Summary of Google I/O 2016 Keynote


The Google I/O 2016 Keynote is available on You Tube.

There were over 7,000 attendees at this event, making it the biggest Google I/O ever, and this keynote has had than a million views already!

The first 2 minutes are a DJ and drum set, then Sundar Pichai (Chief Executive Officer) takes the stage.

He begins by talking about the importance of mobile, then says Google are evolving Search to offer much better assistance.

As an example you can say “show me my dog videos” and it will do just that.

He announces the Google Assistant, and talks enthusiastically about Google’s natural language technology.

At 11:25 there’s a one minute promotional video for the Google Assistance technology. When Sundar comes back on stage we learn that Google Assistant we ask you if you want to buy things (e.g. tickets) and if you say “Sure”, or some other words to the same effect, then it will buy them for you.

Google Home

At 16 mins in, Mario Queiroz from the Chromecast team takes the stage and announces Google Home, which appears to be a combined microphone and speaker that listens to the family whilst playing music or talking back to you. It’s about 5 inches tall and 2 inches wide.

We hear that it will work with your other HiFi systems so that you can get them to play via Google Home voice control. It will set alarm timers for you and manage your to-do lists, and answer your questions.

At 24 mins in, there’s another promo video for Google Home. It shows it taking control of the TV, and at the end, it shows Google Home turning off all the lights and heating as the family leaves the house.


At 29 mins, Eric Kay (director of engineering) takes the stage and announces a new messaging app called Allo, which has the Google Assistant built into it.

There’s a whisper/shout feature for emphasizing or de-emphasizing your messages and this works with a slide control which adjusts the size of the message.

There’s also prompts for auto-replies, for example choose between “I’m in” or “I’m busy”.

Most impressively, it automatically processes any images and uses the information for the suggested replies. E.g. for a dog photo the options are “Cute dog!”, “Aww!” and “Nice bernese mountain dog”. It can also tell a linguine from a fusilli.

Rebecca Michael takes the stage 37 mins in, and we see how Allo makes it very easy to choose and book a restaurant while chatting online.

It’s also easy to have a conversation with the Google Assistant, e.g. “did my team win” and “next game” for sports results and fixtures. It will offer you You Tube videos if it thinks that’s what you’re after.

There will also be built in games, and the developer community will be involved with that.

Eric returns to the stage at 43:40 and talks about incognito mode for Allo.


Then he introduces Duo, a video conferencing app that works on Android and iOS and has a “knock knock” feature that allows you to see the caller before you pick up. Eric demos it with a call from his kids.

We see another promo video at 50 mins in.

Both Allo and Duo will be released sometime this Summer.

Android N

52 mins in Dave Burke (Vice President of Engineering) takes the stage to talk Android N.

You’re invited to come up with an “N” word at

Graphics and Runtime performance is improved, and Dave introduces a new 3D graphics API named Vulkan. Its similar to OpenGL but optimized for efficient power consumption.

The JIT compiler offers 75% faster app installation.

Security enhancements:

  • File-based encryption
  • Media framework hardening
  • Automatically pushed updates

The biggest cheer from the audience was the news that the irratating Android is upgrading message will be no more.

Dave talks about SafetyNet – 8 billion apps are security checked each day.

There are some nice multitasking improvements shown at 1h 3 mins in.

To try out Android N go to

Virtual Reality

Begins 1h 8 mins in. The new platform is called DayDream.

Android Wear 2.0

A suite of improvements announced. You don’t need a phone to accompany your watch, and you can find a preview of the new platform here.

Progressive Web Apps

1 hour 27 mins in, Jason is on stage.

  • Icon added to home screen.
  • Works offline
  • Notifications

In my developer on fire interview I predicted that this was going to be big.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

  • Loads instantly
  • Embeds anywhere

Android Studio

1 hour 28 mins in, Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson takes the stage. It was only 3 years ago at I/O 2013 when it was shown for the first time.

Android Studio 2.2 Preview 2 is now available. Stephanie says the emulators are 3 times faster, and probably faster than the actual devices. This new version does Test recording, generating espresso code.

  • New layout designer with layout constraints.
  • New APK Analyzer to help reduce the size of your APK files.
  • New layout inspector
  • Integrated IntelliJ 2016.1
  • Java 8 support
  • Enhanced C++ support

Firebase next generation

At 1h34 mins in.

Firebase analytics

  • Built for apps
  • cross-network attribution
  • Free and unlimited

Cloud Messaging


Crash Reporting

Remote Config

Dynamic Links

Available now at

Android Instant Apps

1 hour 40 mins in, Ellie Powers takes the stage.

Only the pieces of the app that the users needs right now are downloaded.

You update and modularize your existing Android app(s) to make them instant.

Works on old Android JellyBean devices.

Google Cloud Platform

Sundar returns at 1 hr 47 mins, talking more about machine learning, TPUs, and Alpha Go’s victory over the world’s best Go player.

He says that deep learning has a lot of promise for diagnosing diabetic retinopathy.


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