The annual Google I/O keynote took place last night where the company revealed and outlined its tech and plans for the year ahead. We got some insight to what the company is working on and what we can expect as the future of tech approaches.
Here are some of the biggest announcements from the event:
Allo: Google’s WhatsApp Rival
Google revealed its own personal chat system called Allo. The messaging app is a mobile-only app where users can sign in using their cellphone numbers, and includes its own emojis, custom stickers, and photo editing options. Users will be able to chat to friends and family using the app and make use of the chatbot assistant.
Google VR: Daydream
Daydream is a new concept from Google which is being built into the upcoming Android N (more on that below). It is not being created to compete with HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and Oculus. Rather it has its own unique identity. This identity is its own ecosystem where users can enter it by using the headset, and customize their own hubs with apps. Think of it as a smart VR that you can escape to whenever you want to, like a virtual lounge.
Google VR Headset
Although Google Cardboard was scrapped, it seems that the company is determined to get VR right. Its latest VR headset is more of a concept than anything else, but it shows potential as the design is universal for all phones, even Sony Xperia and LG devices. Google also showed off a touchpad for it and a motion controller. We think that by opening up development for VR for all phone manufacturers, Goole has a solid VR set in its hands. It wants to eliminate the competition by including the competition.
Duo: Google’s Video Calling App
Duo is the company’s take on Skype to be simple. The app will be used only for video content and will be tied to your phone number. This means it is basically a calling service, with video. Duo and Allo are said to go hand-in-hand together when they release. Both Allo and Duo will be available for iOS and Android in July 2016.
Google Home is a new assistant which will fit right into your living space and perform tasks which you ask it to do. This small speaker is an always-listening device which connects to various devices in your home. While open for development by other tech and app developers, the device will change your lighting, search for music to play, increase and decrease the temperature of your aircon, and more.
We already know that Android N is the company’s latest OS, but we got to see much more of the OS than before. New features included split-screen multitasking, and picture-in-picture mode. We also learned that the new OS will be optimized for extended battery life when gaming. We still do not have a name for the new OS, but it will be named after something delicious soon.