The dust has settled on Google I/O 2015. There has been plenty to dig into and we are likely to be picking through videos of the sessions and follow-up announcements and releases over the coming weeks.
Here are some initial thoughts about what has caught my attention from Google I/O this year.
Android M: Permissions
I have mixed feelings about this I/O announcement. On the one hand I like how permission changes become decopuled from app updates so the automatic update will hopefully flow more readily. There is also a strong case for giving more control to users who will no longer be forced into an ‘all or nothing’ scenario will app permissions.
On the other hand, I’m a little unhappy to see permission popups that are reminiscent of iOS. I’ve never liked the way the user interaction is interrupted on iOS to request permission to perform an action. I appreciate that the security popups are shown only once per permission, but it still feels a little annoying to me.
More details about Android M are found here: http://goo.gl/6gSiuL
Google Cloud Messaging
I was very pleased to see that GCM will become a cross-platform messaging solution. Having to juggle multiple messaging providers adds some complexity to back-ends which we have experienced recently on a few projects.
Also, topic based messaging is a welcome addition that I hope helps people offer more options for users to sign-up to only those messages that they find meaningful.
To read more about GCM, go here: https://goo.gl/XuF1hL
Although there are some concerns that content owners might harbour about Google having even greater access to their content, there is no doubt that search is a key part of bringing users to our apps - users are why we build apps in the first place.
Google’s cross platform commitment is also encouraging - it’s great to see them solve common problems for all mobile devs which is in contrast to others…
Further details can be found here: http://goo.gl/RUHHXq
Cloud Test Lab
There wasn’t enough information about this to know how much Google are giving developers as part of a free testing tier, however it’s very encouraging that they have contemplated some sort of free offering which integrates with the Google Play Alpha and Beta app channels.
I’m a little cautious about the wording on the Early Access sign-up form, which talks about ‘automatically scanning’, rather than actual test execution. Where Google can really impress, is by providing the custom testing at a reasonable price.
Let’s hope Cloud Test Lab turns out to be affordable, flexible and practical when launched later this year.
Keep up to date with Cloud Test Lab here: https://goo.gl/zmdKCa
There’s plenty more that I haven’t explored in enough detail yet…but certainly some positive evolutionary changes coming to Android.