

Android Auto Cuts the Cord

Android Auto promises added versatility with increased Bluetooth compatability and a mode for vehicles that don’t even have built-in integration. Finally! Our ‘95 Toyota Tercel can be the technological wonder we always dreamed it would be!

Google Takes on Siri, Facetime and Facebook Messenger

Google Now will transform from a primarily search-engine interface to more of a personal assistant a-la Siri. (All we want now is the Paul Bettany “J.A.R.V.I.S.” voice from Iron Man.)

google homeDocking the new Assistant will be Google Home, a speaker-based personal assistant device that no one asked for and is strongly reminiscent of Amazon Echo. Unlike Echo, Home has the potential to integrate with a lot more devices, such as the Google-owned Nest thermostat. It also interfaces with Chromecast to quickly stream audio from your PC.

Google also announced Allo, a messaging app with built-in integration to your Google account and Google search functionality. The app allows for “incognito” convos that are deleted permanently after they end, perfect for secretly planning your spouse’s birthday party! Coupled with Allo will be Duo, which is pretty much Facetime with a more Google-y UI.

Android Instant Apps

The most innocuous-sounding development from the conference might actually be its most significant. Google is trying to enable app functionality sans downloads, which will greatly improve the ability of brands to control their audiences’ digital marketing journeys. Google has already been toying with the concept in the form of allowing people to play game demos without having to download them, and this is the logical extension.

App-based marketing may soon take on whole new heights if all goes according to plan. If you want digital marketing advice on this tactic or any others, do not hesitate to call on EverSpark Interactive to learn more about our expert digital marketing services