Google I/O 2018 is just around the corner, so brace yourself for a slew of Google news. Like every year, we can expect major announcements for the latest Android version, Google’s new software, and updates for the existing products.
The annual developer conference will kick off at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California on 8th May. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at what to expect at this year’s show.
1. What’s new in Android P
Undoubtedly, one of the major announcements at this year’s Google I/O will be the updates on Android P. This event can disclose the second developer preview for the latest mobile operating system – something which we are eagerly waiting for.
Last year’s I/O brought major changes to Oreo in terms of structure with revamped notifications and streamlined updates. But Android P seems to be focused on improvements in interface design and refurbishing of visual elements.
We know that Android P will have native support for the pervasive ‘notch’ and it might be getting another major overhaul with gesture support just like iPhone X.
2. Google Assistant: What’s next
Google Assistant still stands as the firm’s prized product and largest competition to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and to a much lesser extent, Microsoft’s Cortana. The company has recently disclosed that it has over 1 million ‘Actions’ supported by Google Home smart speakers.
Also, Google Assistant now works with 5,000 smart home devices partners which further increases its reach. So one thing to watch would be whether Google reveals plans to allow developers to integrate the digital assistant into their apps. We can also expect more investments and features being added to the Assistant.
3. Artificial Intelligence and Google
Last week, we saw Facebook hailing AI as the future of its business in the F8 Conference. So it’s no surprise that Google, with a dedicated its research division, has grand plans of its own for AI, and we might see some of its machine learning capabilities in I/O 2018.
Google has been extensively developing its AI and implementing in its products such as Google Assistant for voice and text-based commands, Google Lens for object and image recognition, and Google Translate.
The company is also putting in efforts to utilize artificial intelligence in other Alphabet business too like the Waymo self-driving car so we should expect to hear more about AI-based products.
4. Android TV & Android Auto
About a month ago, we saw rumored images of a new 4K Chromecast like Android TV dongle through the FCC (which has been taken down since). The rumor also says that it has a full TV interface with a remote and it would be great to see that it’s not just another Chromecast dongle.
Android Auto debuted a few years ago, and recently the software received wireless support for Pixel and Nexus devices. In January, Google announced the integration of its Assistant software into Android Auto for voice functions. Hopefully, this I/O will be marked as the launch of this feature.
5. Next steps for Wear OS
Google is trying to save its wearable technology platform by rebranding Android Wear as Wear OS. It also brought some much-needed improvements in the product such as prolonged battery life and a dark mode. There are chances that the company will shed more light on Wear OS in this event and outline the future plans for the platform.
6. Android Things
Internet of Things has been around for quite some time now. Taking a cue from this, Google has been developing its own IoT platform called Android Things. It is supposed to be a platform that will power Google’s smart home devices, right from thermostats to smart home speakers. The tech firm has been working on it since 2016 and we should see its final mainstream release at this event.
7. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
The firm is likely to announce the improvements made in its hardware development initiatives such as Daydream VR and ARCore SDK. Google is also working on other projects like Project Tango, a platform which brings AR and VR technology to phones, so we could expect them to launch something related to AR/VR too.
This has mostly to do with developers, but it should have some interesting reverberations on Android apps. Flutter SDK is a new platform for app development that helps in creating apps that run on both Android and iOS.
The first Flutter Beta would be most likely announced in Google I/O 2018 so that developers can use it and give feedback. Moreover, Flutter will also be the app platform for Google’s new Fuschia so we are definitely going to hear a lot more about in the future.