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Google I/O 2016: 5 Things We Absolutely Loved!
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Google I/O 2016 Major Announcements

Developers and press gathered today at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, for the immersive, three-day experience, Google I/O 2016. The company debuted a bunch of new products including the Amazon Echo competitor, Google Home; two instant messaging apps, Allo and Duo; Google’s latest OS, Android N; Android-powered mobile VR platform Daydream, and many more really cool announcements. We synthesized the chaos into the 5 things we absolutely loved from Google I/O 2016 major announcements that happened today.


Google Home is a pear-shaped speaker that you can converse with using natural language. Google’s answer to Amazon Echo, and the myriad of personal assistant technologies out there.

Mario Queiroz, VP of product management, says the Home will be better at most of those things than the Echo. It'll answer your questions, check the weather, play your music, book your date in the calendar, and control some of your home automation gadgets such as thermostats and lights. It has a modular case similar to the OnHub router that users can customize with different base shells to match their décor. It is also decked with LED lights that dance around to let you know it is working. Unlike Amazon Echo, it is designed with multiple rooms and speakers. It supports Cast technology (a technology that lets you send or 'cast' entertainment and apps from your phone, tablet or computer to your TV or speakers), so you can tell it to play music on other speakers. Cast also enables smart ability – it can talk to the Chromecast, play YouTube clips, and ask Google questions.

Google has not yet chosen to open up a developer API for its virtual assistant or this device, so extensibility and compatibility options with other devices is not available.

Google Home will be available later this fall for an unspecified price.

ANDROID N – You can name it!

Android N, Google’s latest OS is slated for a late summer release. Its features include split-screen support, direct reply notifications and bundled notifications, and the highly anticipated Projects Doze and Svelte. Doze will automatically shut off your phone when not in use, allowing minimal communications and maximizing battery, when the phone is at rest and not plugged. Svelte deals with better memory management and power consumption. This means that apps wouldn’t wake up as often when in network connectivity. For example, certain apps that hook into the camera any time the camera fires off will stay dormant.

It also includes a new screen zoom feature that will make everything on the screen larger and easier to see. The accessibility suites’ horde of features also includes font size, display size, magnification gesture, and TalkBack.

We know everything about Android’s next version, except the name. Apparently, Google is leaving to users to offer their saccharine-flavored suggestions for Android N's official name.

ALLO & DUO Encrypts Conversations End-to-End

Google’s latest messaging app, Allo is powered by AI bot Google Assistant and Google’s Knowledge Graph to make conversations smarter. It is decked with cutesy features such as easy to use volume button to make fonts bigger, image recognition, Smart Reply (where Allo practically does the messaging for you), “incognito” mode, which end-to-end encrypts your messages.

Duo is a one-on-one video calling app, similar to FaceTime, with end-to-end encryption. One feature Knock Knock shows users a live video preview of a caller before picking up. Google claims it makes calls fell “spontaneous and fun.” The app is designed to work well on poor connections and will flawlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi.

Allo and Duo are slated for a summer release. Until then, pre-registration pages for both apps are live on the Play Store.

Google Instant Apps

Google Instant Apps is a new Android feature that wants to bridge the gap between mobile apps and web apps by allowing users to use native apps instantly, without having previously installed them, by simply tapping on a URL. Normally, downloading and installing an app would take more time. With Google Instant Apps, users can have an instant version of any app within seconds – one doesn’t need to download the app or even log in.

For example, you are in a new city and want to pay for the parking with the local parking app. Simply hold your phone to the parking meter as the NFC chip reads the information, and the local parking app will instantly appear on your phone within seconds.

Among other Google I/O 2016 major announcements by the numbers, we have:

Google I/O 2016 Live streaming of the event was available to 90 countries.
Google says it has sold 17 million Chromecasts.
Google Photos now has 200 million active users every month.
Android Auto is now used by 35 brands including Ford, GM, and Audi.
Android Pay is now used by major banks, mobile operators, and retailers, with over 70,000 NFC by the launch.
In a new Android N feature called Daze, your device could last in standby by 2x.
There are over 4,000 different Android Wear apps, and a selection of over 1,500 watch faces.
Google Cardboard is now used by 1 million people’s, and boasts over 500 apps.
Google has delivered over 2 billion app downloads to developers.

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