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What's New and What's Next from Google I/O

Just as we were wrapping our minds around all the announcements made at WWDC, it was time for Google I/O. Here’s a breakdown of what grabbed the attention of our developers and what they expect to see at next year’s event. Be sure to subscribe to receive our take on these features as we give them a whirl.

What’s New

The big news at Google I/O was a look into the next release of the Android operating system; codenamed “L.” While most likely being released in the Fall, Google released a preview of L for developers to get acquainted with new APIs.

Material Design

New guidelines from Google for designing apps in the upcoming Android release.

Consistency within the platform

Google’s new design guidelines signal a move towards a cohesive Android experience. They’re leaving behind the “design whatever you want for Android” mentality. This should be a boost to users of the platform, who should be less surprised by how applications will behave/react to their input.

Wear, Auto, TV APIs

Google is expanding the Android platform for new devices and for more uses.

Android Studio

New build and design features for the IDE whose sole purpose is for developing Android applications.

One Big Party

Your android phone, watch, and TV get along with each other.

Google Cloud Platform

As part of the platform, three new products will enable developers understand, diagnose, and improve systems in production: Google Cloud Monitor, Cloud Trace, and Cloud Debugger.

What’s Next

  • Improved Android Studio performance. The Android Studio development team touched on this topic themselves.
  • Chromebooks pick up or flounder. The google cloud platform utilities we saw were browser-based, so they can easily be used on a chromebook. Google isn’t positioning chromebooks as computers for developers, but while they’re competing with both Microsoft and Apple, the chromebook does appear to be Google’s laptop offering. So you can develop and consume iOS applications using OSX, you can develop and consume Windows Phone applications using Windows, but you can’t develop Android applications using Chrome OS. We might see Chrome OS’s capabilities expanding in the future.
  • Calming of the hype over wearables. While at I/O, the interoperability of wearables and TV with an android phone was impressive, some of the examples they showed seemed more novel than long-lasting. We know the feeling — you buy something new, you want to use it immediately. Seems this is where wearables are at the moment — they’re very cool, but just because they can display a gallery of images, doesn’t mean they should.

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