Eight things to expect at Google I/O 2018


For a corporation as massive and sprawling as Google, an annual developer convention can really feel overwhelming. And, frankly, it’s. Google affords a dizzying variety of providers and dabbles in nearly each client tech business beneath the solar, not to point out the 7 billion-plus consumer core web merchandise it owns and operates. However the firm has a measured tempo when it comes to Google I/O, and we’ve come to perceive the way it prioritizes sure merchandise over others come Could yearly.

At this 12 months’s I/O, which will likely be held once more at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California beginning Tuesday, Could eighth, we all know we’ll be listening to about the way forward for Android and Google’s synthetic intelligence efforts. However there can even be information on every part from its new wearable platform, Put on OS, and Google Assistant to Android TV, Google Residence, Google Play, and Search. That is the time of the 12 months when Google pulls out all of the stops to showcase how its software program is smarter and extra forward-looking than the merchandise from its rivals Amazon, Apple, Fb, and Microsoft.

So right here’s what we are able to anticipate about the way forward for Google on show subsequent week.

Android P

Google I/O sometimes revolves across the newest model of Android, which this 12 months will likely be model P. Following final 12 months’s extra structural overhaul of Android with Oreo, which revamped notifications and streamlined how smartphones might be up to date sooner or later, Google’s newest strategy to cell software program is extra visible and targeted on interface design enhancements.

We’ve been enjoying with the first developer preview since early March, and we are able to already establish the massive traits. Android P is targeted on making room for the now pervasive show notch on full-screen smartphones, giving customers extra granular privateness settings, and unifying and simplifying the design language and value of menus, docks, and settings screens. There’s additionally a rumor Android P would possibly incorporate a few of Apple’s iPhone X gesture design. We’ll get much more information on Android P come Tuesday, when Google is anticipated to launch a second developer preview.

Synthetic Intelligence

Past Android, I/O is an occasion to stand up to velocity on all things synthetic intelligence at Google. CEO Sundar Pichai has for years been positioning AI as the key sauce to his firm’s future: software program that may see and perceive the world, establish objects, and parse pure language will assist practically each Google product enhance within the coming years. That course of has already began, with merchandise just like the voice- and text-based Google Assistant software program, Google Translate, and the article and picture recognition platform Google Lens. There’s additionally all of the methods Google’s AI efforts feed into different Alphabet companies, like London’s DeepMind analysis lab and the Waymo self-driving automobile unit.


That mentioned, I/O will likely be extra client and developer dealing with, so we must always expect to hear extra about merchandise like Google Lens, in addition to the corporate’s TensorFlow platform and its Tensor Processing Unit chips. These chips are the core of the corporate’s specifically designed AI coaching programs, and so they assist the corporate speed up the training course of for its neural networks. Additionally expect to hear numerous the identical grandiose predictions about AI that we heard onstage at Fb’s F8 developer convention final week, when executives additionally described AI as the way forward for Fb’s enterprise. After all, it’s no shock that Google and Fb compete for prime expertise, as each firms have rival AI analysis divisions that command a number of the highest salaries within the tech business.

Picture by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Google Assistant & Google Residence

Google Assistant and the Google Residence {hardware} household it primarily lives on are slated to be massive consumer-facing focuses for the corporate at this 12 months’s I/O. Assistant stays Google’s largest aggressive push in opposition to Amazon’s Alexa and, to a lesser extent, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. And whereas Assistant does stay on iOS and Android gadgets as an app and voice interface, it’s most readily helpful because the OS layer for any variety of sensible dwelling gadgets, beginning with Google’s sensible speaker household.

We should always expect to hear about some new options for Google Assistant, in addition to some new integrations for Google Residence. The corporate will doubtless save its {hardware} bulletins for the usual fall Pixel occasion, so don’t expect any new Google-branded merchandise. However contemplating Google has been aggressively increasing the supply of Google Residence merchandise and third-party developer help for Google Assistant, I/O ought to have some thrilling information on each fronts.

Google Images, Google Information, and Google Play

Whereas they aren’t essentially probably the most thrilling topics on the checklist, Google Images and Google Information, alongside the overall Play Retailer platform, are vastly standard merchandise that do at all times earn a point out or two throughout I/O yearly. Most notably, Google Images is dwelling to many of the characteristic enhancements and AI developments coming from Google Lens, so we’ll doubtless hear about how the corporate’s picture and object recognition software program is enhancing its picture storage app and serving to it floor fascinating insights and automate the creation of montages, GIFs, and different enjoyable short-form video content material.

