Google announced a mix of products from messaging application to AI applications and Virtual Reality products. The company has multiple products in line to lure users. Although most of the apps are already there in the market, Google’s ones provide better integration to platforms like Android.
The Next Version Of Android
Google is speeding up the release of Android N by announcing the launch of the preview release yesterday in the keynote. Android N comes with a new VR mode that is expected to make more apps VR-ready. The Android VR brings a platform called Daydream, a platform for ‘high-quality’ mobile virtual reality. Daydream incorporates a headset, a controller, and many smartphones that will be supported.
— Google (@google) May 18, 2016
The company is now working with Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, and Alcatel on phones that meet the Daydream spec, and the first phones will be made available this fall. Companies like EA are also bringing their games to the Daydream platform. That said, the new platform is going to be more user-centric.
Google also introduced hundreds of emoji’s along with skin tone variations.
Duo is a video-calling app with end-to-end encryption. It is typically a Facetime-killer that works on both iOS and Android. It does offer all the features of most mobile-friendly video calling services such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Additionally there is a feature called Knock Knock, that lets the callee to see what the caller is up to before even picking up the call.
Duo makes use of a new protocol called QUIC (for “quick UDP Internet connections”), and so it can perform a “seamless handoff” of calls between Wi-Fi and cellular connections.
Allo is a brand new messaging service that brings the taste of Google in the chat window. The goal of the app is to make your communications more expressive based on your personality. Allo is like other messaging apps, just that it can also suggest replies for messages. The smart replies can also have stickers and emoji’s. The app also makes use of AI and Machine Learning in order to suggest replies for images also.
The introduction of Allo comes at the same time as the release of Duo, Google’s alternative to Apple’s Facetime. Both the apps will be available to download this summer.
Google Home is a solution for the household, providing replies and suggestions to usual queries. It can tell you about your cooking menu, wake up kids and lot more. The system will be able to play music and podcasts using cloud services, but it will also uses ChromeCast to work with different types of mobile devices, and it can even play content on different speakers and television screens, Queiroz said. Various configurations will be available.
The device looks similar to an OnHub router without buttons. Google Home can also sync to Google’s Nest devices. There is no detail about the pricing that Google will follow for Home.
Wait a sec. Are we missing out on something? Yes, Google also introduced the Assistant which powers both the Google Home and Allo.
The Google Assistant is an improved version of Google Now and is expected to run on a variety of devices. The technology is voice-activated and available across devices, but the interface is packaged up inside of a chatbot.
As the name says, starting now developers can build apps that would need only a small part to be installed. The apps are run in the browser making it installation less. This could save a lot of space on the device for those rarely used applications. Tapping on a URL can open an Instant Android app even if the user doesn’t have the full app installed.
If you close an Instant App, it’s essentially gone. It technically lives on in the cache memory of your device for a few hours, in case you want to open another such link again, but there’s no app on your home screen.
The goal is to have Instant Apps launch in a timeframe that is “comparable to a mobile webpage,” Siliski said.
Android Wear 2.0
Android Wear finally became standalone, i.e., it doesn’t need to be paired to an android phone to use. First of all, it comes with a new design that makes it easier for battery, based on the pixels that need to illuminated in OLED screens. The new notification design makes it easier to perform actions.
The preview is available for the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, the Huawei Watch, and of course the official Android emulator. Android Wear apps will now finally be able to access the Internet directly over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular. Android Wear is getting three new input methods: handwriting (trace letters on the screen), keyboard, and Smart Reply.
It is clear that Google will have its users occupied with new products that incorporate its own AI and Machine Learning techniques, to make tasks simpler.
Besides all this, the preview version of Android showcases an updated Google keyboard that comes with themes. Now, most of the users don’t need to switch keyboards for the need of customization.
Also the name of Android N OS is not yet decided and Google is looking for suggestions. If you have a really good one that you think would be apt, head over to www.android.com/n and post your suggestion.
If you are a South Indian, then you would definitely recognize the name on the top left. It’s your turn now!