“Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google, says that the company has been watching what device makers have been adding to Android and is folding a lot of those ideas into the core system.”
- Google Now on Tap , an update to Google’s flagship mobile service debuting on M essentially brings Google search into mobile apps , an area that had previously been a corporate blind spot. The Verge thought it was the coolest feature on display at IO suggesting “ it’s fast, it’s accurate, it’s creepy, it’s great “:
The new digital assistant listens in on your activities and gives you supplemental info like store hours or movie reviews right inside an app or web page. For instance, if a friend texts you with a dinner invite at a new restaurant, you can ask Now on Tap for reviews, hours and other info mid-conversation. It’ll also create reminders on the fly about previous email or text discussions and incorporate detailed Knowledge Graph information.
- Android Pay represents a further nail in the coffin of NFC-based mobile payment on Android with its emphasis on host-card emulation (HCE) as first among equal solutions. For many OEMs building Android M-based products NFC will now seem little more than a dumb local pipe for HCE with all that entails. Specifically, what is the point of Secure Element in an HCE world?
- Offline Google maps support will include turn by turn navigation.
- Brillo and Weave Google’s attempt to corral the world of IoT as successfully as they did with Android in the smartphone space. Brillo is essentially a headless form of Android optimised for dramatically reduced IoT form factor hardware. Weave is a new cross-platform communications layer for allowing Brillo IoT devices to communicate with each other and other platforms. The attraction of both for OEMs is clear
Build devices quickly and securely, without having to worry about software updates. For other operating systems, just add a compatibility library to connect with Brillo devices over Weave.
- Google’s Inbox service will be updated with “undo send” support .
- Despite some earlier suggestions that Google would do a deal with Chinese authorities to bring GMS to China , no formal announcements were made at IO.
- Cloud Test Lab is a new free automated Android device testing service that should prove invaluable to third party developers.
- Project Jacquard is a classic Google ATAP (Advanced Technologies and Projects) curve ball – embedded sensors in denim in partnership with Levis.
- Android Factory Reset Protection (FRP) has a flaw and the Verge explained how to fix it using device encryption :
The quick fix for this is simple: encrypt the data on your phone before you get rid of it. (You can find the option at Settings > Security > Encrypt Phone, for any Android version since 3.0.) Adrian Ludwig, the lead engineer for Android security, recommended preemptive disk encryption for anyone giving up their phone.
- Benedict Evans like others picked up on Google’s obvious greater enthusiasm and interest in advancing the frontiers of deep learning over mobile and design initiatives. A cursory examination of where Google are really spending their RnD dollars suggests that overwhelmingly it is on machine learning at scale which isn’t surprising given the staggering possibilities raised by advancing beyond the confines of ANI . To get a sense of that scale, it’s worth reading this post on how Project Loon addresses the problem of keeping large numbers of balloons aloft on atmospheric thermals at speeds of 200mph. It provides a compelling window into the level of investment in software and supporting compute infrastructure: