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Google I/O 2015 news and highlights

Update: Day Two updates

Google I/O, the most important developer conference for the world's largest mobile platform is taking place on May 28th and 29th in San Francisco, setting the stage for Android in 2015. Apart from the Android Marshmallow preview, there has been plenty of great new stuff revealed at I/O already. AndroidPIT is there to bring you all the latest Google I/O 2015 news.

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Google I/O 2015 will set the stage for Android in the year to come. / © ANDROIDPIT

We're here!

AndroidPIT is in San Francisco for Google I/O 2015 and we’re set to bring you all the latest until things wrap up on Friday afternoon. You might have caught the keynote, but if you didn’t, take a look at our Google I/O 2015 keynote live blog or our wrap up of what's new in the Android Marshmallow developer preview. But what else is going down at I/O 2015? 

Get the Google I/O 2015 app

The Google I/O 2015 app is available in the Google Play Store, which you can download via the link below. Even if you're not attending I/O yourself, you can still get the Google I/O 2015 app and get up to speed with what will be covered, including live streams of key moments. There are also I/O Extended events around the globe and the #io15 hashtag.

Google I/O 2016 Install on Google Play
AndroidPIT Google IO interior watermarked
We poked our nose in and found Google putting the finishing touches on the I/O venue. / © ANDROIDPIT

What is Google I/O 2015?

Google I/O brings together the world's best Android developers and showcases the very best of what comes next for Android. It's a huge geek fest but it has massive ramifications for the rest of us too, giving us our first glimpses of what will be making its way onto our smartphones in the months to come.

We were at Google I/O 2014 and it was a doozy. Not only did the event introduce Android 5.0 Lollipop and Material Design, it also saw the Android L preview build dished out to the assembled devs (which then instantly made its way onto all of our Nexus 5's as well). The same has been true of the Android Marshmallow preview at I/O 2015.

Google I/O 2015: Android Marshmallow preview

As expected, the Android Marshmallow developer preview arrived at I/O, with a planned release date for the full software in Q3, 2015.

The Android Marshmallow developer preview is intended mainly to help developers begin updating their apps, and assist Google in identifying any bugs, but anyone can grab the firmware and flash the preview on their Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Nexus Player to get a first look at the new OS. 

If you want to try it yourself, just follow our how to get the Android Marshmallow developer preview guide. If you want to learn more about the software, head to our dedicated Android Marshmallow news and features article. 

project ara dock
Could we see the near final versions of Project Ara handed out to attendees? / © ANDROIDPIT

Google I/O 2015: Project Ara

The modular smartphone project now has its own developer conference and we have already been filled in on what comes next for Project Ara, but Ara still made a cameo appearance during Google's Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) session. The audience watched as a functioning unit was assembled, booted up and live-detected a missing camera module on the fly. Very impressive. 

Google I/O 2015: The future of Material Design

Matias Duarte, Google's Vice President of Design, provided an update on the what's to come in Material Design, Google's design language introduced in Android L at Google I/O 2014.  “You asked, we listened,” was the message: read our full Material Design update article for more on that. 

AndroidPIT LG G Watch R 10
We're anticipating some big improvements to Android Wear this year. / © ANDROIDPIT

Google I/O 2015: Android Wear

This is one of the areas Google really should have focused on at this year's I/O, but at this point all we've seen is a bit of a recap of recent Android Wear updates with very little new stuff to report. Google did announce some new apps launching for Wear in the coming months, including Uber, FourSquare and City Mapper. Apps like Uber will be actionable with Ok Google voice commands too.

So why nothing new? Android Wear is still a very young platform, but with the Apple Watch now out and several Android partners already developing (or open to developing) their own wearable platform to make up for Google's failure to improve Wear fast enough, this really needs to be on Google's radar for 2015. If not at I/O then sometime very soon.

The recap Google covered included Wi-Fi support for Wear watches, wrist-flick gestures for scrolling through the stream of cards and a new interface with quick access to apps, contacts and settings. There was no mention of the rumored speaker support or of iOS support for Android Wear. Catch up on all the latest in our Android Wear update summary.

