Google I/O 2018 in 8 minutes

Harshit Dwivedi
May 9, 2018 · 8 min read

So the keynote just concluded and boy were there tons of new releases and announcements to look out for!

But if you were one of those folks who missed out on the live Keynote or just want a refresher on what all happened, I got you covered!
This article will glance through all the new releases and announcements that took place at the Google I/O Keynote.

P.S. The images in this post were taken at the venue with a mobile device, so they might not be of the best possible quality.

Assistant

Assistant, the elephant in the room received some amazing updates and new releases this time around.
You can go through all of them down below.

  • Google duplex : This is Huge! Assistant can now make calls with local businesses for you in the background, thereby making reservations for the businesses who don’t have an online portal or an API present.
    Note that you don’t need to speak with the anyone over the call, google assistant handles that for you!
  • 6 new voices (including one from John Legend)
  • Continued Conversations, which means no need to say “Ok Google” every-time you need to ask something from the assistant.
  • Assistant now supports multiple actions, i.e. you can ask it to do multiple things in a single go.
  • Pretty Please” mode in which the assistant won’t work unless you respectfully ask her to do things. This will teach kids to be nice to others and respect others.
  • Google Assistant now allows you to schedule certain tasks to be run after a period of time.
  • Assistant now has smart controls built in for smart home devices like Nest.
  • Assistant is now Proactive, meaning it will automatically serve you relevant content based on time and your location.

Android

Next up, our beloved android which turned 10 today, received some much needed love from Google in form of Android P(ee) along with some more goodies.

  • GBoard keyboard is now updated to have support for Morse Code in order to aid people with disabilities, communicate seamlessly with others.
  • Google Photos got updated with features like predictive enhancement to your photos which automatically detect the image and provide you some suggested fixes and tweaks you may want to perform on that.
  • Adaptive Battery will use Machine Learning to limit the battery usage for the apps which you don’t use that often thereby increasing the battery life.
This results in 30% reduction in CPU wakelocks
  • App Actions aims at providing predictive actions for the users based on the app that you were using before coming to the app drawer in addition to observing some other usage patterns.
  • Slices : This is a new API for developers that allows them to place snippets of their apps in places like Google Global Search.
    For example, searching for an app in the search bar will also popup the recent actions you performed in the app thereby increasing user engagement.
  • ML Kit brings cross platform Machine Learning APIs directly on the device using Firebase.
It also hooks up with Google Cloud Platform if you want to perform some hardcore ML tasks
  • Android P : There are some exciting new things in Android P which are sure to impact the ways in which we use our phone daily.
    Some of the changes include,
    * New Navigation Bar with a single home button
    * New iPhoneX styled Gesture and Recents (which looks a bit complicated to me, kinda liked the card stacked recents)
    * New volume control which changes media volume by default now.
    * A brand new Dashboard showing the time you spent on each app, alongwith App Use Limit which allows you to limit the time spent on each app.
    * Automatically turn on do-not-disturb mode when you flip over your phone.
  • Google News is another brand new app from Google that aims at keeping you updated with the latest stories by providing a compilation of multiple news sources, social media and YouTube at a single place.
    It also uses AI to determine which stories you care about.
  • Wind Down Mode automatically changes you display to grayscale at night thereby coaxing you to go to bed early in a effort to enable you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Google Maps

Maps received an unexpected stage time at this I/O which resulted in some huge announcements which were both amazing and meh..

  • For You screen in Maps which shows the content relevant for you based on the current time and location.
  • Live Directions will project the directions to your destination in real time using device’s camera.
    This is something which I am very much excited for, and look forward to its releasr.
  • A non intrusive variant Google Assistant is also coming to Google Maps thereby allowing you to focus on what’s crucial even while talking to the assistant.

Google Lens

Google lens had some exciting updates which got me excited for it once again since it mostly fell short of the expectations I formed of it back at I/O 17.

  • Google Lens is coming to the built in camera app on Google Pixel and some other selected OEMs.
  • Smart text selection in lens will allow you to select and copy a text directly from a print.
  • Style match allows you to find things similar to a particular thing you are looking at.
  • Lens will also prefetch info in real time, resulting in faster results.

Developer Updates

There were some more updates to the Android and web platforms focused on developers which I’ll also quickly summarise below.

Android

Android developers can’t rejoice thanks to the whole bunch of updates and new tools added to our arsenal, some of them being :

  • Android App Bundle aims at reducing published apk size by over 25% by only packaging the code and resources needed to run on a device.
  • Kotlin is still going strong with over 35% of pro android developers (whatever that means) using kotlin in their production apps.
  • Google Play Instant allows game developers to publish a trial version of their game which runs on the user’s device without getting installed.
    This increases user engagement and drives installs.
  • Android Jetpack aims to provide accelerated android development with libraries and tools for Android developers.
    It promises less boilerplate code and has support for more than 95% of the devices on Google Play Store.
  • Android Studio Canary 3.2 with a rich navigation flow editor releases today!
  • Material Theming is the next step to Material Design, allowing users to build rich user experiences based on Material Design.
  • There’s also a new app that allows professional designers to collaborate and provide feedback on designs made by other designers.

ARCore

AR is also big this year with some developer updates to the ARCore SDK.

  • Sceneform helps Java developers create AR powered apps by providing them with intuitive APIs to create and interact with 3d scenes.
  • Augmented Images allow the developers to attach AR experiences to physical image in real world.
  • Cloud Anchor is cloud based AR which works on Android and IOS while running all the AR processing on the cloud.

Misc :

Few miscellaneous dev updates scattered around web, chromeOS, etc.

  • Android things graduates to stable version 1.0 and every attendee gets a free Android Things Kit! :D
  • Lighthouse 3.0 is released, is even more precise and provides better suggestions.
  • Chrome os now runs Linux! WOOHOOOOO…
    P.S. Also Android studio on chromeOS coming soon. ;)
  • 1.2million+ Android apps now run on Firebase!
  • PWA is now supported by almost all the major browsers now including Safari and Edge.
  • Infinite Scrolling, Search and Autocomplete is coming to AMP soon.

So that was all for this year, AI seems to be dominating the launch with an increase in the domains which it is affecting for the better.

I’m really interested to see how it pans out, pretty sure that the day when our Androids turn into actual Androids is not that far away and we just had a glimpse of what’s to come in the near future.

Androids! ❤

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For Intellectuals, By Intellectuals

Harshit Dwivedi

Written by

Android Developer, has an *approximate* knowledge of many things. harshithd.com

Z1 Labs

Z1 Labs

For Intellectuals, By Intellectuals

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