Google I/O 2015 & User Experience

Google I/O 2015 has just ended.  There are lots of aspects regarding to Google I/O.  Lets have a taste of it from the user experience perspective.

There are lots of features announced in Google I/O, and you may find a lot of focus have been around user experience this year.

First, for the pre-show, there were planets and a whale flying across multiple screens surrounding the keynote room, showcasing the latest advancement of VR and animations.  Below was the whale that someone recorded.

Next, here is the visualization of the Android mobile adoption.

This visualization is pretty impressive.  It uses the screen asset efficiently, it is easy to understand, and it shows a lot of key information in an elegant way.

As Dave Burke pointed out, “the central theme of M is improving the core user experience of Android.”  To name a few, Android M now provides simpler and more granular control for app permissions, better web experience, app links, and fingerprint support.

Before M, users have to allow all the permissions that an app requested in order to install the app.  I had a lot of issues with this approach in the past.

For example, I did wish to install Facebook app on my phone, and I did at one point.  To my dismay, the Facebook app immediately scanned through all my contacts and suggested friends to me from my contact list.  But hey, I do not wish to become a Facebook friend with my banker, please.  With the new app permissions, it is promising that I do not need to disclose my contact information to Facebook anymore if I have the Facebook app installed.

Google Now, other than showing you your traveling cards and parking cards, now drills into the user app to derive the current user context. Being able to retrieve contexts will not only allow Google to provide more relevant results, but more appropriate actions as well. Users will no longer need to switch to another app (such as the browser), look for some information, and get back to the previous app. Now they can simply go to Google Now and ask questions like “who is the author of this song,” and it will return back the results they need without losing context. This is a huge time savings for users.  Privacy is a potential concern for lots of people, but let us defer it to somewhere else.

IoT is certainly the next thing, and everyone is looking for a winner.  Google is doing the same and introduced Project Brillo and Eave as their step and direction towards this area.  With almost everything now moving to the cloud and become easily accessible, IoT development is easier than ever before.  This is the era of IoT, and it is part of user experience as well.  How can you call yourself having a great user experience when the user can not even pick and choose the device they like?

Last but not least, having Cardboard for education is such a great idea.  I now wish that I was born in this era and being able to experience and learn about geography, biology, chemistry classes in this new interactive way.

To close this off, here is me lying on a hammock and watching one of the completely packed sessions in the cafeteria.

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Did you go to Google I/O?  Please feel free to comment below if you have anything you would like to share.

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