AndroidPIT Google I O 2015 Google Photos free unlimited storage
This was the biggest news about the new Google Photos. / © ANDROIDPIT

Google I/O 2015: Google Photos

We all know that Google+ is circling the drain, with plans afoot to strip out various elements of the social platform and leave the skeleton to rot. The first step in this process is the launch of Google's own photo sharing and storage service: Google Photos, which is available right now.

Google Photos offers unlimited free storage of up to 16 MP photos and 1080p video, with compressed file storage and a complete overview always available and access to your entire library at your fingertips, all without storing anything on your phone. Google Photos is also very impressive with Search - allowing you to search for photos of people, places or things, all without ever having to tag anything.

You can read more about the Google Photos update at the link.

AndroidPIT Google I O 2015 Android Pay partners
Android Pay already has a lot of support. / © ANDROIDPIT

Google I/O 2015: Android Pay

Google's answer to Apple Pay has been announced and it is called Android Pay. The Android touch payment service will work on any Android device with NFC and is backwards compatible to Android 4.4 KitKat. Devices running Android Marshmallow and newer, however, will support fingerprint recognition for authorizing payments, both in the Play Store and online, but also in real-life situations. 

Google I/O 2015: Android fingerprint recognition

Android Marshmallow has also introduced a new standardized fingerprint recognition feature, replacing the need for third-party solutions. Fingerprints recognition will be used to unlock devices running Android Marshmallow and above, but also for authorizing payments via Apple Pay. 

There's more details on Chrome, Google Now and Google Photos on Android Marshmallow in our Android Marshmallow roundup, so go check that out if you haven't already.

android auto
Android Auto will surely be center-stage at Google I/O 2015. / © Android

Google I/O 2015: Android Auto

Android Auto didn't get as much airplay on stage in the keynote as we might have expected, having had the major news released in an announcement made just before I/O. The Hyundai Sonata will become the first production vehicle to arrive with Android Auto on board.

Google's self-driving car is at I/O and will soon be driving around Mountain View. Unfortunately there was no unveiling of Android Auto as a stand-alone OS, rather than a streamed interface from your phone but stay tuned.

Google I/O 2015: Virtual Reality

Google Cardboard was a quirky little offering that surprised everyone at last year's I/O. The do-it-yourself VR helmet turned any smartphone into a low-budget virtual reality interface. With several key Google personnel recently shifting departments to the unit responsible for Google Cardboard, we weren't surprised to see a new version of Cardboard (that can accommodate devices with displays up to six inches) revealed.

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The new Google Cardboard, supporting six-inch devices. / © ANDROIDPIT

Alongside the improved Cardboard, Google also announced a new VR feature for Cardboard called Expeditions, which allows teachers to take students on a field trip to anywhere, all from the comfort of the classroom.

Finally, a new stereoscopic VR camera rig called Jump was announced for release in summer, which uses 16 cameras in a circular configuration to capture stereoscopic footage of environments. GoPro is partnering with Google to make a Jump camera rig, but anyone with the desire can make their own - with any cameras they choose - in order to create Jump content, which will be playable in YouTube later this summer.

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It's about time for some more news on Project Tango. / © Google

Google I/O 2015: Project Tango

The context-sensitive tablet that has an almost-human spatial perception was shown off in prototypes in the middle of last year by Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP). Since then though, when the prototypes were distributed to developers, Project Tango has kind of been silent.

Project Tango is clearly not ready for prime-time just yet, so we wouldn't expect any huge news at I/O, but, like Ara, we expect it to be there in some form. There is an ATAP session planned that promises to ''blow your socks off,'' so we can't wait to find out what that is.

Google I/O 2015: Chromecast 2

The Chromecast was one of the surprise hits of recent times. The unassuming little dongle simply plugs into your TV and allows you to remotely cast content from your phone or tablet to your big screen. Simple enough, but deceptively impressive.

