Google IO 2016 is Here!
We'll be liveblogging Googles yearly developer conference. Liveblogging starts at 1:00pm est. Here's what we know so far.
The main event
We all know that every year Google introduces a new version of Android at its IO conference. This year was a bit different as Google decided to release a developer preview of Android N early; giving people a glimpse of what the newest iteration of Android looks like. Things like Split-Screen multitasking, battery live tweaks and adjustments to a new quick settings button are all tweaks that were built into the developer preview. Early reports on the split screen mode were that it was fast, responsive, and well thought out. We expect to see much more from the newest version of Android here, but what we've seen so far is, indeed, very exciting.
Chrome OS and Android Closing the Gap
A Convergence of Operating Systems
The divergence of two operating systems has been a bit of an interesting journey for Google. ChromeOS has come quite a long way away from a simple Chrome window into a more fleshed-out desktop offering, and they've made a compelling case for themselves over the years as good replacements for the Windows-based netbooks of old. More recently; reports have been showing up that Google intends to merge the Chrome operating system with the more robust Android OS. The convergence of which could mean a unified platform in which all manner of notebooks, phones, tablets, and anything in between could be running a version of Android rather than multiple operating systems. This is very similar to the approach that Microsoft has taken with its Windows platform, but we're very interested to see what comes from a more unified front, as Android on Laptops have always been of keen interest to us as we've even experimented with the Android-x86 project several years ago. Call us crazy; but we think the world could use another desktop-class operating system.
Android Wear 2.0
Google's Wearable Platform Likely to get a major update
As long time tech early-adopters, we've often seen the highs and lows of new technology being brought to the forefront, and Android Wear is no exception. The pared down operating system from Google meant for Wearable devices was certainly a leap of faith for some on the early tech front, but we've seen an explosion of wearable devices over the last few years since its inception. Apple's own watch, while most likely selling more units than any one Android Wear watch, has really failed to catch on in the typical Apple fashion that everyone is so used to, and the democratization of the Android hardware ecosystem has brought on some pretty great advances. There have been a number of small-but-important updates to Android Wear since its inception, but today we're likely to see what the next iteration of this platform looks like.
Google's Fight to End Terrible Infotainment Systems could see an update
While there hasn't been much buzz about Android Auto being present in Google IO, it makes sense that we should expect some updates about the platform to save auto manufacturers from themselves. It's no secret that in-car "infotainment" systems have been, largely, well, garbage. Android Auto is aiming to close that gap fighting alongside Apple's CarPlay initiative to make the user interfaces more compatible with what we've come to expect from touch screen devices. It's likely that we'll see an update to Android Auto in the coming hours; whatever that may mean.