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Google I/O 2015: A Bright Future for Mobile Developers

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Did you attend Google I/O 2015 or catch any of the live streamed sessions?


I managed to drag myself out of bed particularly early last Friday (2:30am AEST) to catch the Keynote live, which I thought had many great announcements for Android developers! I know some people complained about the large emphasis on Android and Mobile… but for us mobile developers it was fantastic!


And hey, like I wrote last year..  the mobile market is huge and will continue to grow rapidly over the next several years. If a giant like Google has put so much emphasis on Android at this years I/O conference (to the point that it annoyed some analysts), I think it adds validation to the importance of mobile and points to a bright future for mobile developers in general.


Want to watch session replays of Google I/O 2015?


The best place to watch the recording of the Keynote and catch up on the sessions that were streamed live is the Google Developers Youtube Channel. I’ve been catching up on several during my daily work commute this week.


If you develop using Android Studio or you target Android with a cross-platform SDK, you’ll want to check out the session highlighting all the new features of Android version ‘M’. In the What’s New in Android session linked below, they even hinted at revealing what candy / sweet name the ‘M’ release will stand for…. but they wouldn’t let the ‘cat out of the bag’. (Check out a back story discussion on the Android naming conventions in this AndroidPit article).



Sensors and Activity Recognition?


Today’s smart phones and tablets are packed full of powerful sensors like accelerometers, infrared, gyros, and GPS. This video from Marc Stogaitis introduces the new Activity Recognition API, that can be used to help detect what type of movement state the user is currently in. For example, it can detect if the user is currently walking, in a car, on a bicycle or still.


I can think of several use cases where this Activity Recognition API could be very powerful. For detailed information on the API, check out the documentation for the Activity Recognition API on the Google Developers site.


Although touch input is the pillar I/O for smart devices at the moment, I think we will see many cool apps over the next several years that take advantage of all the sensor power available on smart devices. For a great overview of sensors with Android, check out the Sensors Overview over at the Google Developers portal.


The Complete Android Developer Course – Build 21 Apps


The Man who Invented Driverless cars?


When the name Sebastian Thrun came across my view while looking at the Google I/O 2015 agenda, my ears (well… actually eyes) immediately perked up. When the term SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) is mentioned in engineering and robotics, the name Sebastian Thrun invariably also comes up. Not to be confused with the Slam characterised by Shaq tearing a basketball rim from its backboard… although that is a pretty cool SLAM also!


Graphic of Shaq and SLAM Path Planning Technique 700px


Sebastian Thrun, former professor at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford Universities, led the development of Stanley the 1st robotic vehicle to win the DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles in 2005. Probably best know for his development behind the Google Self Driving Car Project, the Google I/O 2015 agenda had Thrun giving a talk on Democratizing Education on Day 2. His talk gives an overview on the future of education and the announcement of a new Android Developer Nanodegree through his company Udacity. For a replay of the session check out the video below –



What parts of Google I/O 2015 did you think were great?


What did you think was missing or lacking from Google I/O 2015?


Feel free to leave us a comment or some feedback on your take on this years Google Developer event.

Also, check out the List of Top Dev Conferences for 2015 to schedule yourself in for the other major events for this year!



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