Google I/O 2015 came to a close on 29th May after two busy days of announcements, many of which came during the keynote address. Key announcements focused on Android M, Project Brillo (Google’s new operating system dedicated to the Internet of Things), and a number of new developer tools.
Android M: Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Products at Google, told Google I/O that with the new version of Android, the company has taken a “back to basics” approach, offering stability and a number of usability improvements from Android Lollipop. Key features of Android M include the simplification of app permissions, with permissions to be requested not at the point of installation but when the feature is used for the first time. Taking into account the way in which web content is being consumed, Google has developed Chrome Custom Tabs, enabling apps to open a customised Chrome window on top of an app that is active, rather than the user having to separately launch the Chrome app.
Project Brillo: Derived from Android, Brillo is stripped down in order to run on multiple devices yet not leave a large footprint. With the Brillo operating system, it will be possible to manage devices using a centralised console. Future users of Brillo need not think that stripping the system down to a basic level will mean any loss of essentials. Brillo has full Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth connectivity and comes with Weave, a common language used to allow devices to communicate with each other. The use of Weave means that any Android device will recognise and share the same setup process.
Other new developer tools announced during Google I/O 2015 include a large update of Android Studio. Version 1.3 has features that include a new memory profiler and faster Gradle build speeds. It will also have debugging support for C++. Another key announcement at the conference related to Cloud Test Lab, developed following the acquisition of Appurify, and allowing developers to upload an app and test it on 20 popular Android-enabled devices, without the developer having to do that work by themselves.