Android M Developer M is available now
Android M was the headline announcement at Google I/O 2015, bringing with it a more personalised approach to app permissions. When the update is rolled out, expected some time in the autumn, users can now grant certain permissions and not others, with access to certain parts of your phone records only available when you attempt to use a function that requires it. This will stop app developers asking for blanket permissions that may be required for the app to run but not the particular areas you are using it for. Android M will also improve the user experience when clicking on links to the web or other apps.
A new platform to connect your smarter home
We were expecting a big Internet of Things section and weren’t disappointed, as Project Brillo and Weave were announced. Project Brillo is the streamlined OS that connected devices, such as those used in the home, will run on, while Weave is the system by which these devices will talk to one another.
Unlimited storage with Google Photos
The announcement of Google Photos caught the attention of the audience, with the live demonstration of the new service drawing gasps from the San Francisco audience. Google Photos automatically backs up your images and is advanced enough to sort your photos into albums, based on the people that are in them. It also syncs snaps from multiple devices in one place and allows you to pinch zoom in and out, racing from day-by-day photo listings to yearly photo listings, so if you want to look at a photo from 2001, instead of scrolling for ages, you can pinch zoom out, swipe quickly and pinch zoom in again. Storage will be unlimited and it’s available from today.
Play Store parental controls
The Google Play Store will become a more family friendly location now, thanks to the addition of the Family Star. This will highlight apps that are safe for children so parents can check apps at a glance. There will also be stricter controls on In App Purchases and age ratings for apps.
Schools can enjoy Cardboard ‘VR field trips’
The world of Google Cardboard hasn’t stood still either. Expeditions is a new service that syncs numerous Google Cardboard devices so a teacher can take students on a synchronised trip to Italy or the moon, purely through Cardboard. Jump is the other service launched, which is a collaboration with Go Pro to turn ordinary footage shot with a specialised camera into an immersive virtual reality experience.
The best of the rest
Other announcements included the Android Wear updates, with a live demonstration of the Always On apps, wrist-flick and emoji-drawing; the fact that Google’s self-driving cars have completed over a million incident-free miles; and Google Now also received stage time, debuting Now On Tap, a speedier and more intuitive way to answer query results.