Google I/O 2016: The 5 Things You Can Expect To See At The Event

Omar Sohail
Posted May 15, 2016
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For the longest time ever, Google has held its Google I/O developer conference during the month of May. While the tech giant labels it as a developer conference, there are always new additions added that makes it an exciting event, ranging from API talk, to new software updates and far more elements to see what exactly Google is working on. Now, Google I/O 2016 is almost upon us, so let us take a look at what we could possibly see at the developer conference.

Project Ara

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While it’s a long shot to see Project Ara showcased at Google I/O 2016, this venture is perhaps the only way we can turn our imperfect smartphones and possibly tablets perfect. These days, a smartphone is always lacking something or the other; if it does manage to boast specifications and features that are deemed complete for the average user, either its price tag becomes too high, or if it does manage to present an affordable solution to the masses, it is lacking in one category or the other. It is disappointing to see that no commercial Project Ara product has been sold to date, but we sincerely hope that the top Google executives have something in store for us regarding the development of the project.

Android N: The Software Dessert Most Of Us Crave Right Now

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Every year, Google introduces a range of tweaks and new APIs with each iteration of its mobile software update. For Android N, one of the things that smartphone and tablet owners will be looking forward to is the multi-window mode. Keep in mind that Android is far from being a platform used to carry out work-related tasks, but with the addition of this feature, large slate owners will be able to bring themselves closer to viewing a multitude of elements on the home screen. In this way, it will also compel manufacturers to continue the production of phablet-sized smartphones.

Since software updates are all about better RAM and CPU management, we have high hopes that Android N is going to consume less resources, which is why they were able to make multi-window mode possible. There were rumors that Android N would also bring about their own version of Apple’s 3D Touch. Unfortunately, the feature is currently not going to be a dedicated part of the mobile platform, but it appears that Android O could offer us some well-deserved news.

Will Vulcan API Support Be Added To Android N?

Looking at the gaming performance when combined with Vulcan API and the available hardware, you can get a great deal of performance from this lethal combination. Recapping to what is Vulcan API, it happens to be a new graphics API renderer with a simpler, thinner driver, but most importantly, it has efficient CPU multi-threading capabilities. When pitted against its closest competitors, DirectX or OpenGL, Vulkan actually has less latency and overhead, resulting in your system to reach new levels of performance.

In a nutshell, it can potentially provide gamers with a boost in performance for those systems that are not running the latest and greatest hardware configurations. Additionally, Vulkan will also aid developers to effectively avoid CPU bottlenecks, which happen to be one of the biggest contributors to performance degradation. With a bottleneck gap significantly removed, less powerful hardware will potentially be able to rake more frames out of next-generation video game titles.

This could mean that developers might finally receive the much needed motivation to produce dedicated applications for the powerful gaming tablet, though this is wishful thinking at its best. However, with the reduced overheads coming from other APIs, Vulcan might actually be able to provide the establishment needed to create much visually impressive and fluid games.

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet received a Marshmallow 6.0.1 that provided support for Vulcan API not too long ago. With a plethora of mobile gaming apps available, it is only a matter of time when gamers start using their handheld devices as their daily driver to immerse in the latest video games.

Which Direction VR Will Take Once Google I/O 2016 Kicks Off?

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Virtual reality is definitely the next big thing, but since the technology is in its nascent stages, it has not been adopted as well as it should have been. While HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have finally become available, Google is currently the king of affordable VR products thanks to its Google Cardboard. With the Cardboard blueprint being open source, there are hundreds of great VR headsets readily available in stores and online, all compatible with the ever-growing amount of apps and games on the Play Store. Now, Google is capitalizing on this with the rumored Android VR. Since the iPhone is currently lagging in terms of virtual reality, Android VR is the perfect opportunity for Google to capitalize on this effectively.

Chrome OS Fused With Android: Will We Finally See Such An Announcement?

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If you take a stroll down memory lane, it would completely strike you that Chromebooks were not the most powerful of machines and their low-cost, low-performance setup meant that they were mostly catered to users who wanted severe portability coupled with extended battery life and a notebook that went easy on their wallet. Fast forward to day, Chromebooks are becoming more and more powerful, with one such prime example being the Chromebook 13. Though more expensive than its affordable counterparts, Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Pixel have finally started building the stepping stones that will allow manufacturers to produce more and more powerful notebooks running Chrome OS.

However, one major gripe of Chromebooks is not just their limited internal flash storage, but Chrome OS itself as well. For the longest time, we have heard that Chrome OS and Android could be merged together to provide the ultimate platform for workaholics and those that require a machine that can sate their entertainment animal. Last year, when we got a glimpse of Pixel C, we finally saw that if Google can make the necessary amount of effort, an effective hybrid can actually be produced by them.

One of the things that we absolutely covet from Pixel C is the fact that its magnetic keyboard (it has to be purchased separately, which is a huge disappointment) can be positioned in any way, making it far superior compared to the kickstand approach that Microsoft and Apple have adopted for their Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro, respectively. Unfortunately, it does not make sense for a powerful tablet running Android to deliver a hybrid to the masses, and this is where Android + Chrome OS come into play.

If these are merged together, then this could lead to a unified operating system, allowing Google to tackle both the enterprise market and the mobile side of things.

Google ‘Chirp’

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Google introduced not one, but two Internet of Things platforms; Brillo and Weave during its I/O 2015 developer conference. Now, during Google I/O 2016, the tech giant could unveil Chirp, which would present itself as a direct competitor to Amazon’s Alexa. The rumor mill has stated that Chirp will be powered by Google’s excellent voice recognition software, and combined that with Google’s search engine as well as the Knowledge Graph that delivers answers as statements or images through Google Now, but instead voice them aloud, we could be looking at a terrific product in the making.

These are the 5 things that we expect to see during Google I/O 2016, but a more accurate statement would be that these are the 5 things that we want to see from the upcoming event. We are all hyped up over Google I/O 2016 and we bet you are too, but we want to know what are you excited about the most from the upcoming event? Let us know your thoughts in the polls below.

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