The most interesting parts of Google I/O for developers

Google is currently hosting their Google I/O conference in San Francisco, and have just announced a whole range of improvements to Android and other Google products. In a seven-hour keynote (really? did they stop for drinks?) we got to hear about the new version of Android "M".

With more than 50 new products and initiatives, it can be hard to filter out the noise, so here are some of the announcements that have made us sit up and take notice so far: the ones which will have the most practical impact in the short-term.

  • - A new permissions system, apps will ask for permissions when they need them, instead of requesting all permissions when an app is installed or updated. Like on iOS.
  • - "Doze" should help battery life. It will automatically shut down apps in the background to save power. Like on iOS.
  • - Android Pay will let you pay for physical goods using NFC. Sounds similar to Apple Pay. Like on iOS.

Indeed it seems that over time, Android is becoming iOS and iOS is becoming Android. Rumours about what's coming in iOS9 include a new "Proactive" screen which sounds exactly like Google Now.

It's good for consumers - any "must have feature" in iOS is copied in the next version of Android, and vice versa.

There were some interesting improvements to Google Play too:

  • - You can run A/B tests for your app description and photos
  • - Cloud Test Lab - automatically test your app on hundreds of physical Android devices
  • - Customise your Developer page with text and images to match your brand

We're looking forward to getting our hands on the new tools!

Matt Mayer

Matt Mayer is a founder at ReignDesign. Matt is from the UK and was based in Shanghai for ten years. He is now living in Bangkok, Thailand.

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