Considering the opening remarks at the Google I/O keynote yesterday, it is clear that Google is focusing on mobility. SVP Sundar Pichai took the stage to share company’s plans for the next year and framed the two-hour presentation to address how Google is evolving its computing platform and mobile experience.
The mobile experience features announced revolved heavily around apps, Internet of Things and wearables. For the enterprise, the key announcements revolved around app permission enhancements, fingerprint authentication, Android Pay and battery life improvements.
To introduce these mobile and enterprise features, Google started off by introducing the Android M software release. The new release is designed to focus on the mobile user and the app development that fuels the mobile experience.
In Android M, app permissions will provide more granular control for users to choose what they want to share with their mobile device. Users will be prompted to approve a permission as the app needs to access the information, instead of when an app is downloaded. Users can also choose when they want to enforce permissions, or turn them off. These permission options include ability to control app access to your location, camera, microphone, contacts, calendar and more. Developers will also have the ability to easily modify permissions.
Android M will also include OS-level fingerprint scan support. For KitKat models and beyond, the upgraded security feature can be used to unlock a device, make purchases in Google PlayStore and process payment transactions through Android Pay.
With Android Pay, Android users can make purchases with the use of a fingerprint scan. Google has teamed up with over 700,000 retailers, banks and telecommunication companies in order to launch this comprehensive mobile wallet. Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Groupon and Orbitz are among the involved retailers Google shared in the presentation.
Thursday’s event also introduced a technoloy to help improve battery life. The feature is called “Doze” and is a mode setting that activates when the phone is stationary and not in use. While in Doze mode, mobile devices will slow down syncing and downloading cycles to help save battery energy. When made active again, the device will queue back up to the pace of the user. For the Nexus 9 tablet, Google says that Doze can save up to 50% more battery.
When presenting on IoT, topics touched on the smart home and smart car. Google announced that they are working with 35 different car manufacturer’s to help bring Android Auto to the market. For the smart home, Google announced Brillo and Weave. Weave serves as the language that sends a user’s request to lock a door, measure humidity or turn off a light. As defined by The Verge, Brillo serves as the operating system to Weave that enables communication for connected devices.
From this presentation, it’s clear that Google is looking to connect with the mobile user. It was apparent that a lot of thought is being put into how people are interacting with their devices and Google plans to deliver to both users and developers. With its origins as a search engine, Google is going to leverage this experience to improve connectivity and data, and enhance the Android, Chrome, YouTube and Maps experience.