Google I/O 2016 Roundup: Assistant, Home, Daydream, Allo, Duo, Android N, and Android Wear 2.0

BY Evan Selleck

Published 18 May 2016

Google IO

Earlier today, Google officially held its keynote speech kicking off this year’s Google I/O developer conference.

There was a lot to unpack at the event, and Google didn’t waste much time getting into all of it. There is a brand new Assistant, which now encompasses almost all of Google’s products moving forward. Google Home, the competitor to Amazon Echo, which will not only put the new Assistant at your beck-and-call, but also all of Google’s prowess as well.

The company also announced its big push into virtual reality (VR), which they’re calling Daydream. With it, phones will have set physical specifications to make them Daydream-ready devices, there will be a standard headset, a controller, and much more. Google shared a few more details with Android N, the next iteration of its mobile operating system, and also showcased all of the new features coming to Android Wear 2.0. Plus a new focus on messaging and video calling.

So, here’s a quick break down:

Google Assistant

Google Assistant

    “In the demos that Google showed for Google Assistant at the opening keynote, the assistant was able to provide you with movies playing in nearby movie halls, pull up their reviews, and even book tickets for it. In another demo video, Google showed the Assistant being used in an Android Auto-compatible infotainment system inside a car to order curry.”

Google Home

Google Home

    “In the demo video shown by video, Google Home was used to check up on schedule, the traffic to office, checking up on whether the package has shipped or not, and even using it to directly cast something to the living room TV. Google Home will be launching later this year, but Google is already inviting third-party developers to come onboard and work with it.”



    “That started with smartphones, which need fast response times for displays, and advanced sensors for head tracking — attributes that need to be present in an Android-based device to be Daydream-ready. There is a new VR Mode in Android N to optimize it for VR, focusing on latency, performance, and more. Latency is under 20ms. There is a VR system notification support.”

Allo and Duo

Google Allo

    “The new app, which as mentioned above, is called Allo, and Google say it’s meant to not only make communications easier, but also make it even easier to express one’s self. With a feature called “Whisper/Shout,” you can actually change the size of your content to big or small — with a slider. The slider pops up after you’ve entered some text, and as you slide it down the text and emoji gets smaller, and sliding it up makes it bigger.”

Google Duo

“Duo proactively works a network’s quality multiple times a second, and will degrade smoothly if a connection worsens. And it will automatically switch to a better connection if one becomes available. Video and audio is streamed in high-definition as well.”

Android N

Android N Whats New

    “David Burke, VP of Engineering, Android at Google, announced at the Google I/O 2016 opening keynote that Google is welcoming recommendations from Android users for the final name of Android N. Burke noted that coming up with the final name of an Android release is the among the toughest thing the team has to do before every release.

    So, to make things easier this time around, the company is welcoming suggestions for Android N from users itself. If you have a name for the next version of Android that starts from N and is based on a dessert…”

Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear 2.0

    “Google is also opening Android Wear platform to other third-party music applications, so you can now stream music from Spotify right from your Android Wear smartwatch. Thanks to LTE support, Android Wear 2.0 also supports standalone apps that allows developers to create richer apps for the platform. It also makes Android Wear as a platform less reliant on a smartphone, as current Android Wear smartwatches essentially turn into a dumb watch once they are disconnected from the smartphone.”

Android N Instant Apps

    “In the demo shown by Google, an ‘instant’ version of Buzzfeed’s Android app opened when a URL was tapped. For Instant Apps to work, developers will have to break their app into multiple smaller parts that can start within a few seconds. Google says that all existing apps are supported by Instant Apps, with developers only having to work for a day to implement it in their apps.”

So, a busy day, then. Google announced quite a bit, most of which will have a pretty big impact on Android as a platform in the future. All of the products mentioned above, including Daydream, Allo, Duo, Android N, and Android Wear 2.0 will launch for customers in the fall.

What do you think of Google’s new announcements?