Google I/O 2016 | CNET

Google I/O 2016

I/O 2016, Google's annual developer conference, starts with a bang on Wednesday, May 18. Android N and virtual reality are expected to be two of the big highlights, with plenty more on deck.

  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:58:26 PM
    "This year, the N dessert name is proving trickier than any of the others."
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:58:29 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:58:32 PM
    Yep, you'll get to pick what Android N is named.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 5:58:34 PM
    "Please don't call it Namey McNameFace," he jokes.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:58:43 PM
    Just go to that URL:
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:58:50 PM
    So, what's Android N all about?
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:58:56 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:59:02 PM
    First: performance.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 5:59:25 PM
    Android N has Vulkan so developers can take more direct control of a phone or tablet's graphics processor.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:59:30 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 5:59:53 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:00:07 PM
    There's a new Need for Speed game from Electronic Arts that looks pretty damn good. Lots of real-time reflections, graphics that look like they could have been pulled from a full console title.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:00:35 PM
    There's a new just-in-time (JIT) compiler that makes app installs 75% faster, according to Burke, and reduces their size by 50%. More space left on your phone, better battery life, less waiting.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:00:48 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:01:10 PM
    He's talking about a lot of wonky technical stuff, but really important for developers.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:01:23 PM
    Now he's talking about security.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:01:34 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:02:16 PM
    New security features in N include file-based encryption. Instead of just encrypting the whole drive, you can protect files individually. There's also a "media framework hardening" to reduce the number of ways Android can be attacked.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:02:35 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:03:22 PM
    Okay, this is awesome: seamless Android updates. Like Chromebooks, you won't need to download and painstakingly install a software update, wait for your phone to install it and reboot.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:03:27 PM
    Also, no more pesky "Android is updating..." dialog box! Crowd loves it.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:03:57 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:04:44 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:04:49 PM
    Now we're just getting an refresh on what Android does to protect you generically... tests every app, makes sure they use secure HTTPS for transmission, etc.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:05:18 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:05:24 PM
    Next, he's talking about productivity.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:06:07 PM
    New with N, it automatically closes apps you haven't used in awhile. There's also a "clear all" button at the top. "What we've learned from our user research is that 99% of the time, people only choose from the last seven."
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:06:29 PM
    Quick Switch allows you to switch to the previous app used just by double-tapping the recents button. "you can think of it like a simplified alt-tab."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:06:57 PM
    There are also new window modes: Split screen, and picture in picture.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:07:21 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:07:34 PM
    With split screen, you can, say, watch a cooking video while updating your shopping list in a note.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:07:36 PM
    Split-screen is for tablets and phones, says Burke. (That's a nuanced dig at Apple, who only offers it on tablets and phablets like the large iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus)
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:07:53 PM
    Now he's talking about notifications.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:07:56 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:08:17 PM
    You can now directly reply to a text from a notification shade, instead of firing up the texting app.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:08:22 PM
    "It turns out that today, over half the notifications in Android originate from messaging applications."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:08:43 PM
    You can also set your notification preferences by long-tapping a notification.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:08:49 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:08:50 PM
    "Now you're able to choose which application's notifications are important for you."
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:08:56 PM
    Also, new emoji!
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:09:15 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:09:37 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:09:52 PM
    Burke is a fan of avocado toast, we just learned. Here's to you, Burke.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:09:55 PM
    There are 72 new emojis, including better representations of working women. Very important.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:10:20 PM
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