AdAge additionally reported final week that Google is planning a revamp of its Information platform on each desktop and cell. That reportedly will embody the folding in of the Google Newsstand app into an new all-in-one Google Information cell app, together with extra video from YouTube and quicker load occasions courtesy of the corporate’s proprietary AMP format on all platforms. The brand new Google Information is anticipated to debut tomorrow at I/O in the course of the keynote. And, like normal, we must always get some new stats on the recognition of Android apps by way of the Play Retailer.


Google has been attempting to crack gaming for some time now, often by leveraging the ubiquity of Android and its success in the lounge with Chromecast to create some type of hybrid mobile-console answer. Sadly, it’s by no means fairly materialized. Which will change quickly, as Google seems to have so much cooking within the gaming division. First, there’s Yeti, the corporate’s yet-to-be-announced Chromecast-powered sport streaming service first reported again in February.

There’s additionally the corporate’s new social-gaming startup Arcade from tech entrepreneur Michael Sayman, now at Google after a high-profile stint as a younger 17-year-old worker of Fb, that appears to be taking cues from HQ Trivia. After which there’s Google Play Immediate, the Immediate Apps-powered service that lets Android telephones strive cell sport apps with a faucet by powering them via the cell browser like an internet sport. Any one in every of these tasks, or all of them, could also be on the agenda at I/O, so gaming followers ought to hold their eyes peeled.

Materials Design Refresh

Google’s once-lauded Materials Design philosophy — the muse of a overwhelming majority of the UI and UX of contemporary Android, Chrome, and cell app design — is now about 4 years previous. In order that’s most likely why we’ve been listening to a few “Materials Design Refresh” changing earlier documentation citing a “Materials Design 2.” Google is probably not planning a full-fledged sequel to Materials Design, but it surely’s clearly eager about how to replace its visible language for 2018, and we might hear extra about that I/O subsequent week.

Constructing the case for a brand new model of Materials Design is a refined change to Chrome tabs noticed final month alongside a new Materials Design doc on the Chromium website, rumors of a massive Chrome redesign in September with a deal with contact controls and ChromeOS advantages, and the big Gmail redesign that went stay final week. All indicators are pointing to a extra unified strategy to software program throughout Android, Chromebooks, desktop Chrome, and internet apps — and I/O can be the prime vacation spot to unveil that to the world.

Picture by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Put on OS

As well as to Android P, I/O is the time of the 12 months when Google holds a sort of state of the union on its wearable know-how platform, now referred to as Put on OS after a rebranding from the earlier Android Put on title. The brand new, inaugural Put on OS software program has been out in developer preview alongside Android P, and it’s introduced some much-needed enhancements to battery life together with a welcome darkish mode for the consumer interface to make trying at the watch at a look a lot simpler on the eyes. And simply this week, Google introduced a number of updates for Put on OS that convey extra Google Assistant options to the platform.

At I/O, Google will doubtless shed extra gentle on the primary Put on OS replace and launch a second and extra broadly out there developer preview (the primary was restricted to Huawei fashions). We’ll additionally hopefully get a greater concept of how Put on OS reimagines what sensible watch software program can do, notably round ideas like voice management with Google Assistant integrations.

Android TV & Android Auto

Developments relating to Google’s set-top field software program, Android TV, and its in-car infotainment product, Android Auto, have been comparatively quiet of late. However any information we get on these fronts will doubtless come at I/O this 12 months. Android TV has been round for just a few years, and final 12 months we noticed a redesigned dwelling display for the Android O model, however not a lot else. It’s additionally value mentioning a rumor that Google would possibly launch a brand new 4K Chromecast-like Android TV dongle that would come with the complete TV interface and presumably a distant, although that comes courtesy of photos included in an FCC submitting which have since been taken down.

As for Android Auto, that software program has additionally been round for just a few years, but it surely’s most lately added wi-fi help for Pixel and Nexus gadgets as of final month. Again in January, Google introduced that its Assistant software program would quickly energy voice features for Android Auto, so it’s doubtless I/O will mark the launch of that characteristic.




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