Even though nothing was mentioned in the keynote, of all the possible new devices that might appear at I/O, the Chromecast 2 is the most likely. Just don't hold your breath.

apple watch vs moto 360
Which Android Wear smartwatches will tackle the Apple Watch? / © Apple, Motorola, ANDROIDPIT

Google I/O 2015: No new smartwatches

At Google I/O 2014, not one but three new smartwatches were unveiled: the long-awaited Moto 360, the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear. The latter two were Google projects, designed to showcase Android Wear in its first stages.

Despite anticipating our first glimpse of the Moto 360 2nd generation, there were no new Android Wear device announcements at I/O. We'll keep our eyes peeled in the days to come and let you know if we see anything interesting adorning a Googlers arm.

Google I/O 2015: The Nexus is a no-show

We previously let you know that the 2015 Nexus offer was on the table at LG and now it looks like the answer to that question was ''yes,'' with new AOSP logs showing both an LG-made Nexus and a Huawei-made Nexus in the works.

This will be the first time that Google has delivered two Nexus smartphones in a year. The downside of this is that there's apparently no Nexus tablet for 2015. Nevertheless, we don't expect to see any of the new Nexuses, or have any questions about them, answered at I/O. 

We expect Google to have put a lot of effort into Nest and the Smart Home as well. / © Nest

Google I/O 2015: Android Home

Android Home didn't get much airtime in the keynote, besides a short mention of Nest, which was a little bit of a surprise. Google has been trying to get Android into your home – or more specifically your lounge room – for as long as we can remember.

Smart homes, entertainment and connected devices in the Internet of Things will be a high priority for Google in 2015 as well, but we'll have to wait a little longer for some major news around Android Home.

Google I/O 2015: Project Fi

Google recently became a carrier itself, through the launch of its meta-carrier Project Fi. Project Fi basically lets customers switch between the best signal - regardless of network - depending on their location, as well as utilize free Wi-Fi hotspots wherever possible, essentially providing a ''best of all worlds'' carrier service. 

Currently still restricted to the Nexus 6 in the US, we're hoping to hear a little more about Project Fi at some point during I/O 2015.

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How far will Google have pushed Android TV in the last year? / © ANDROIDPIT

Google I/O 2015: Android TV

Last but not least, Android TV – Google's latest attempt to get into your lounge room – will surely share some of the limelight, but it also didn't really make it into the keynote. There's already a bunch of new Smart TVs, the Nexus Player is out in key markets and in the years to come we'll all be upgrading our existing boob tubes to those with Android TV built in. We're positive Android TV will be in the I/O lineup this year.

Will you be at Google I/O? What are you expecting to see this year?


Write new comment:
  • Hi, Good to know that Google introduced its new version Android marshmallow and soon looking forward to use it my own device. Can we expect Google modular phone also..

  • Nasreen Jun 6, 2015 Link to comment

    Please check out my video on this year's Google IO . . .

  • Why do these look so much like with iOS ....Two guys really happy learn from each other, this year Android phones please search kingsbuying

  • So to be clear: no new devices have been announced? I would have been pissed if this was the year I attended in person lol.

  • Greg1100 May 28, 2015 Link to comment

    When a phone update screws up a good working phone, we should just return the now junk phone to carriers for a replacement.
    The carriers expense may make them have a go at Google to get their act together.

    • Or you can just downgrade your phone back to the version you like...

      • Greg1100 May 29, 2015 Link to comment

        @Moni Mihailov,
        My Note 4 is only 3 months old, and still on KK 4.4.4. it will stay on 4.4.4 till 5.1 is working as it should have been before release. I hope google doesn't leapfrog lollipop5 to go to M on the Note 4. That will probably be like the S3 missing out 4.2.2 to go straight to 4.3.
        And we all know what a complete and utter cockup that was.
        I will root it later and go to lollipop via a different rom.

