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Google I/O 2016: impressions

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Google I/O 2016: impressions

Our colleagues actively participate in the life of Google community: they organize technical meetings and large conferences, promote the latest technologies and just write damn fine code.That is why it is not the first time that DataArt representatives are invited to the world’s main Google event – the I/O conference. This year DataArt was represented in Mountain View by Elena Fedorova, PR-director of Voronezh office, and Konstantin Mars, one of the leaders of GDG-community of Dnieper and mobile technologies evangelist. We would like to share impressions of our colleagues and friends who were at the conference.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Representatives from GDG communities from around the world came together.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Konstantin represented Ukraine with dignity.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

And Elena is Russia.

Konstantin Mars, Senior Mobile Developer DataArt.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

The 10th Google I/O conference was very recently, massive and impressive. And it was remembered by its participants, me included, first of all… with queues :).

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Yes, yes, 10 parallel threads did not save from having to take the queue in 20 –

30 minutes before the start of the presentation. And this shows not only that there were a lot of people who wanted to listen to the famous Google experts, but also that there was really a lot to see and listen to.


Despite the fact that I neglected to take selfies with a few famous "googlers" at this conference in order to attend as many sessions as possible, I still managed to attend about 20.Meanwhile on Youtube there are already 158 recordings of the talks.


This Google I/O did not surprise with revolutionary new devices – Android Wear, Cardboard, and Project Tango have been known for quite some time. The main focus of this year’s conference was smart home, smart search and virtual reality.


Technology unites. Thousands of people are waiting for new Google announcements.

The first novelty — Google Home. It is a smart voice-activated assistant designed to create a smart home. Its brain is powered by Google Assistant technology, a search engine similar to Google Now but working exclusively with voice input.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Allo and Duo. Messenger and video chat, loaded with smart tips. Time will tell how far they will succeed in replacing Hangouts. But for now, they’re on the cusp of top messaging implementation technologies. Allo will emphasize emotions with the size of the emoticon you send, prompt the best response options based on the context of the conversation, thus speeding up your response. And it will even analyze the picture that was sent to you and suggest responses based on the recognized image from the chat. For example, in response to a picture of a puppy, it suggests "wow, " "nice doggy, " or even specifies the breed of dog.

Duo will allow you to see your caller’s emotions as an icon on the incoming call, thus helping you get the context of the future conversation faster.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Android N is already familiar to anyone who’s been wondering, and many have already tried the Android N Preview. With the new version the updated JIT compiler Vulkan API with improved OpenGL support, multi-window, improved security, updated notifications and, as usual, a lot of big and small improvements enter the arena.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

VR has now gone a step further than the already familiar CardBoard. Google has introduced the Daydream – a new platform for implementing VR. A new VR helmet and VR controller were also introduced along with it.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Android Wear 2.0

Google I/O 2016: impressions

The main revolutionary novelty of this Google I/O for me was the new version of Android Wear 2.0. This version was the first full-fledged wearable operating system, stand-alone and independent of the phone. What previously had to be done with DataItems and Messages APIs can now be implemented directly with REST HTTP requests directly from the watch. In addition to WiFi, new versions of the watch will support a 3G/LTE SIM card. Added support for two more input methods out of the box – in addition to voice input, you can now use handwriting and a mini keyboard. Google has officially published an API to implement Complications – they are already present in many Watch Faces, but now their implementation is standardized, which greatly speeds up development.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

There’s more good news – Google Fit now recognizes the exercises a person performs on the clock, such as biceps dumbbell lifting or deadlift. So collecting statistics has gone far beyond just analyzing walking/running.

Android Instant Apps A new and unique technology that Google has introduced – launching apps without a pre-installation.

Android Studio 2.2 Preview – preview of the new version of the IDE includes many improvements, the main ones being a radically redesigned visual editor with Constraints support, an improved Instant Run that runs even faster, and built-in SDK support, including. FirebaseSDK.

Firebase – is one of the most trending products this Google I/O. It is positioned as a universal tool for building dynamic databases, authentication, online storage, etc.

And, of course, were not forgotten at this conference Machine Learning and Google Cloud API

What was left behind behind the scenes?

Google I/O 2016 abounded with specially organized codelabs and sandboxes – both dedicated to specific technologies and purely gaming, allowing you to win small prizes. There were also specially designated areas where you could talk ‘office hours’ with Google representatives on certain technologies, and watch demos of projects that won in the Android Experiments contest.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Somewhere among the booths not on the schedule, you could leave your idea on the "Big Idea Wall, " while testing out the NFC tagged link exchange and creating a group dedicated to the idea on the new Spaces conference app.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

A robot artist, dancing, and other adventures on the second day of Google I/O.


While some developers are resting in the fresh air…

Google I/O 2016: impressions

others are exploring the possibilities of Google Fit.


Google I/O 2016: impressions

In the evenings, participants enjoyed a concert, a lightsaber party, and game rooms combining novelties in 3D photography, Google Cloud Vision API, Project Tango, and robotics.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Those who wished could even dance around the man-made I/O symbol made of lightsabers on the lawn near the Amphitheater.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

The new and improved rubber pool ducks provided by Google deserve a special mention. Here it is, the future!

