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Google I/O 2016 Day 1 wrapped up a few hours ago and there were many exciting announcements from the tech giant. Here are the top 5 things announcements from this year’s Google I/O conference.

Google Home

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One of the most interesting announcements was a smart assistant for your home called Google Home. The new device relies on voice-recognition software to perform any command you give it, kinda like Amazon’s Echo, and we all know Google has some of the best voice-recognition software out there. Google Home is based on their new Assistant software and Chromecast, letting you push media to other compatible devices like speakers and screens through services such as Spotify, and letting you control the temperature through your Nest devices. It can be used by any member of your family in multiple devices across multiple rooms, providing a fully connected experience for your home. Its true full potential however will be revealed when Google opens the API for developers to create more content and services for Home.


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Apparently, Google loves competing with itself because we now have yet another messaging app available. The main focus of this new service called Allo is to show how Google’s smart recognition software works with practically everything. From predicting answers based on an image or sentence that you received to playing emoji games with the app itself, it’s all about having a smart, connected experience in your daily conversations. It has several interesting and gimmicky features too, and hopefully it will not cause a lot of confusion with Hangouts, Google+,Messaging and all the other messaging services Google already provides. More details about Allo and the controversy with the many messaging apps from Google are covered in this article.


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Google followed up its announcement of Allo with its video-chatting partner, Duo. Unlike Hangouts, where chat and video are both in one place, Duo and Allo work completely separate from each other. This allows for an extremely simple interface where you are received with a video feed of yourself before starting the call, but not only on your end. A feature called “knock-knock” allows the person you are calling to see you before even answering, providing, according to Google, a more natural video chatting experience.

Android N

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We already got a first look at the developer preview of next version of Android back in March, which featured multi-window support, new emojis and quick settings buttons. Today Google showed off several new features in the latest developer preview, including more control over notification size and actions, and a multitasking feature called picture-in-picture mode for Android TV. Android N will also perform a lot better with games thanks to a new API called “Vulcan”, which gives developers direct control over a phone’s GPU for better performance and graphics.

Android Wear 2.0

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Google made a much-needed update to Android Wear, allowing data from any app to show up on any watch face. Watches running the latest version of the OS will also need to rely a lot less on a smartphone and cellular connection, giving users more flexibility to use their Android Wear watch without having to carry around their phone, too. Automatic exercise recognition and better third-party syncing are also part of the package. Oh, and a keyboard, too, in which you can swipe and hope you hit the right keys on that tiny screen on your wrist.

What did you find most exciting on this first day of Google I/O, and what else do you hope to see in these last 2 days?


This article is part of our Google I/O ’16 coverage, to see more articles in this series, check here.

Kevin Nether