  • I up dated to the lollipop. I hate it I want to go back to the old program. If I can't get back I will find a new carrier with a program I can work with. This program is like going back 10 years in cell phone use,

  • Hi there, i'm new to all this website comment stuff and not the most advanced android user - I have an HTC One (m7), which has a great design, the camera I find fine, I use nova launcher instead of Sense. I also have an apple ipad4 at home but really enjoy the android phone, the better specs and the flexibility it offers. I know i'm going to cop some flak for saying this - i like the ipad (its a bit dull in design, speakers hopeless, keyboards are crap, just starting to feel a little slow) as a consumption device AND it runs the most recent update vs my HTC One which only just got lollipop (last weekend) and it looks like any further updates are a pipe dream.
    So my question is (which has most likely been asked/answered before somewhere, but i haven't found it) - why didn't Google think far enough ahead (or start considering, it would cause a bit of grief) so that every phone gets stock android, with the manufacturers (if they want) do their Sense, TouchWiz UI skin as an app/launcher over top, so that everyone gets the most current android version their phone can (which would have far better uptake than current rates i have seen lately) and much less fragmentation.
    My apologies for being a bit long winded.

    • 8
      Yanwyn May 17, 2015 Link to comment

      That's a fair enough question Greg. I'm no whizz bang wonder with all this tech stuff, but I would guess that the updated version of Android is released with the manufacturer's skin woven into the update. Therefore it cannot be issued separately. Hope that was helpful. I'd prefer Android was just Android, free of other's additives including Google's.

    • Google already do something to fixing fragmentation on Android.
      On old day, Google apps embed with Android and the only ways to update Google apps is update the Android version, but later Google put the Google Apps in Play store so you can update it without update your android version.
      Google separating Android to some apps and services like google play services, android webview, google keyboard etc.
      All separated apps and services from android can be updated from play store, so Google can updating android faster without waiting manufacturers (Samsung,HTC,LG etc) build they Android version for every phone they create.

    • Greg1100 May 24, 2015 Link to comment

      As Apple does, and now Windows 10. One OS, with updates going to ALL devices- if wanted. Your choice.
      Buy the phone with stock android out of the box- with UI's being downloaded if required. Same with phone operators- download ATT+ T, or O2 junk IF required.
      One stock system, with extras being downloaded as required--updates, junk, bloatware. etc

      • Greg 1100, that is more what I am talking about. Better uptake and less fragmentation with more people enjoying the benefits of the OS updates.

      • Greg1100 May 29, 2015 Link to comment

        @Greg Moffat,
        Sorry Greg, didn't see your post till after I posted mine. Different people, same thought.
        I have had a crapple iphone 4, got a Windows 820 Lumia( not bad), but dislike the way google is going. How can they bring out M, when they haven't or won't sort out lollipop.
        As long as a different rom will be able to use S Pen, I will root my Note 4 .

  • Greg1100 May 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Why doesn't Google get one operating system right before blundering on to the next.
    I refer to obviously Lollipop. My new in Feb 2015 UK Note 4 is still riding on KK 4.4.4. There is an update ready to be downloaded apparently, but that is 5.0. And I won't let that on phone until all the bugs have been sorted.

    Where is 5.01, 5.02 and 5.1 ??

    That is the only good thing about IOS- at least all the crapple phones will get an update within a few days of announcement. One can wait months for a google update, then more months while carriers pile in their crud

    • 8
      Yanwyn May 14, 2015 Link to comment

      Greg1100 is absolutely right with what he says! Google are not handling Android very well at all, and I think Android deserves better! And so do us Android supporters.

    • Android M will include all the fixes that Lollipop needs plus adding new features on the side. Its meerly just an extension for Lollipop. As for your Note 4, that's all down to Samsung. They will have the AOSP for 5.1.1 but obviously fail to deliver it quickly due to their own bugs they have to fix and the crap they put into it. Best thing is to buy a Nexus or Motorola. Stock android will always get updates first because it comes direct from Google. I believe the Nexus 4 is the oldest phone running Lollipop, how many other manufacturers make updates for 3 year old phones?

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