Friday, May 16, 2014

Google I/O Schedule

Well the time is almost here for the annual Google I/O Developer conference. Today Google put out the schedule on the I/O website. Take a look, there is some pretty interesting stuff on there for developers and designers. Typically with these schedules they put some blanks in to allow for them to cover some stuff in the keynote and have sessions for it afterwards, this year there does not seem to be any listed TBA sections. This could be that they aren't announcing anything that requires specific sections or it could just be that they have them unlisted, though this would probably cause problems for the devs who go and have their schedule planned out in advance. In my opinion the interesting things to note about the schedule are the overarching themes. First off there are numerous sessions on the design focus of applications this year, with a huge emphasis on designing across devices and platforms. I imagine this has implications for wearables (there are specific wearable sessions) but also for the use of cross platform web applications. It is interesting to note the number of cross platform web sessions as there have been reports that Google is working on "Project Hera" which would see HTML 5 apps running on Android that can pick up where you left off on your computer or tablet. The second key focus seems to be on speed, this is not surprising as Google has always focused on getting things done as quickly as possible, which is why you see how long your search took on the search page. This focus is great as many applications need to improve in this respect. Finally there is also a section on "What's new in Android" which indicates that we will see at least some new API's for the Android platform if not a full new release. I would bet that we see a release that is relatively minor (4.5) in June and probably a fuller revision in the fall that incorporates more of the rumours that have been floating around about larger redesigns of apps and the core functionality. 

It is also nice to see that they do not plan for another massive keynote this year, just 2 hours, which will hopefully keep it concise and to the point. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us this year, and maybe some new hardware though I would not bet on that for this I/O.