Favorite Announcements from Google I/O 2017

Written by: on May 30, 2017

I’ve attended Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, for the last 4 years in a row. I/O 2017 was hands down the best of them all. The biggest reason for saying that is not because of the new products and features announced, but because we saw Google take big strides towards listening to and embracing the developer and user communities. This was apparent not only in the operation of the conference, but also in the direction Google is taking in many of its products, platforms, and services.

As both an Android developer and user of Google products and services, here’s an overview of some of my favorite announcements from Google I/O 2017.

    1. Kotlin Support – Android developers have been begging for an improved way to develop apps. Google has answered that call by announcing official support for the Kotlin language. Kotlin brings a modern, pragmatic, and concise approach to writing code, and will make for a more satisfying and efficient experience for developers.

 

    1. Android Architecture Components – For years, Google didn’t provide much guidance for complex app architecture beyond a collection of samples. This collection definitely didn’t voice a strong opinion about which type of architecture would be best for app development. Android now offers a collection of libraries that help you design robust, testable, and maintainable apps.

 

    1. Google Play Updates – Google Play has been (or will be) updated with lots of neat features, but my favorites are the new ways to track your app’s performance and the support for helping to secure release management.

 

    1. Google Lens – I recently had trouble remembering the name of a favorite restaurant of mine in Italy for a colleague who was going to visit there. The photos I took didn’t help to narrow it down. Google Lens will be able to help fill this gap by identifying data in photos that will recognize the restaurant.

 

    1. Google Home Improvements – I wasn’t interested in buying a Google Home after it was announced last year at I/O 2016, not even after it gained a few more skills through software updates. However, with the addition of hands-free calling & visual responses, my feelings have changed.

 

    1. Google Photos Sharing – My family and I are big fans and users of Google Photos since launch, but one pain point my wife and I have had is being able to share all the photos we take, regardless of which device it was taken on. My solution was to place my Google account on my wife’s phone so we have a central account for all photos. Google has finally solved this problem for me with the announcement of Shared Libraries.

 

  1. Instant Apps – The announcement of Instant Apps is nothing new, but the technology was not ready for all developers when it was originally announced. Google has finally opened access so that anyone can build and publish an instant app.

While many of the announcements Google made at their annual developer conference might not have been exciting to consumers and may not have wowed the press, they left my colleagues and I very excited.  I look forward to seeing the future Google is creating.

Onyx Mueller

Onyx Mueller

Onyx is the Director of Android at POSSIBLE Mobile, helping to shape the quality of apps we build. Onyx lives in Denver, CO where he spends much of his time with family & friends, drinking coffee, writing code, and listening to music. He loves to ride down mountains on either a snowboard or a bike.
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