Google's 2016 I/O kicked off yesterday - with some interesting announcements including some that look to change the way we interact with apps and devices in our home, and hands.
Search continues to evolve and Google's ever-improving AI & machine learning capabilities are now becoming baked into many of their core products, resulting in a smarter online and offline world for users within these ecosystems.
1. Android Instant Apps
This allows you to use apps that you don't currently have on your phone, directly from search or any other area within your phone; it will only download the parts of the app you need and wonÛªt take up any space on your phone. From a PPC perspective this may have an impact on App Extensions as CTR rises may be caused with users more likely to download sections of apps knowing it can be removed once the task is complete; be it a conversion or checking the weather in Prague. It does requires devs to build apps into partitions so they can be downloaded in a modular way and if this is done across the board it might change the way users interact with apps forever.
2. Google Assistant
A combination of Google Search and a Chat Bot. Google Assistant allows you to ask all the questions you would of Google but goes deeper by allowing you to book tickets, look up cinema times etc - and it will be heavily focused on voice search. Google has showed with their Search app that their natural language understanding is far ahead of the competition and with bots the biggest talking point of the last few months, if anyone can push these into the mainstream and make them a mainstay, it's Google.
3. Google Home
With the introduction of Google Assistant, Google can now move into the home more than ever. Google's answer to the Amazon Echo has the potential to be the first true home assistant by utilising voice search as well as being able to sync to your smart appliances in your home. It would allow interactions such as communicating with your smart thermostat (Nest) by just asking it to adjust the temperature or by asking it who the actor is in the film you're watching on your Chromecast. With this technology becoming more established, it may well be the year of the home next year and finally not the year of mobile.
4. Allo & Duo
A standard messaging app but with Google's AI plugged in means you'll get incredibly smart suggested replies and help. If you're talking about going out for Chinese; Allo will recommend the best Chinese restaurants nearby without you having to leave the app. Another cool feature is 'Whisper Shout' that allows you to control the size of the text by dragging your finger up or down on the send button; another subtle little UI tweak that adds an extra level of usability. Will this end the use of CAPS? Probably not.
Duo is Google's answer to FaceTime and it offers the same video calling solution with a paired back, simple interface. It's standout feature is 'knock knock' which shows you a video preview of who's calling before you answer the call. This feature is only available for Android users however; which may limit the iOS uptake as this feature may have convinced Facetime users to make the switch.
5. Android Daydream
With the insane popularity of Google Cardboard; Google has now decided to explore VR for real with its Daydream VR platform. It is similar to other systems with a headset and controller and new Android phones will be Daydream-ready. The new Android OS (N) has been built from the ground up to support VR and has a separate VR section in the Google Play store for all your VR needs. The full VR ecosystem shows Google is serious about this technology and with Project Tango still being worked on in the background, this could be the combination that brings VR to the masses (dependent on pricing).
A lot of these features and products will be launching in the summer/fall so we will keep you updated on developments as we move closer towards launch and see the impact of these big changes from the big G.