Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Google IO2014 - We live in a world of apps

Google IO2014 just started about an hour and a half ago with the Keynote introduction.

They set up a nice page to watch live stream. So far I am not impressed about what Google plans to release. The only interesting thing I saw was the L platform, which I expect to materialize in a new Android release. The L platform will add a big UI improvement especially when it comes to graphics and animations and some interesting improvements in performance. Seems that in the Google is ready to switch to ART runtime so we should expect in the next Android release that ART runtime will be enabled by default. The performance graphs shown during Keynote presentation promise a big improvement compared to Dalvik runtime.

Another topic presented was about wearable smart watches. This didn't impressed me much. I have mixed feelings about smart watches. What they shown in presentation looks nice and cool but I can't image how a battery on such a small can last more then a few hours. Based on the feedback from colleagues who tried smart watches I'm not gonna rush to buy one yet.

Google also worked on an SDK for integrating your Android smartphone with your car computer. They shown a few features, like voice searching, turn by turn direction, message sending but nothing that impressed me.

Android TV was another topic that was presented during Keynote. Google apparently struck some deals with a few producers of smart TV's to produce the next generation of their TV's with Android on them. I'm curious if these deals will actually materialize or the major hardware producers will decide to implement their own solutions. So far Samsung has done this with their smart TV application and in my opinion this has not been a good experience for the users. I own such a smart TV and the "smart" part of lacks a lot of features and functionality.

Google Chromecast sounds promising but we'll see if it will catch momentum or it will be just another soon to be forgot tentative by Google to tap into the huge world of television. I have to admit that the price of 35$ is tempting enough to give it a try on my old Samsung Smart TV. Maybe with this little stick, I can actually use the smart part of my TV :)

Google Chromebook was another topic presented during the Keynote. I never really saw the benefit of owning a Google centered laptop with limited functionality. The features presented didn't impressed me enough to consider it as a possible acquisition for the future. I'm still going to stuck to my old and trusty laptop because it's allows me to run a much wider range of applications. Especially when it comes to development of applications, I don't see how a Chromebook could ever replace the laptop.

If I were to summarize in two words this year Google IO, those would be "Apps everywhere". On your smartphone, car, TV and laptop, Google wants to run their apps from Google Play. For every platforms they provide SDK trough which a developer has access to API's so it can create his own apps. Maybe it's just me, but apart from a few apps that I use on a regular basis on my smartphone, I haven't installed new ones in a long time.

We'll see if what future awaits...


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