The Google developers group of the University of Cape Coast, GDG-UCC Chapter organised an event dubbed “Google I/O extended” for those who could not have a glimpse of the GOOGLE I/O 2017 that took place in California on May 17 – 19, 2017.
This program was held on the 20th May, 2017 at the Sasakawa conference centre, University of Cape Coast. Young developers and technology enthusiasts were there in their numbers to grace the occasion.
What is Google I/O ?
Google I/O (simply I/O) is an annual developer conference held by Google in San Francisco, California. I/O showcases technical in-depth sessions focused on building web, mobile, and enterprise applications with Google and open sources such as Android, Chrome and Chrome OS, APIs, Google Web Toolkit, App Engine, and more. I/O was inaugurated in 2008, and is organized by the executive team. “I/O” stands for input/output, as well as the slogan “Innovation in the Open”
Speakers for the day were Benedict Hamlilton, Emmanuel Coffie and Obed Ademang. There were presentations on
- Internet of things
- What’s new in Android
- Google home assistant
- The announcement of Kotlin programming language
- Enhancing Creativity and Innovation
And round table code labs/demo’s on
- VR / Google Cardboard
- Google Cloud Platforms
- Firebase – simple/free/static web hosting.
These presentations were in line with some important announcement at the just ended GOOGLE I/O 2017. Furthermore Google has been holding its annual developer conference for ten years now, but I/O is no longer just a developer conference. It’s a place for Google to announce and show off some of its latest technologies, and talk about the future. At I/O 2017, Google announced new products powered by machine learning, some big improvements to Assistant and Google Home, and it offered up a glimpse of the future of Android in your car. Here are the five most important things announced at I/O.
Android O beta
The next version of Android moved one step closer to release at Google I/O this year. The beta for Android O was officially launched, which means you can quite easily play around with it as long as you’ve got one of the supported devices. Specifically, a Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, or Nexus 5X.
Google Home and Assistant
Google talked a lot about machine learning at I/O, and one of the places you see that most is in Assistant. Assistant on phones is also capable of using “actions” now. Assistant actions are the third-party services that you can switch over to from the standard Assistant controls. There are over 250 of them including Alarm.com, Logitech Harmony, and Samsung SmartThings. There’s even a directory of services available on the phone. That goes for both Android and iOS. Yes, there’s an Assistant app on iOS now.
There are a few features specific to Google Home as well. The device apparently has a latent Bluetooth radio that is being woken up, so you can beam audio to it as a Cast device or regular Bluetooth. Google Home can also place phone calls — just tell it who to call, and it does the rest. The person on the other end sees your regular mobile number, so they don’t even know you’re calling with Home. Lastly, Assistant will be able to offer proactive notifications about things that might be coming up on your schedule.
Google released Android Auto alongside Lollipop, and it has done little to improve the platform since then. Maybe that’s because Google is looking at a different way to get Android in the car. Google had two demos of the “Android Automotive” platform at I/O, which is much more ambitious than Android Auto.
In another example of Google’s machine learning prowess, CEO Sundar Pichai announced Google Lens during the keynote. This is a new type of visual search technology that can recognize objects and provide information and actions.
Google offered up a few demos of how Lens might be useful. In one, Lens was shown the label on the bottom of a Wi-Fi router. It correctly identified the SSID and password, then offered to log the phone into the network. In another, Lens was shown a restaurant storefront. It figured out what it was and offered reviews from Maps.
Programming languages are not particularly interesting, unless you happen to be a developer. And Google I/O is still technically a developer conference. So, Google got big cheers when it announced that the Kotlin programming language will be fully supported by Android.
Android’s primary language for developers has always been Java, but Kotlin can run on the Java Virtual Machine — it’s completely interoperable. It’s also a much more modern language that’s well-suited for application development with cleaner syntax, functional programming, and more. It’s often compared to Apple’s Swift programming language. Google had a number of demos that showed how a few lines of Kotlin code could replace dozens of lines in Java.
Key note by speakers that was also seen on the UCC Chapter’s twitter handle @gdgUCCchapter:
- If you have an idea, don’t wait a second, work on it now. #GOOGLEIO
- Now you can order pizza and a drone would bring it to you. #GOOGLEIO
- Even Uber is working on flying taxis. #GOOGLEIO
- Automation is real, your whole house can be automated. #GOOGLEIO
- Start a project where you can make use of google assistant. #GOOGLEIO
- You can even start your car with just a touch on your smart phone. #GOOGLEIO
Final words by GDG UCC CHAPTER LEADS
Nicola: I would glad if majority of us join GDG UCC Chapter since we accept everybody. We only require your passion to learn.
Evans Mastermind: Android’s primary language for developers has always been Java, but Kotlin can run on the Java Virtual Machine. What a wow. You know what? A few lines of Kotlin code could replace dozens of lines in Java. What out for GDG UCC Chapter
Adiza: I use Uber regularly. Today I heard Uber is working on flying taxis. Wow. #GOOGLEIO
Stanley: GDG has made me the tech guy I am today. One thing I know for sure is that when I get rich I won’t buy watches but rather own planes.
Foster: <script> Well they say I love codes…..but maybe it’s the other way round. </script> watch out more from GDG UCC Chapter.
Snow: My house would be 100% automated. I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from this event. What about you? #GOOGLEIO
MBA: #GOOGLEIO was just lit. Really loved the presentation on Google home & Assistant. GDG UCC Chapter is doing marvelous things. We are thinking of expanding our boundaries. Seniors High Schools within the region would taste a feel of us soon. The name remains MBA a #TechGuy #Techpreneur and Ghana’s first #Techblogger.