#244 - Google I/O 2015 Recap & 30 Day Challenge

3 minute read

Motto: Darn.

Google I/O 2015 happened yesterday. I wrote in my last Column about my hopes to walk away from it without disappointment. Unfortunately, it didn't even take the whole keynote for me to realize that's exactly what I'd be doing. Maybe I built up the hype too much... or maybe Google just failed to deliver like they used to. The Top 5 speaks to my disappointment with the keynote.

Temporarily focusing on the positives - there were some good things announced:
  • Google Photos unlimited storage for any photo up to 16MP & video up to 1080p.
  • Android Pay is coming (eventually). It looks like a clone of Apple Pay; and that's not a bad thing.
  • Google Maps offline will eventually get business information & turn-by-turn navigation. This is huge boon for anyone travelling abroad.
  • Lots of goodies for people in developing countries. Not so great for me, but still a positive.
  • USB Type C will become the standard for all Android phones in the future.
  • Udacity is now offering an Android Developer Nanodegree. This is awesome news.
  • Google's Polymer and Android Studio development platforms have coming updates. 
That's the highlights from my notes. 

May's 30 Day Challenge was to "not be on your phone when spending time with your wife". According to Melissa, I showed a diminishing level of success throughout the month. Intentionally putting down my phone when she was talking didn't cause the world to explode (which was a risk I was taking).

June's 30 Day Challenge:
Eat out ONLY IF with friends.
Subsidary goal:

Try out "meal prepping", which is apparently a whole subculture of its own.

I'm going to leave it at that. 

Top 5: Disappointments from Google I/O
5. About one-third of the content "announced" at Google I/O was old news. The "new" Google Photos app is basically just the old Google+ Photos app, without the "+" and with a slightly updated interface. The "new" Android Wear 5.1 demo just showed off what most Android watches already do (not mine yet, but most others already have the update). They talked about Android Auto and Android TV, but didn't say a single new thing about it. There was 10 to 15 minutes dedicated to the history of Google Now before they got to its one new feature. Android M brings almost zero "sexy" new features. 
4. No new hardware. I know this is a
software developer's conference, but most people expected something new for developers to write software for. Chromecast 2. Nexus 5 (2015). Android Player 2.0. A "Nexus" head unit for Android Auto. Any of those would have been great.
No updates to Hangouts. Not even a mention of Hangouts. It is missing some fairly obvious features and is widely lamented by the Google fanboy community. We all hoped for an overhaul. I would have settled for a mention.
2. They tried to sell some pretty blatant lies. Google Photos is "an entirely new product"? The Nest smoke detector was "very successful"? Android TV has been a "great success"? If you tried to make those arguments in a group of nerds, you'd probably be the only one on your side.
1. Mostly, the lack of things that make an immediate difference in my life. Google Photos aside, everything announced at I/O won't be available for several months to come. I'll wait.

“I never thought I'd be so sad about a developer's keynote.”
- Me, to a coworker -