I/O is Google’s annual conference at which its leaders announce their latest developer products and services. The amount of new technology introduced this year was almost overwhelming. From mobile payments to the Internet of Things (IoT) to virtual reality, Google is integrating itself with the modern consumer experience in a myriad of ways. This week, we bring you some highlights from the event and what these new offerings could mean for your marketing efforts.
Among the vast amount of services the tech giant is rolling out, focus was primarily placed on updates to Android – making the user experience more integrated and seamless than ever before – as well as virtual reality and the Internet of Things.
One of the largest announcements at Google’s I/O was its expansion of Google Now, Now on Tap. The feature works by creating a mobile user experience that doesn’t require switching between applications to complete related tasks. Rather, users can make reservations, set reminders, and ask questions about the current content on their screen with just the tap of a button. Now on Tap uses contextual information to provide you with the set of tools you need through the web.
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Google is betting on virtual reality (VR) to be the next advancement in consumer experience, and it has several new ways that people can engage with the technology. Through Google Cardboard, Jump, and Expeditions, VR is going to be more accessible than ever. Jump – a device that uses a set of GoPro cameras to create homemade-VR videos – will be given to select developers later this year; the videos they create will then be available through YouTube.
Google has thrown its hat in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) ring. A new competitor to Apple’s HomeKit, Brillo is Google’s IoT operating system developed to make smart devices the hub operators of smart homes. Weave is the complementary IoT software that creates common codes between phones, devices, and the cloud. Both Brillo and Weave are expected to premiere in Q3 of this year.
You can now store unlimited high-quality photos on a cloud-based app, Google Photos, for free. The app sorts photos chronologically – similar to Apple’s Photos app – but can also sort by person, event, or location. Users don’t even need to tag the photos for these categories to be automatically created. Collages, animations, and movies can also be created directly in the app, with easy uploads to social media sites.
With all of the new products and services soon to be available from Google, advertisers and marketers have more opportunities to plug their products. Google’s Now on Tap could soon feature promoted services or retailers; Universal App Campaigns will allow advertisers to run placements through all Google applications, including YouTube; shopping ads will soon feature a buy button, where customers can purchase products without even having to swipe once.