What Happened at Google I/O, again?

Aaron Shapland Aaron Shapland

Google’s annual developer’s conference, Google I/O, wrapped up in May…and it was a hit. Attendees got an inside look at what the tech empire achieved this year, as well as a few new releases that find more ways to make Google a part of everyday life.

Didn’t get to go? Forget what happened already? No worries. We’ve put together a few of the highlights to keep you up-to-date.

What’s New:

Google Home
Ever wanted to pick Google’s brain without having to go get your phone…or, if it’s sitting next to you, without having to pick it up? Now you can talk to your Google Home unit. Similar to Amazon’s Echo, just place it at your bedside, next to your bucket of popcorn on movie night, or behind your recipe book while in the kitchen. The power of the internet is now at your voice-activated command.

Allo
This new messaging app allows you to add volume to written messages. Just slide the Send button up to “shout” or down to “whisper.” No need for all caps any longer.

Duo
Introducing the video chat app that allows you to see a video of who’s calling and what they’re doing—before you even answer the call. Did he pop the question? Show off that rock as it glitters in the sun. Got tickets to the big game? Wave them in your bro’s face. Who wouldn’t answer a call like that?

Android N
Because the latest version’s preview went live two months before Google I/O this year, there weren’t any ground-breaking announcements about Android N—that is, except for the death of the ever-despised “Android is upgrading” screen. Updates are now completely seamless.

Other News

For business owners, the real excitement came in the form of rich cards, app streaming, real-time indexing, and AMP.

Rich Cards
Noticed any changes to your search results lately? How about the addition of some more graphically-appealing listings? They’re called rich cards, and Google now has some new and updated tools to track how they perform.

Real-Time Indexing
Does your website depend on getting news stories or extremely time-sensitive information to search engine users? Now you can set up your site to let Google keep track of your updates as they happen, instead of waiting for crawlers to find their way to your site. That means users see your new stuff as fast as you can post it.

AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source project that aims to help speed loading times for mobile sites. The program now has news carousels for the iOS and Android Google apps, as well as some cool new features for incorporating rich cards for mobile. We’re incredibly excited to be experimenting with AMP at Vordik, so let us know if you’re interested in learning more!

App Streaming
Got an app? Now Android users shopping in Google Play can test out new apps via live streaming—before they download them onto their phones for off-line use.

The Business of Being Google

As you might imagine, it’s good to be Google. That means going over the year’s accomplishments is pretty much like a big toot on Google’s own horn. This year, they’re tooting to the tune of:

  • More than 1 billion Chrome mobile users. Last year, that was the number mobile and desktop users of Chrome reached, combined.
  • There are now twice as many people using Google Photos—more than 200 million—than last year.
  • Android lovers can now choose from 600 different phones and 12 different smartwatches.
  • Google Play has served up more than 65 billion apps to the good people of Earth.
Looking Forward

Here’s what our magic 8-Ball is telling us about what’s coming next at Google:

  • Heading in a completely different direction than Apple, Google Ara is a modular smartphone with parts you can switch out and replace with new technology as it becomes available. The beta version will be out later this year, meaning you may not need to buy a whole new phone again.
  • Marrying technology with fashion, Google and Levi’s got together to make their first lovechild: Jacquard, a technology-infused jacket. It’s like Google Glass, only better looking. And warmer.
  • Self-driving cars, while on Google’s radar in the next few years, were not shown off. Guess we’ll have to continue driving on our own for a little longer.

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest tech releases? Follow the Vordik blog.