Google’s 2015 I/O Conference took place last week with some interesting announcements made at their Keynote presentation. Presenting from San Francisco, the tech giant revealed plans for the immediate future, how they would be updating their current products and showcased new additions.

If you missed the Keynote, here’s a quick round up of the big news that came out of Google’s I/O Conference…
 

Android Hits 1 Billion!

Google announced that their mobile platform has hit 1 Billion active users, with Google Play app installs increasing 236% year over year. Impressive!

ANDROID M IS RELEASED

The latest version of Android was unveiled and has been made accessible to developers. On first glance there seem to be some significant changes in Andorid M, with a focus on ease of use and efficiency: 

  • App permissions will be granted on an individual basis, rather than having to approve individual features one by one once you install an app to your phone. 
  • Chrome will integrate better with apps, and apps in general will communicate more effectively with each other.
  • Battery life will be improved on devices by using a new feature called Doze. Motion detection will tell your device to rest apps more efficiently, prioritising urgent messages and alarms.
  • Offline connectivity for users in certain countries will also improve, allowing maps, web pages and videos to be downloaded and viewed in the event of a dropped connection.
  • Security was also on the agenda for Google. New finger print biometric support and individual app privacy settings give users more control over their devices.

Android Wear

Android Wear will be getting a slight facelift as new motion controls and apps such as Uber and Foursquare aim to reduce contact time.


Internet of Things

Yep, the Internet of Things has cropped up again. Project Brillo is an IoT operating system, and Weave is a system that allows devices “talk” to each other. As more and more appliances are being made IoT ready (Samsung claim all of their products will be within the next 5 years), Google wants users to operate their homes using their platforms. Weave is also being made accessible even without Brillo, opening it up to as many users as possible.
 

Virtual Reality

Google Cardboard is getting an upgrade which will now be compatible with iPhones. The Virtual Reality attachment for phones will also be released as part of an educational package, with an app allowing teachers to control student’s viewing and learning experience from their own tablet.

Google have also partnered with GoPro, creating a 16-camera rig for GoPro cameras in order to capture 360 degrees worth of footage. The footage can then be stitched together with depth data being calculated by Google’s own “assembler”. The resulting video can then be shared, allowing those with VR headsets to view it! This isn’t commercially available yet, and Google has stated that the assembler would be initially available to a “select few”. However, we may see the product hit the shelves very soon, meaning you’ll be able to create your own VR vids!

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