Impressions of Google I/O 2015

What was interesting about the Keynote:

  • Brillo: the OS for the IoT… but but but, there were no talks about it, almost no information about it, nothing.
  • Android Studio with C++ support: Finally🙂 The NDK really needs love, and having an IDE that supports it is great. Hey, even Microsoft is supporting the NDK now in VS2015.
  • Photos is decoupled from Google+ with free unlimited storage: This is great. I’ve been using Picasa since day one and I never used Google+ to store my photos. So basically Photos is the same as Picasa, but with unlimited storage.
  • Offline maps: Yeah
  • Chrome Custom Tabs: Interesting alternative to present 3rd party views with the benefits of both the web and native worlds.

What was not-that-interesting about the Keynote:

  • The rest.

I don’t care if Android has better permissions or not (yeah, the old permissions-model sucked, but I don’t find that news interesting). The Family section for Google Play is good, but not interesting. Android Pay, meh. etc.

One thing that I liked, but was not announced on the Keynote, was Project Jacquard. They are using conductive threads and other stuff to create “smart” cloths. Something that Adafruit and Sparkfun have been doing for a while, BTW.

In general, I don’t find that interesting what is happening on the mobile phone space. Bigger phones? Meh. Lighter and thinner phones? Meh. Better camera? Meh. Faster phones? Meh. New API to do XXX and YYY? Meh.

But what I do find interesting is what is happening with IoT, micro-controllers, 3d printers, the maker movement, etc.

And regarding watches, my take on them is: I don’t like to get interrupted. And the watch interrupts you all the time with the notifications. But if you turn them off the watch is not very useful. So you have to configure which notifications are important… and that is something very difficult to do, at least today. Ah… and don’t forget to charge it every single day. And this is true both for Apple Watch and Android Wear.

One thing that I didn’t like too much about Google I/O is that the talks were kind of shallow. They didn’t enter into technical details. I went to the “What’s new in Android Studio” because I wanted to learn more about NDK support, and the speaker spent no more than 10 minutes talking NDK support. How can I import an NDK project into Android Studio? What are the limitations? Does it support all the CLion features? How can I view Java functions in the stack trace? I still don’t know.  The talks were too light for me. But to be fair, it kind of make sense since Google is doing so many things, that having detailed technical talks about all its technologies could be impossible to do.

Let’s see what Apple announces next week. But I do have really low expectations…

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