Words On Wednesday

2015-06-03 Google I/O 2015

With Google I/O 2015 having come and gone, there’s quite a bit of buzz about what went on. Though I would loved to have gone, sadly I just watched the keynote online. For those who haven’t yet seen the keynote, it’s still available to be streamed here, with a text and image play-by-play from The Verge here. Below, I’m not going to summarize what was said, as much as I’m giving my opinion on it.

Android M

As a heavy Android user and fan of all things Google, this is always my favorite part of the conference.

App Permissions

No need to read through and decipher a list of permissions upon app installation, the permissions are just granted as the app needs to use them. I really like this. Much more user friendly, much more transparent, I really can’t see any downsides to it. Plus, the fact that permissions are maintained when an app needs to update is awesome. Better for users and better for developers. Hooray, Android!

Android Pay

Seems like this is mainly a response to Apple Pay. Google Wallet was already a thing, and I can’t really tell a ton of differences between that and Android Pay. Perhaps a necessary step in order to push for more widespread adoption.

As a side note, make a point to use tap and pay any time you’re in a rural or otherwise uneducated area. It’s so great seeing people baffled by the fact that you can pay for something with your phone.

USB Type-C

I’ve already made my feelings on USB Type-C evident elsewhere. In short, I think EVERYTHING needs to go to USB Type-C. It’s faster, it’ll be more universal, and it’s not limited to one single orientation. Bring on the C!

Android Wear

This is a big ol’ “meh” right here. I haven’t really cared about smartwatches since the pebble and that hasn’t changed now. Android Wear now does more, works more fluidly, all that jazz. Awesome, still doesn’t mean I’m interested in a smaller screen with reduced functionality on my wrist. I’ll just take my phone out of my pocket when I need to do something. Moving on.

Internet of Things

My opinion of the “Internet of Things” is that it’s really too far off in the future to get excited about right now. Companies are beginning to lay the foundation and groundwork for later on, which is both awesome and expected. As things develop and people and companies get on board, there could be some fantastic products and services that arise.

What I most like is the seemingly universal standard that’s being put into place. I don’t want a multitude of different standards vying for popularity and acceptance, all the while breaking the user experience based on which standard your individual products decided to go with. Having everything compatible with everything else will make this whole process transition much more smoothly.

Google Now

Being shown information as soon as or even before you ask for it is awesome. Google Now was already great, but it’s gradually being made better.

Now on Tap

Contextual information on anything, anywhere. It’s like Google is making the process of asking questions obsolete. I hope this sort of functionality works as well as the demo seems to suggest it will. Could be absurdly hard to implement properly, but completely invaluable if it works right. As the presenter pointed out, it makes me happy as a user, but ecstatic as a developer. Though I’ve never seen the inner workings of Google code, I’m sure this is a tremendous feat.

Photos

Unlimited, organized, high quality storage. This is all kinds of awesome, I’m so glad I’m not limited to choosing between uploading unlimited mediocre quality photos or chewing up my Drive storage with full size images. Plus, that auto tagging feature is spiffy. I’m kinda hoping there might be some sort of social media integration so that I can automatically have my friends tied to the photos if I share them.

“The Next Billion”

Cheaper devices, less data consumption, more worldwide interwebz. Living in a first world company makes me less reliant on these sort of advancements, but I can definitely appreciate that they serve as steps to make the world a better place. Kudos to you, Google.

Developer Stuff

A lot of people don’t care about the nitty gritty intricacies of development, but the possible Android programmer in me loves it.

Android Studio

I keep saying I’m going to check out Android Studio in more depth while trying my hand at full-fledged Android programming, and I keep putting it off. One of these days, I’m going to build those app ideas I have floating around in my head and it’s going to be awesome.

Cloud Test Lab

More in-depth testing, straight from Google. Maybe this will shut up the Android naysayers who keep insisting that Android apps are unreliable.

Cardboard and Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality seems to be one of the big buzz words going around right now, but I like how Google is trying to push it to the masses by reducing price of production and consumption equipment.

Expeditions

Visit anywhere, right from the comfort of your home or school. Awesome idea, and I hope this becomes huge. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the next Mars rover to have some VR equipment on it.

Jump VR Rig

CNET commentators were estimating the cost of these Jump rigs at something north of $8,000 for everything. Definitely not for your average explorer, but something I hope some people are willing to invest in. Putting them in the hands of more people is going to result in a ton of awesome footage. Actually… is it called “footage” if it’s Virtual Reality?

Conclusion

I/O was interesting, as usual, but still just a conference. The ideas and plans mentioned were awesome, and I genuinely hope they come to fruition. VR and IoT are those things that we won’t see fully realized for quite a few years down the road, I think. It’s great to get some updates on them, but I’m not getting my hopes up to be exploring the depths of the Pacific ocean tomorrow or anything. Android M looks like it’s going to be more of an incremental improvement, but that’s OK. I’d rather have more reliability and not a whole lot of new features than to have tons of gimmicks that don’t work so hot (looking at you, Samsung). Google Now and improvements to Photos should pay off very soon, and I’m eager to try those out for myself.

Meta:

Words: 1109 | Characters: 6305 | Sentences: 67 | Average Word per Sentence: 17 | Paragraphs: 37 | Reading Level: College Student

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