CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter this week to announce that Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, will be taking place in Mountain View on May 18-20. The only thing we know for certain is that we’ll get our first look at Android N, the mobile operating system’s next big update.
Android was born on November 5, 2007. Since then, it’s grown up to be one of the most dominant operating systems in the world. But that didn’t just happen overnight. Like all of us, Android went through some awkward years and learned some hard lessons before becoming the OS it is today.
In tech journalism, rumors are like editorial gambits. Some seem like a sure thing, some just smoke and mirrors, while others still are very real but very far off. Earlier this week, I took a good guess at what I thought might pop up at Google I/O 2015. But there were a few things that were curiously missing.
Woohoo! Google I/O is just the best. We just got a view of Google’s plans for the your future. Here’s all the most interesting stuff you might have missed.
When we last checked in on Project Loon—Google’s moonshot project to blanket the world with internet-packing weather balloons—one had just circumnavigated the globe in a very quick 22 days. I just attended a talk at Google I/O and got some more info about the challenges the team faces in making this wild-ass project…
The most important news about Android M is how it will handle the way apps get permission to access your private data. That sounds like a humble little technical detail until you realize what a revolution it will be when we can set our own permissions on apps, any time we want. And Chrome is doing it too.
Google’s Project Tango is amazing, but it’s taking its sweet time making it to market. This crazy alien head of a camera could change all that. Qualcomm and Google just teamed up to shrink it down to a size suitable for your pocket.
The most futuristic projects at Google come out of its advanced technologies and projects group, or ATAP. And today at Google I/O, the ATAP team unveiled their vision of tomorrow, where your body, behavior and clothing will be the new interfaces that control your gadgets — and keep them secure, too.
At this morning’s ATAP session at Google I/O we got another little tease of Project Ara, Google’s modular smartphone. I mean, it was a tiny tease. Basically, it still a thing that exists. But! We got to see a little of it in action and it was pretty damn impressive.
In the early years (like 5 years ago tbh), iPhone and Android were at odds. Closed vs. open; Design vs. customization. Now, those lines are more blurred than ever. But Android has always had one absolute ace, and Google I/O 2015 just proved it: Google Now.
This week, Google announced Android Pay—a way to pay from your phone. No need for credit cards; just tap your handset against any supported card terminal. Sounds great—but also kind of familiar. Didn’t Google Wallet already do that? I just tried Android Pay, and here’s the deal.
I have taken 1235 photos and videos with my phone since May 28th, 2014, most of which I will never look at. Even if there are good photos, I’ll probably miss them. It’s just too much shit to crunch with my puny human brain. Can the new Google Photos help?
As part of I/O, Google is giving us a closer look at the fairly old-school tools and ideas behind Material Design—and for anyone with an appreciation for a good X-Acto knife, a color wheel, or a crisp fold of paper, this is going to be deeply satisfying.
One of the most exciting features in the (distant future) release of Android M is the upgraded version of Google Now. It’s built to understand context better than before. I just got a quick look at it on a Googler’s Nexus 5, and while this was obviously a demo, I’m cautiously optimistic about it.
Roaming around the floor of Google I/O we got our hands on one of the prototypes from ATAP, Google’s DARPA-like experimental lab. It’s called Project Jacquard, and it’s nice n’ soft. It’s a fabric that can control your phone.
Last fall, Gizmodo’s Sean Hollister declared Android TV an exciting, beautiful mess. “You should probably steer clear till Google gets its shit together,” he wrote. Today at I/O, Google’s telling us about an updated Android TV that may indicate that its shit is actually being gathered.
Android M is here! Ok, the developer preview is here but still. It’s got Android Pay. It’s got battery-saving superpowers. It’s got a more powerful Google Now. Here’s the very first look at Android M in the subtle art of the GIF.
Straight up too much time is spent punching a wide array of passwords for various apps onto the tiny text fields of our phones. Google’s trying to fix that with the Identity Platform, new tools for developers to help keep users signed into their apps in a secure, hassle-free way.