On Day 1 at Google I/O at the Shoreline Amphitheater at their Mountain View headquarters, Google celebrated a milestone of reaching 2 billion monthly active Android devices globally. At the event, Google showcased a number of ways they are working on to make Android more useful, including a beta release of Android O.
Android O, coming later this year aims to bring more fluid experiences to users, as well as improvements to areas of the phone called “vitals” like battery life and security.
With picture-in-picture, users can do two tasks simultaneously, like checking calendar while planning a party on a Duo video call.
Smart Text Selection will help improve copy and paste by using machine learning to recognise entities on the screen—like a complete address. Users can even bring up an app like Maps to help navigate to that address.
Under the hood, Android O aims to make the smartphone startup quicker and its apps faster, with added optimisations for developers to help prevent the battery from draining.
Android O will begin rolling out later this year, but developers can try the preview at android.com/beta now.
Google also aims to reach the next billions of users with a new initiative: Android Go.
Android Go is a new configuration of Android -- an initiative for entry-level Android devices. The goal of Android Go is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less of memory.
Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages. It focuses on three key areas: the Android OS, Google apps, and the Google Play Store.
It is an optimisation of the latest release of Android, starting with Android O, to run smoothly on entry-level devices.
It will also consist of specially designed Google apps—like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard—to use less memory, storage space and mobile data. There will also be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online, while still offering the entire app catalogue.
All three of these things will ship together, as a single entity, starting in 2018.
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Google also introduced Google Play Protect—a comprehensive set of security services for Android, providing new protections and better visibility into a device security.
Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep the device data and device safe.
Play Protect detects and removes apps that might be harmful. And with more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, Google’s machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks.
Also being launched is ‘Find My Device’ as part of Google Play Protect, allowing users to locate, ring, lock and erase their Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches.
Google Play Protect is available out-of-the-box on every Android device with Google Play.