Here's what to expect at Google I/O 2018 conference
If Mobile World Congress is a Mecca for mobile technology pundits, Google's I/O is the holy pilgrim for software developers, Android lovers and Google enthusiasts. With time, these events have not only become grander but also more relevant as far as the future of technology is concerned. So here's a sneak peek at what we can expect at the Google I/O 2018.
The three-day "festival", as Google calls it, starts Tuesday, May 8 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California. As always, Google will live-stream its opening keynote of the conference and you can expect a direct link to the feed in a day or two.
Google has already released a beta version of its latest OS - the Android P. At Google I/O, we will have multiple sessions on how developers will be able to leverage the new APIs in Android P including richer notifications, gesture support, improved fingerprint authentication, face unlock technology, multi-camera support, and display notches. A new beta version of the OS is also expected.
Google is expected to announce new features and improvements for its Assistant and Assistant-enabled Smart Displays that the company unveiled at CES this year. Considering Google Home smart speakers are fairly new, we don't expect new hardware announcements at the event. Further, AI and machine learning based updates will be key highlights and how Google can integrate Assistant with other third-party smart devices.
While Google did get on to the smart-watch train in time, its Android Wear has lost some sheen over time. At I/O 2018, Google will announce a bunch of new features for its Android Wear to rekindle the interest of partner OEMs in this segment.
Google's own apps like YouTube, Photos, Gmail, Maps etc. are likely to see some updates. Additionally, we can expect some sort of AI integration in all these consumer-facing apps. The tech giant is also expected to update its current platforms like Instant Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and introduce some incentives for developers to utilize and strengthen its new platforms.
Google has scheduled a "What's new in Android TV" session at its I/O event on May 8. The Android TV interface, launched alongside Android Oreo, may get an update. Google may make Android TV more like Chromecast with focus on content via its apps like YouTube, Play Movies and other partner apps. Moreover, current Chromecast line-up is expected to see a price shift.
After Apple, Google is also expected to venture into education with its Chromebooks. One can expect some updates on how Chromebooks are shaping education for schools and children.
On the Augmented Reality(AR) side, we expect Google to bring updates to its ARCore platform. The new version is likely to offer better surface and light handling along with support for more devices. Similarly, Google's AR Stickers may also get updates. In terms of Virtual Reality(VR), we should see a new interface and VR-centric content for Daydream - Google's answer to Oculus GO VR.
Like previous years, Google also has also scheduled a "What's new in Android security" session on May 10. We expect Google to talk about security enhancements in Android P and what's worked well in Android Oreo. Following Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, Google may announce more transparency measures regarding users' data and give user greater control over their data.