Google I/O Opening Day Highlights

In the keynote at Google I/O, they rolled out Google Assistant, which supports ‘conversational understanding’ and should give users more natural and better support of voice searches. In addition, reports that Google showed off their answer to Amazon Echo, Google Home, a little always on speaker that will be out later this year. Home will find and start TV shows, call an Uber car, or book a restaurant, and a lot more for you with just a voice command.

Google’s new messaging app, Allo, also took a bow. One new feature is a whisper/shout feature that enlarges the text size if you want to ‘shout,’ instead of using all caps. It also interacts with a range of bots. As a bookend to Allo, Google showed off Duo, which is a video calling app. Duo has some clever new features like Knock Knock…which shows an incoming video call feed before you decide to pick up. It also switches seamlessly from cell to Wi-Fi connection.

Android N was previewed, and will be out later this year, emphasizing performance and graphics. It will also use file based encryption instead of block -based. You can download the beta to N now.

Daydream is the new VR platform that is aimed at standardizing mobile based VR. This includes both hardware and software, and Google is expected to start selling a VR headset and controller by late summer. They are also making a reference design for other suppliers to make VR headsets using their system.

Android Wear 2.0 bowed, and the big news there is it can function independently of a smartphone.

Last, and definitely not least, Google showed what may be the biggest deal since the App Store…Instant Apps. With Instant Apps, you can start using an app immediately right within the Google Play store without even having to download and install it.


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