Google I/O 2016
Well, this year, there is no much great news. There are a few new product announced in the Keynote, but only new Firebase is immediately available.
Android N, Android VR, Daydream
VR has been a hot topic for a period of time. Now is it one step forward after Cardboard. A controller, and also higher hardware requirement for display. During the keynote, I just wondered, What? Is it just a WiiMote? Well, let’s see what it finally will be.
Android Apps on Chrome OS
It has been a long time since Google providing us the tools to pack the APK as Chome OS package. Now, finally, Google Play Store is on Chrome OS. In Greater China, application developers do not concern about large screen layout. Now, they will suffer. Chrome OS do have different screen size and resolution. Some of them have touch screen, some of them dont. In addition to making your app fits both screen size of phone and of tablet, please also take care with the input method.
And there is no DRM module under the Android runtime in Chrome OS.
Firebase now has a new product position, backend-as-a-service. Admob, Analytics, has moved from Google Play Services to Firebase. Although Firebase still rely on Google Play Services, it is clear that Firebase targets as building backend for mobile. So, perhaps Google Maps will be moved to Firebase also.
I started using Firebase since the I/O last year. It is very easy to use. However, the infrastructure seems still not fully integrated in Google’s global infrastructure. The servers are still in US and there was a noticible latency while the calls are from APAC.
I’ve taked to the Firebase team and hope this issue can be resolved.
Google announced new Google Cast SDK, so we do not have to spend too much effort on the UI or working with the CCL. However, the cast protocol is not updated. That means, even there are new 4K TV units supporting Google Cast, the resolution under Google Cast is still limited to 1080p. I hope this limitation can be removed soon.
Well, no great news at all. TV recording was planned in M.While XiaoMi is joining the Android TV market, what will be changed? Currently, the high-end Android TV unit (e.g. Nvidia Shield) is still expensive. Could Android TV become more common?
They gave some hints on making application using Nearby API this year. Nearby API could be useful, as there is limitation on Android Beam / NFC. While data is being transformed into sound, it help us to discover devices around us. Why not share our namecard by Nearby API?
Other than the Native Ad which is still in beta, AdMob’s Native Ad Express helps you to customize the Ad Unit with CSS. So the Ad would look like your app content. For those who want to do more customization in coding level, they could still request beta access of Native Ad.