We had the opportunity to attend Google’s I/O conference, the vendor’s premiere developer conference that has moved out of San Francisco back to Mountain View, to Shoreline Theater, an unusual venue, but Google did a very good job transforming the event space into a conference space. 

Google had over 20+ announcement – for the most important ones, checkout CEO Pichai’s blog here
So take a look:
No time to watch - read the one slide summary:
More time? Read on: Check out my First Take on the Day #1 keynote here, and below is what I thought are the Top 3 from an enterprise perspective:

Android N is the platform – Google is pushing forward its Android mobile OS with version N, which for the first time has no name yet. Android head Burke even offered to crowdsource the name of the next Android version. Google is shipping / delivering Android earlier to headset makers than ever, so there is a sense of urgency on Android at Google. We got briefed in detail on Android Studio, which is the IDE for 90+% of Android developers, the new version has a clear cut focus on efficiency, with faster build times, better UI design tools and improved test automation. Firebase is doing well as ecosystem management tool – both in the direction of test and monetization. But the key takeaways is that Android is doing well, it’s the platform for Google next Virtual Reality (VR) with Daydream as well as the vendors Augmented Reality (AR) ambitions with Tango. Android apps now run on Chrome OS devices, and new container based running applications that do not need to be installed, application ‘slicing’ regardless of app install and fast browser based execution are all differentiating capabilities for a mobile OS. For enterprises it means that Android is both a key platform for internal deployments as well as a platform customers will be using, so it is key to account for it in the mobile platform plans for the next 3-5 years (no surprise, but a confirmation).

Artificial Intelligence Everywhere – Google launched its general purpose software based assistant with Google assistant, leveraging the very good (it understands even me!) speech recognition of Google Now. Google showed some impressive longitudinal conversations that allowed follow up questions. And coupled with the more consumer centric Google Home device, Google assistant can be a powerful consumer solution. Both matter for enterprises who want to do business with consumers, as they need to build the applications that can communicate with the consumers / users. Google said it will ship the tools / frameworks to build these apps later in the year. With Facebook and Microsoft also launching chat / conversation based offerings, it is clear that enterprises who need and want exposure in conversations / chats need to look at the framework to build these apps. Unfortunately – similar to mobile platforms – enterprises will face a variety of different platforms to build chat / conversation apps with e.g. Facebook Messenger, Skype and WhatsApp – and now the new announced Google chat client Allo (and video conversation app Duo). In the backend this drives massive amounts of compute that can only be provided by the cloud, and that’s what all three players are angling for (and let’s not forget AWS here, too). Here a finishing keynote comment by Pichar in regards of Tensor Processing Units (TPUs - purpose built GPUs that run Google’s open sourced machine learning platform TensorFlow) was a little nugget of insight.

VR 2.0 is here with Daydream – but it takes two to Tango (pun intended) – Google spend a lot of time show casing and launching its VR offering with Daydream, that runs on Android N. Google choose the ‘Android’ approach by publishing spec for headsets and devices, limiting itself to the important controller. That differs from Facebook’s and Microsoft’s approach to AR / VR / Mixed Reality – so it will be interesting to follow the space. The graphic capabilities in the demos were a little pedestrian, but it is early days. On the AR side, Google Tango was shown in smaller meetings, it is Google’s AR offering. Why both are not presented together, at the same event is a mystery to me.


A good I/O conference for Google, more in the style of a Google I/O than the older editions of Google I/O – which today would be ‘Alphabet I/O’. Maybe that explains why we did not hear about Project Brillo / Weave. In the Home demo we briefly saw a Nest device powering a home down. It is good to see that Google is doing housekeeping and productivity moves for Android, it is clear the vendor wants to move Android to 2B users, an ambitious, but possible goal. Good to see also how Google is getting its AR / VR act together, that started with the cheap and cheerful Cardbox 2 years ago. It was always clear Google would not be able to stop here, but it is good to get going with Daydream. We are also positive that Google looks for cross company synergies around its Machine Learning and Predictive Capabilities that are powered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP). GCP was very little mentioned, maybe even too little, as all Android developers work with GCP – knowingly or not.

On the concern side Google is coming late to get users for conversations / chats with Allo – compared to the competition. But if Allo fails to attract users, Google always has Search, and if Search gets continued into a conversation in Allo / something Allo like, Google will get enough conversation starters from Search. The bot framework will be key sooner than later. It’s also early days for Daydream and Tango, both have to step up to compete with other offerings from Facebook and Microsoft.

Overall good progress by Google, which is more relevant for enterprises on the Android side than on the GCP side (for now). Both are inextricably linked for Google so enterprises better familiarize themselves with both. Determining if chat / conversation based apps are key for an enterprise needs to be a decision consumer facing enterprises need to take before the summer vacations start. Waiting out during summer may prove to be too late in fall. Speaking orders into devices is so ‘naturally human’ that it can take off, very very fast. Google is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. Stay tuned.

More about Google:
  • First Take - Google Google I/O 2016 - Day #1 Keynote - Enterprise Takeaways - read here
  • Event Preview - Google's Google I/O 2016 - read here
  • Event Report – Google Google Cloud Platform Next – Key Offerings for (some of) the enterprise - read here
  • First Take - Google Cloud Platform - Takeaways Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • News Analysis - Google launches Cloud Dataproc - read here
  • Musings - Google re-organizes - will it be about Alpha or Alphabet Soup? Read here
  • Event Report - Google I/O - Google wants developers to first & foremost build more Android apps - read here
  • First Take - Google I/O Day #1 Keynote - it is all about Android - read here
  • News Analysis - Google does it again (lower prices for Google Cloud Platform), enterprises take notice - read here
  • News Analyse - Google I/O Takeaways Value Propositions for the enterprise - read here 
  • Google gets serious about the cloud and it is different - read here
  • A tale of two clouds - Google and HP - read here
  • Why Google acquired Talaria - efficiency matters - read here

Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my Youtube channel here