At the 2016 Google I/O 2016 developers conference, the company revealed software for their products and specifications for hardware for the future. Today we’re running down all the bits and pieces in as simplified a way as possible for the common user – with links to more in-depth data collections for those that wish to go the extra mile. This wrap-up will be updated as Google and friends reveal more information throughout the week, and will be locked up at the end of the event series.
1. The Google Assistant
Not a new app, nor a new ecosystem. This is The Google Assistant, a naming of the body of voice-activated smart systems Google has been building and releasing over the past several years. This is the name Google will now use as an umbrella term for all the different ways in which you can use Google for answers or assistance – from queries about actors to purchasing movie tickets for you before you arrive at the theater.
2. Google Home
Google finally revealed their smart home device: Google Home. Not just Google On, though we can’t imagine the two apart, but a device that acts as a Wi-Fi speaker as well as a way to navigate Google searches by voice – and you can ask it what the weather is like outside. And basically anything else, within reason.
Google has created yet another messaging app. This one is connected to your phone number though, not your social media presence – that means it’ll be better. We hope. This is the Allo app and it’ll be arriving on your phone soon. Android and iOS included.
Duo is to video chat what Allo is to messaging. If Google meant to replicate any one piece of the software puzzle that Apple seemed to already have figured out, it’s FaceTime. This Duo app is video chat attached to your phone number. Again, Android and iOS included.
5. @Google bot
There’s a bot inside Allo. It goes by the name @Google, and it’ll be your best friend (if you let it).
6. Android N
Google announced that auto-updates would be coming to Android N to fight the ever-present devil: fragmentation.
Android N is also being updated with an even better multi-window than before.
Google is also asking for name suggestions for Android N. Navy Bean? Narshmallow.
7. Android Wear 2.0
In addition to being released in Open Beta for the public, Android Wear 2.0 was released with a tiny on-screen keyboard. Of course it was.
Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it Cardboard. Don’t even call it Android VR. This is Daydream – mobile VR made by Google on Android.
9. Android Studio 2.2
If you’re a developer looking for developer bits and pieces from this developer convention, lucky you! There’s one developer-centric update. It has to do with Android Studio 2.2 and all sorts of new features – Layout Editor, Firebase, and more have been updated.
10. Android Instant Apps
In the very near future, apps will be able to be loaded without being fully downloaded. How about that?
11. Android on Chrome
Today it was confirmed that Android apps will indeed be able to be loaded on Chrome OS devices through Google Play for Chrome.
12. Android Auto
Android Auto was revealed to be getting an update with the ever-so-useful Waze for contextual directions. Pretty, amazing, fabulous directions with voices and custom car icons. You’ll find “OK Google” hotword triggering in the near future as well.
Stick around our Android hub for more!