With Google I/O taking place from May 8 to May 10, technology enthusiasts and developers alike can expect major updates and new additions to Google products and services. If you can’t make the massive conference, Google will be providing ways to follow events and announcements online through live streaming sites like YouTube, Twitch and Mixer, as well as the Google I/O conference app. As Google Play Store updates are released throughout the year, changes related to App Store Optimization (ASO) at Google I/O tend to be light. However, it’s still an important conference for the future of app development, as well as emerging technologies. Here are a few things you can expect at Google I/O 2018:
Flutter Beta 3
App developer? Watch for the third beta release of Flutter. After a year of anticipation, the company promises to reveal the latest version of its beta at Google I/O. Google Flutter gives developers the tools to create native apps for both iOS and Android simultaneously. This allows developers to save time on creating cross-platform apps and provide a consistent experience across platforms. The first beta version launched ten weeks ago and is already used by large apps such as Groupon and Alibaba. With the latest version of the beta, Google offers a focus on three key areas: fundamentals, ecosystem and tooling. This includes new support, flexibility, widgets and more, as the mobile app SDK comes closer to its completion. We can expect Flutter to be a major part of I/O, as developers are eager to see the new features.
Changes to Google Assistant
In the last two years, Google Assistant has helped change the way users search online and in the Google Play Store. Google I/O will be hosting sessions on “An introduction to developing Actions for the Google Assistant,” a meetup for Google Assistant developers and several other Assistant-related events. While no specific updates or changes to Google Assistant have been announced yet, those with Google Home devices or Android phones with Google Assist should still keep a close eye on the conference. With sessions like “What’s new with the Google Assistant SDK for devices” on the agenda, there will likely be new advancements to watch out for.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly, but with its growth come security risks. Even lamps and cycling helmets are connected to the Internet of Things these days, but users rarely install firmware updates for them. After all, one rarely thinks to plug a bicycle helmet into their computer. Android Things is designed to address this concern, by uniting IoT devices and managing their firmware with OTA updates. With the release of Android Things 1.0 this week, I/O attendees can look forward to events such as the Office Hour event “Android Things and IoT,” the after-hours event “Android Things & Nest Sandbox” and a session on “What’s New in Android Things.”
Google has been dropping a number of hints regarding the Android P, so attendees anticipate a proper preview of the new Android update. While there is little known about it at this point, a clever Easter egg hunt from the Google Developers Twitter account lead to the initial announcement for I/O 2018. This was accompanied by a picture of a pineapple upside-down cake. Given the name “Android P” and Google’s love of naming their versions after dessert, there’s a good chance the name of the new version will be revealed at Google I/O.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is still a growing field, and Google has been making its own investments within the industry over the past three years with Google Cardboard and Daydream VR. Google I/O will be holding sessions on AR (Augmented Reality) & VR, including a session on the “Impact of AR and VR on education and beyond,” and attendees are anticipating new VR uses and software from the conference. With new budget-friendly headsets like the Oculus Go being released, VR is becoming more affordable to the average user. Google must increase its efforts to maintain relevancy in the VR field, and Google I/O is the perfect opportunity to unveil its advancements. However, most of the AR & VR sessions are focused more on augmented reality. While Virtual Reality is still a hot topic, most of the sessions are focused more on augmented reality. This isn’t surprising, especially with the success and growth of AR games such as “Pokemon GO” and the upcoming “Wizards Unite.”
These are but a few of the potential announcements and subjects that will be covered at Google I/O. There is sure to be many more, including unexpected surprises we can’t even begin to speculate on. If you can’t make it to the conference, keep an eye on Google Developer’s official YouTube channel and be sure to follow our Twitter account for the latest news as it’s announced. Check back at the end of the week for our Google I/O recap to see all the news that the week has in store.