Google I/O 2015 Keynote Recap

Google I/O is here!

The Google I/O 2015 Keynote is over and there is a lot to talk about. There was a bevy of new projects announced so instead of boring you all with everything little I’m going to talk about the things that caught my eye. Let’s start with:

Android M

Lollipop is only a few months old, but Google isn’t wasting any time in showing off their next version of Android, codenamed “Android M”. As expected “M” isn’t going to be a major update, more of an iterative one. The overall look and feel of Android won’t be changing, but the important changes will be in the background. First of Google is introducing Granular App Permissions. Now users can decide to revoke permissions from apps if they wish. For example, if an app requires your Location data you can revoke that permission. The app will work the same, but it will not be allowed to access your Location date. You can enable the permissions at any time.

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New Android Permissions setting

Android M will also have Native Fingerprint Support. App developers will be able to implement fingerprint controls into their apps. This seems to imply that the next Nexus device could come with a fingerprint scanner. With Native Fingerprint Support, Google has made great improvements to their Google Wallet service but more on that later. With Android M Google is looking to make even more improvements to Battery Life. First off, “M” will support USB Type-C, which allows for up to three times quicker charging. To help battery life even more, “M” includes a new feature called “Doze”. Using various sensors, phones and tablets can detect when they haven’t been used for some time and enter “Doze” mode. This is basically a deep sleep in which the phone or tablet will restrict and reduce background activities allowing to longer battery life. According to Google, a Nexus 9 running “M” was able to last twice as long as a Nexus 9 running Lollipop when left on standby.

Google Now on Tap

Google Now has been out for quite some time now and it is highly regarded as one of the amazing features that Android has to offer. But Google as found a way to make it even better. Google Now on Tap is the next step in Google’s attempt at Skynet (Joke! or is it?). Google has made major improvements to its natural language processing which as greatly improved Google Now’s contextual awareness. Which is a fancy way of saying that Google Now can recognize more.

Google Now on Tap in action

One example shown was a presenter asking about Skrellex’s real name while listening to one of his songs. Google Now was able to identify who the presenter was talking about even when she only referred to Shrellex’s name as “his name”. Pretty cool stuff huh. Google Now on Tap evolves this one step further by allowing Google Now to identify contextual cues in any app. One example shown was a friend inviting you to a movie in a text, if you wanted to learn more about the movie you can tap the Google Now button and  information regarding about said movie will be displayed in a card for you. Google Now on Tap will not require developers to modify their apps.

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