It’s sure been an exciting day for Google and fans. With so many new things to talk about, here’s a quick recap of everything that was announced today at Google IO 2015.
Android M was announced to great applause with big changes, including USB-C charging, improved battery life with a feature called Doze, new streamlined app permissions that only ask permission when you use a feature for the first time instead of everything at once. M will also have built-in fingerprint sensing capabilities. Android M hasn’t been officially named, but check out the guy’s watch face below and you’ll see it *might* be called Android Milkshake, which I totally called.
Google Now has been revamped and expanded with Now On Tap. Just long-press the home button for instant access to relevant, contextual information, such as finding out if there’s an open table at a restaurant you want to visit, or when and where a certain movie is playing.
The biggest change to Photos is the increased storage. Now it’s not just unlimited storage for 2048 pixel photos, the new change is unlimited storage for photos up to 16 MP and videos up to 1080p quality. You can also have much better organization and a tool that suggests app edits – bigger and better Auto Awesome.
We knew this was coming, but Project Brillo was officially released to become the platform for the Internet of Things. You’ll be able to control all of your devices – from a soil sensor to lightbulbs and more – from your Android smart(er)phone. Along with Brillo there is a new communications protocol called Weave developed in partnership with Nest, with new APIs, schemas, and a certification program for device/app interoperability.
Cardboard has been updated to work with phones six inches and over in size. Cardboard now also has iOS support, and a new venture for education called Google Expeditions lets teachers and students use Cardboard to take virtual reality fieldtrips anywhere. Tying in with this announcement are plans for a 16-camera rig that will let content creators create their own VR experiences with a feature called Jump.
Google Maps (Offline)
Google Maps will have better offline functionality, by having users download their favorite spots for offline access. A boon for travelers who want to cut down on expensive roaming charges. Chrome and YouTube will also have offline functions, with better data compression. You’ll be able to save YouTube videos offline for up to 48 hours.
Another feature we’ve known about for quite some time, and featuring at the Mobile World Conference, Android Pay is basically Google Wallet 2.0. Similar to Apple Pay, Android Pay will create virtual credit card numbers when you check out for enhanced security. It will work with NFC, and over 7,000 stores already have access.