We had the opportunity to attend Google I/O in San Francisco today. As usual the conference sold out in a matter of hours and is filling up Moscone West with 6500 attendees. 

So here are the takeaways from the keynote:

Android M  - for More usability – The next release of Android, M, is coming in Q3 2015. Google will focus on usability for the release, a good move as it has been pushing for new functionality in the L release. And usability is the #1 thing not working for Google when combatting Apple for the smartphone market shares. But usability for Google does not mean a new user interface – but a number of improvements. The major one is probably Android Pay, and Google is bringing capabilities back to older Android version. The fast loading will likely delight users, but needs apps and developers to uptake the capability, so the benefits will be out a little from today. Changing app permissions on the fly – not at install – is a good capability that makes users think about what and who they are giving access to. Android Wear has made good progress, too – Google is augmenting the platform with regular updates, which creates value for early users. With over 4k apps for Android watch Google has substantial counter weight vs the omnipresent Apple iWatch.
6 New Key Capabilities with Android M 

Brillo and Weave for IoT – Google wants to play (even more post Nest) in the IoT space, and both Brillo and Weave are key steps for that market. Brillo is a shrink down version of Android, as an OS for things, a smart move leveraging Android assets. Weave sets the communication protocol, and its beauty is that is dynamic in the declaration of the payload. Brillo is coming in Q3 of 2015 and Weave in Q4 of 2015, Google will publish updates and specs during the year so developers can start coding. 
Polymer 1.0 is coming (sorry super fuzzy)

GoogleNow changes paradigm – It used to be that a smartphone vendor would invoke the virtual assistant – but that action would be context free, maybe augmented by location. Google is changing this with GoogleNow on tap – fetching the context of the user to make better recommendations and take actions. Google has done well of doing this without being invasive to the apps, but making it a platform feature. Content can be fetched by #GoogleNow without apps exposing information. That maybe a security / PII issue – but as with any innovation, let’s look at the insights and gains in productivity first. Getting more data available makes always for better analytics. So a good move by Google that can have the most profound impact on the Future of Work.

Deep Neural Networks are GoogleNow's Magic Sauce


A good start to Google I/O – which was more Android centric than ever (or I can recall). In previous years we had search, the Chrome vs Android story, moonshot projects etc. – this year it was all about Android, and the Android developer to build more Android apps. That message came across and was well received by the audience, which is mostly… developers.

It’s good to see Google going a little more conservative and deliver ready[HM1] , e.g. all announcements were delivering in 2015. On the concern side I was surprised that Google Cloud Platform and the Google Apps were featured only shortly, they provide significant value to the Android ecosystem and developers.

But it is early from Google I/O 2015 – stay tuned.

More about Google:
  • 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 FlipboardAnd some 'notes' from Twitter: