Tomorrow Google is kicking off its annual developer conference Google I/O. The event consists of three days filled with announcements, technical talks and workshops, and traditionally starts with a keynote that’s watched by developers and Google enthusiasts all over the world. During two hours, Google will present its latest innovations - both software and hardware - that demonstrate the achievements and ambitions of the company. For example, last year they showed how Google Assistant can make your phone calls for you, while in 2017 the new Tensor Processing Units were one of the highlights.
We are of course in the front row to follow the conference. In recent years we always had one or more of our developers on site in Mountain View, but because we’re going on a team trip this Thursday, we’ll have to skip the on-site experience this edition. ‘Google I/O is a fantastic conference’, says our Lead Android Developer Simon Raes, who attended the event in 2017. ‘In addition to the keynote, there are mainly many technical presentations, it’s a developer conference after all. But there are concerts as well: LCD Soundsystem played the last evening I was there, making the event really different from most conferences.’
There are usually quite a number of leaks about the things that will be presented, but according to Simon there are fewer rumors this year than in the past. One thing that’s certain, is that Google will introduce new phones at the conference. The company teases 'something big' for Pixel on May 7, which in all likeliness will be mid-range Pixel phones, the 3a series.
Another hardware category that fans expect an update on is the Google Home. Not much has been communicated about it yet this year, so Google I/O would be a great time to get some fresh updates out there. And if we are to believe the rumors, which we do, there’s a ‘Nest Hub Max’ on the horizon, which from a brand perspective is quite interesting. Smartwatches might also get some love this week, ‘Personally, I have high expectations for Wear OS and maybe even a Pixel Watch, but the latter is mainly wishful thinking’, says our Technology Manager Bram Vandenholen.
What we are especially looking forward to are of course the software updates. Earlier this year the beta of Android Q was released, which has a major focus on privacy. You can for instance limit location gathering to when an app is running, or restrict apps’ access to media.
Those things are already known, but most likely Google will come with other exciting news. ‘Personally, I hope for cool, new ARCore features’, says Simon. Bram also expects a lot when it comes to Augmented and Virtual Reality, because Google is currently lagging a bit behind when it comes to those areas, although their Google Maps AR experience we got to try out earlier this year does show their commitment and capabilities in the AR space. ‘And I would be pleasantly surprised if they announce something we did not see coming... it's time for something really revolutionary again!’
This year will be a special edition for us, as we have recently become official Google Cloud Partner. We can’t think of a better partner to help us deliver performant yet cost effective digital platforms for our clients that help make people happy and businesses grow.