We’re moments away from the Google I/O 2015 keynote, where Google is expected to unveil the next generation of Android, discuss the future of Android Wear and possibly provide a few updates on the exciting modular phone known as Project Ara. Who knows what else Google might have in store for us today? Since this is the company’s biggest event of the year and it’s I/O keynotes have been known to run for several hours, you can be sure there will be plenty of surprises on stage at the Moscone Center today.
We’re all set up at the event, and as you might expect, it’s completely packed with developers, Googlers and members of the press, who are all anxious to see what Google has in store for this year’s conference. The schedule for the developer talks has been published, but as is the case every year, the contents of the keynote remain a mystery.
Thankfully, we’ll be here to guide you through it all with a live blog and live streaming video from the event. Look for updates and photos from the event in our live blog throughout the keynote presentation, which is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT / 9:30 a.m. PDT.
And over 2 hours later, this conference is over. Check out http://BGR.com for all of our coverage of the individual announcements!
Project Loom, the balloons which can bring WiFi to hard-to-reach rural areas, is also coming along nicely.
Pichai says that Google’s Lexus self-driving cars have driven over 1 million miles without a single incident.
As for a platform to actually watch this VR stuff? Google calls it YouTube. YouTube will support Jump VR video this summer.
GoPro is going to sell its own Jump-ready 360 degree camera.
Plans to make your own VR rig will be available this summer.
Jump is a new project that lets users capture VR video.
“We want to put professional, previously impossible tools” in the hands of regular people.
More VR: Google is introducing Expeditions, which let teachers take their students on VR field trips.
The new Cardboard design fits phones as large as 6 inches, the button actually works and only requires 3 steps to put together. The SDK will also support iOS for the first time.
More than 1 million Google Cardboard users in the world.
How can Google bring the real world to users in a more immersive way? Looks like we’re moving into VR.
Sundar Pichai is back on stage to talk about “the future of computing.”
Parents are going to have a much easier time finding apps for their kids and keeping kids out of apps that they shouldn’t be accessing.
Google is introducing a “family star” to put next to apps that are appropriate for the whole family.
Basic search results (like “recipes”) are now grouped into sections so that users will see more apps and find the apps they’re actually interested in more easily.
50 billion installs in the past 12 months and 1 billion active users. Phew.
Ellie Powers is going to talk to developers about new ways that users can discover their apps on Google Play.
Developers are also going to get their own Google Play homepages to display information about their company and all of their apps.
Google developers are going to be able to see how many users install their apps and how many spend money within the apps.
We’re getting into the real nitty gritty developer stuff now.
Jason Titus is going to talk about how developers can develop, engage and earn with their apps.
Offline Maps will allow users to use turn by turn directions and search even when offline. That’ll be available “later this year.”
Google has also trained business owners and entrepreneurs how to put their businesses on Google Maps.
Google just launched YouTube Offline in certain regions to give users the ability to save videos for later access.
Offline support will also let users save webpages for offline access.
Lite search results pages have helped, but haven’t alleviated the problem entirely. That’s why Google is rolling out optimized pages that load 4x faster and use 80% fewer bytes.
Connectivity challenges and data costs make Internet access extremely difficult in certain parts of the world.
Millions of students are using Chromebooks, and they’re getting cheaper all the time.
Google hopes that Android One devices will continue to allow the Android ecosystem to reach a larger user base.
Jen Fitzpatrick has taken the stage to discuss future smartphone users.
Ah, but Google Photos will be launching today. Watch that link below in the coming hours. Will be available for Android, iOS and Web.
That’s a pretty good deal. Up to 16MP photos and 1080p videos too.
Google Photos will allow users to backup and store an unlimited amount of photos and videos for free.
Hold and drag to select multiple photos at once, rather than having to tap on each and every one.
You can edit photos individually or choose several in order to create movies, collages and more.
Google Photos will automatically organize photos based on the people, places and things within the photos. Google assures us that it’s totally private.
Google Photos is Google’s new home for photos and videos that will help you keep everything organized.
Photos up next.
Google Now will automatically understand the context of your texts, which is both exciting and terrifying.
From within a text, you can see restaurant ratings and add reminders to your calendar with just a tap-and-hold of the home button.
This feature is called “Now on Tap.”
While listening to a song in Pandora, you can ask “What is his real name?” and Google Now will understand you’re asking about the artist in Pandora.
Google has started a pilot program that will allow apps to connect to Google Now: Pandora on the commute, reorder groceries you’ve ordered before, etc.
Google Now understands the context of your question and provides the answer you’re actually looking for.
Aparna Chennapragada has taken the stage to talk about the future of Google Now.
“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and usable.”
Weave is the communications layer that lets IoT devices talk to each other, the cloud and your phone.
Brillo is derived from Android, has minimal system requirements, broad silicon support and is easy to keep secure.
Google just announced Project Brillo, the underlying operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT).
And now we’re going to talk about smart microwaves. Buckle up!
“If you can dream it, you can build it” on Android Wear. There are already over 4,000 apps on the platform.
Apps that will be better on the updated Android Wear: Foursquare, Citymapper, Uber, Golf Swing Analyzer, Shazam.
Always on functionality is huge, and necessary for a smartwatch, but man, those wrist gestures…
There have been many worthwhile improvements to the Android Wear ecosystem since it launched, but how does Google plan to make us actually buy a smartwatch?
Now we’re moving into the Android Wear segment of the presentation.
Simplified volume controls, too. Android M looks like it’s going to include a lot of the little additions to make Android easier to use.
Easier word selection and a clipboard toolbar for editing text in Android M.
Oh thank goodness, reversible USB Type-C charging.
Nexus 9 standby battery life up to 2x longer with Doze, according to Google.
Android M will introduce a new feature called Doze, which will kill off background activity when the phone isn’t being used. It’ll still trigger alarms, but it’ll also use up less battery.
You can use the fingerprint sensor with Android Pay in the final release of Android M.
Android Pay will be available at over 700 retail locations, and will be usable within apps as well.
Android Pay is real, and it sounds kind of similar to Apple Pay.
In Android M, developers will be able to create verified links which will automatically send users to the correct app, rather than having to ask them where they want to open the link.
Chrome Custom Tabs are going to be one of the highlights of the update in terms of how Android users access the Internet.
Next up is the web experience on Android.
Burke starts with one of our personal favorite features of the new software: individual app permissions.
Moving on: time for the Android M Developer Preview.
And surprise: HBO NOW is coming to Android.
Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV – we’ll be hearing updates from all three initiatives today.
Starting with a discussion of Android.
Looks like we’re getting started now, just a few minutes behind schedule.
We’re seated and ready for the presentation to begin.