Google I/O 2015 Conference: Android M, Project Brillo, Android Pay and Others

Google has announced nu,erous novelties today.

Today was a pretty big day for the Internet searching giant. At its annual I/O developer conference, Google unveiled Android M, Android Pay, Brillo, Google Photos, and more. Photo: syamanthsays/Flickr

Today was a pretty big day for the Internet searching giant. At its annual I/O developer conference, Google unveiled Android M, Android Pay, Brillo, Google Photos, and more. Photo: syamanthsays/Flickr

First runner-up, Android M was covered in a light way.

“Fine-grained app permissions, custom Chrome tabs for applications, a better payment solution, and a re-jiggered intent system are nice improvements, but those seem like they should be bullet points on the Android website — not the big headlining features for the next OS. They did promise better battery life and USB-C support, though, so that’s better than nothing,” writes Extreme Tech.

Android Wear’s presence at the conference appeared to be a bit odd. If you were expecting for quite massive response to the recently unveiled Apple Watch, you most certainly left disappointed. Apps can now be left on in a low-power state, it now has hand-writing recognition for emojis, and you can now twirl your wrist about like an idiot to scroll. This was definitely the least impressive part of the whole keynote.

The company has also presented to public the “underlying operating system for the Internet of Things” dubbed Brillo. It is derived from Android as it runs the same core of drivers and code, but simplified so that it can be used on everything from locks to kitchen devices.

On top of this layer Google places “Weave”, a “common language” for devices to communicate with each other, to the cloud and to your smart devices. The aim is to standardise devices on the IoT, across different platforms, and let developers build apps on top.

“This is the beginning of a journey” said Pichai. It will be released and “ready to go” by Q4 of 2015. “For the first time we are bringing a comprehensive solution,” Pichai added.

Google Now and Google Photos took the stage for a quite ling time and it’s still unclear why. Both services refined versions of existing products, and the demos didn’t seem to land the way they hoped. Better natural language parsing and unlimited photo storage are nice features, but there’s nothing outstanding.

Towards the very end, Google Cardboard was announced. There’s a new spec for the cardboard viewer, a new way for teachers to use synchronized VR in the classroom called “Expeditions,” and a VR-capture rig called “Jump.”

However, perhaps the biggest news was the announcement for iOS support for the Cardboard SDK. Those of us with iPhones will soon be able to benefit from this quirky VR setup. It’s not designed to compete against the Oculus or Morpheus, but that’s totally fine. The low barrier to entry is reason enough to like this product.

Speaking of Google Pay, the company revealed that it has struck partnerships with 13 financial institutions for the launch of its mobile payment tool Android Pay. Partners include Chase, Citibank, Capital One, U.S. Bank, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, and USAA.

“Truth be told, the event was something of a letdown. It’s unrealistic to expect major breakthroughs every year, and unfortunately, that makes for lackluster events. It seems that 2015 is going to be a year of small refinements — not giant leaps forward,” concluded Extreme Tech.

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