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Google I/O 2016: The next big things from Google

Google I/O 2016: The next big things from Google
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Google  kicked off its Annual Developers Conference this 2016 with a number of big announcements. From virtual assistants that carry smarter and better AI to virtual reality and advancements in the Android operating system, Google revealed an array of technologies that aim to keep up with everybody’s fast-paced lifestyle and “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Here are the major announcements during the Google I/O 2016:

Google Home

One of the most exciting and family-friendly announcements that Google made is the soon-to-launch service called Google Home. This voice-activated device is poised to act as an all-around home assistant and smart controller to make home living easier and more relaxing.

It lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google using conversational speech. You can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights with a simple voice command. The Google Home will also be able to communicate with different devices installed in you home—like smart light bulbs, Nest, and in the future, third-party apps too.

Google Assistant

A new helpmate was also born in the form of the Google Assistant. Compared with the previous attempts at this virtual butler, the new Google Assistant is more complex—allowing for better optimization in natural language detection and contextualization. The AI is smart enough to offer suggestions based on what you’ve been previously doing on the Web.

The upgraded Google Assistant is conversational, allowing for a smooth two-way dialogue between you and Google. It also works seamlessly across devices and contexts.

Allo and Duo

Messaging app Allo isn’t your usual messaging service. It doubles as a virtual assistant. Launching soon on Android and iOS, the app contains an AI that constantly learns the conversations you have with other people. Allo’s Smart Reply feature suggests responses to messages based on context and your messaging habit. It makes your messaging more fun with emojis, stickers, and creative photos. You can get end-to-end encryption on your messages, discreet notifications, and message expiration features using Allo’s Incognito mode.

Allo comes with a companion app, the Duo. This one-to-one video calling service will make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. A feature called Knock Knock gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer.

Targeted to be available this year, both Allo and Duo are based on your phone number, allowing you to communicate with anyone regardless of whether they’re on Android or iOS.


Google isn’t showing any hint of slowing down on the race for the best Virtual Reality technology in the market, either. In fact, the company just built a new platform for a high-quality mobile VR called Daydream. Google will partner with Android powerhouses such as HTC, LG, and Samsung to create the first-of-its-kind gesture-based VR headset that will further advance the way we do things inside virtual reality—hopefully, in a more liberating scale.

Popular apps and games will be coming to Daydream, too, including Google’s YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Google Photos, and Play Store.

Android N

Although Google is still pretty vague on the specifics, it does plan to release a newer version of Android very soon. The only problem is, it currently lacks a name. What Google has done is allowed the community to submit titles for its newest OS upgrade—with the catch being that the name has to start with the letter “N”.

The new OS is promised to have better performance for graphics and effects, reduced battery consumption and storage, background downloads of system updates, and streamlines notifications. Oh, there will be 72 new emojis, too.

Android Wear

In terms of their developments with Android Wear, apps can now run independently and outside of the smartphone’s periphery—but will still need a Wi-Fi or cellular network for this feature to be maximized. Boosts in text messaging, automatic exercise recognition, response time, and app update notifications are also some of the things brought to your Android Wear devices.

Instant Apps

The Android Instant Apps will let you run Android apps instantly without requiring installation. You simply tap on a URL and it will open right in an Android app, even if the user doesn’t have that app installed.


Google also expanded Firebase,the company’s comprehensive developer platform. It gives developers a quicker and more efficient way to build high-quality apps, grow their user base, and earn more money across iOS, Android, and the mobile Web.

Words John Sosmeña
Photos from Official Google Blog

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