To summarize I will say: it is impossible to cover all the available information during the conference. A lot of things were left behind, a lot of things were very interesting in terms of technology and organization. The scale of the conference is exciting, and most of the products shown here will not be available on the market until the fall. In this respect, Google I/O was, as always, a conference of predictions for the future :).

And, of course, you can watch recordings of sessions from Google I/O 2016 on the Google Develpers YouTube channel: https://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/p/f46sAfLDhvBk512NesRIi9nUlFxd7AyYJckOSVk2hSpLefpfwuDmyEs2eLBi9oJjtFwLv-cA2MH0Gnfv_20_9TXJ8kPd8PFWG4KgCOR1Wk9dSlBGr6RqJw==

Zviad Kardava, Google Developer Expert: IoT.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Initially, I was a little disappointed by how few sessions were devoted specifically to IoT. There were only two, but IoT experts were promised a little surprise at keynote. That surprise turned out to be Google Home, a smart device that allows you to communicate with the new Google Assistant by voice. It can be asked to place an order or reschedule an appointment. The device can also control other smart devices in the house: you can, for example, turn on the lights or music in another room. The device itself is small, and its appearance can be chosen according to your taste. Google Home will be on the market later this year. In fact, it is a competitor to the Amazon Echo, which has already gone on sale a little earlier.

Very interesting, in my opinion, was the presentation about Instant apps. The gist of the idea is that we now have the ability to use an app without installing it! The user can get a link to the content, pay for parking, or just try out the app before installing it. Instead of installing the full app, a light version is downloaded with basic functionality, including the ability to make payments. You can easily install the full version right from the Instant app. The link can be received in different ways: via Physical Web, QR code, nfc, just text, etc. Even more interesting that support is promised from Android 4.1+ (API 16) and above. This is a great solution in a world where there are more and more smart devices and services. We will be able to use almost everything around us without having to install apps, and companies and developers will get a new way to deliver content and services to users.

Also pleased with the announcements of the updated Firebase and Android Wear 2. Firebase got a bunch of new features, some of which are also free. It’s a great solution for the Internet of Things and beyond. A wearables will now be able to work offline, without a phone and run separate standalone apps. Android wear 2 also got new input methods.

There’s good news for us developers, too, with another update to Android studio. Together with version 2.2 we will get a big acceleration in work and many more new things, but I especially liked that they finally improved NDK dev tools, added CMAKE and improved C++ debugger, which was always a problem before. I can’t wait to try it out.

In general, despite the problems in the organization of Google I/O, I liked the event, I was able to listen to interesting reports, but, more importantly, was able to communicate live with developers and executives of a variety of products. It was from the communication was able to get answers to questions and more valuable information.

Vadim Kotov, Technical Director Surf , an active member of GDG Voronezh.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

A lot of topics were announced at Google I/O, but a few big ones really stand out: VR, the Firebase extension, Google Assistant. The VR demos are very impressive, the guys at Google did over 60 experiments with different apps. I think a lot of the ideas are worth taking and creating a popular VR app.

Firebase has evolved from a purchased startup-cloud database into an entire platform with separate tools. If it was worth a try before as an experiment, now you’ll definitely have to use it, lots of cool features.

Google Assistant has fit nicely into the current wave of chatbot-nature language processing. Looking forward to integrating individual features into their apps, hopefully that will happen.

On the whole Google IO outdoors was enjoyable. However, I did not manage to get to all of the sessions that interested me. I asked a lot of questions to the experts from Google, that is why you have to come here! I was pleasantly surprised by the stands with Google Experiments and different demos.

Boris Nikiforov, Head of mobile (email portal), Mail.Ru Group.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

Android has not been a major theme this year. This is to be expected, but has caused some frustration for mobile developers. VR, AI, ML are areas where dramatic changes are already taking place and technologies are being massively used. The main competitor here is Facebook, which invests a lot in these technologies. If you look closely, there are a lot of similarities between facebook f8 in April and Google I/O.

Google Assistant is the same bots as Facebook, but the discvery mechanism is different – a single point of entry. Firebase conceptually replicates Facebook’s set of features for the developer. Lots of sessions on the specifics of building apps for emerging markets, for the next billion new mobile internet users.

Android, on the other hand, received an evolutionary update, which does not have any cardinal innovations.

Alexander Denisov, Senior Netcracker developer, leader of GDG Nizhny Novgorod.

Google I/O 2016: impressions

"I got very mixed impressions from my first-ever visit to Google I/O. But on the whole it was positive. You can’t get so much new and interesting information anywhere else. There are, of course, disadvantages: huge lines for the most interesting speeches, heat and wind. But all this is compensated by the fact that all the top developers of Google gathered in one place. If you have the patience and desire, you can catch the person you are interested in and talk to him directly. Firebase, physical web, IoT, Android – you can get all the news firsthand, and that’s just great. I think that overall, Google has accomplished its task. Now it’s up to us to get all the new things we’ve learned here out to our followers, hold workshops and share experiences."

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