Google I/O 2016: What To Expect

Google I/O, which is Google’s annual developers’ conference, will be held from May 18 to May 20 this year. The conference has set the stage for new Android OS and other Google product updates historically, and this year is not difference. Here’s what we are expecting to see at Google I/O 2016.

Android N

This one is obvious, isn’t it? This year, Google went a step forward and released a developer preview of the Android N months before the debut on stage at I/O. Android N features a few significant UI tweaks including split screen multitasking and notification center updates, but also includes a lot of performance boosting enhancements.

Android VR

Looking at the schedule, it seems that virtual reality is a top priority, and new evidence suggests a standalone Android VR headset is going to be unveiled soon. Android N code revealed a couple of built-in options for VR support baked directly in to the coding, preparing the way for optimized apps to be made compatible with VR. With those references, and sighting in the Developer Console, it’s safe to assume that this Android-powered VR thing is happening.

Project Ara

Remember the modular phone concept that started off as Phonebloks? Project Ara is a long pending project by Google and we’re personally very excited about this product. Last year at I/O, Google ATAP (Advanced Technologies and Projects) team showed us a working prototype of the modular phone, but it is yet to reach the market. Will it happen this year? Maybe!

Project Tango

Project Tango is about capturing 3D images using multiple phone cameras to create a 360 degree internal map of a building. This is especially interesting when this technology can be used to create virtual reality or augmented reality experiences. At CES this year, Lenovo announced that it is bringing this technology to a consumer smartphone soon, so expect to learn more about it at I/O 2016. Also, Google is holding special sessions for helping developers with Project Tango for the first time this I/O.

Self-driving cars/Android Auto

Although still under testing, Google might surprise us with some amazing self-driving updates. This could also be tied into Android Auto, Google’s OS for automobiles. For the first time ever, Google I/O has special sessions just for Android Auto, only to get more developers involved to build the platform.

IoT and Project Fi

Google is making big strides in improving internet access and making it more useful through the Internet of Things (IoT). With Project Loon, it used balloons high in the atmosphere to broadcast internet. With Project Fi, Google made high speed internet available on your smartphone at all times. Through the purchase of Nest and the introduction of OnHub, Google is also trying to break into the Internet of Things. We should see something about this topic at I/O 2016.

We can also expect Chrome OS and Android Wear updates and perhaps a new Nexus 7 tablet too.

Well, these are just expectations. We’re looking forward to see some game-changing surprises (like with the original Google Cardboard) at Google I/O 2016.

About Allistair Lee

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Insider. Allistair has been a tech enthusiast since he was at the age of 15. His current interest includes Android smartphones and tablets, among many other devices.

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