Good morning! Mark and I are at Moscone, waiting for doors to open. The keynote should kick off in half an hour.
Just a few minutes to go. Things to expect? Smartwatches. Chromecast updates. A new vision for Android that jumps between your phone and wearables with ease. I think today will be about connecting Google more to your physical life.
The voice of god is telling us to take our seats.
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, kicks off Google I/O. One million folks around the world are joining in via livestream. In Nigeria, the viewing party is made up of all female developers.
Pichai says Google I/O has 20% female attendees this year, up from 8% last year.
Google is really pushing forward the women story. After years of reluctance, the search giant released its first diversity report in May to shine a light on Silicon Valley's diversity problem--mainly that tech companies are largely composed of white males.
Google shipped 300 million phones last quarter and now claims 1 billion users, doubling year over year.
Android by the numbers: 20 billion text messages sent each day, 93 million selfies taken each day, 1.5 trillion steps taken per day. Users also take out their phones and check them 100 billion times a day.
"We're seeing amazing growth in Android tablets as well," Pichai says. Android made up 39% of shipped tablets in 2012, 46% in 2013, and 62% in 2014. These stats don't include Kindle Fire devices.
Android app installs on tablet is up 236% in 2014, year over year.
Pichai talks about a new hardware reference platform called Android One, a turnkey solution for manufacturers, and shows off a new device from Cromax that will be available for less than $100. He also teases out the upcoming L Design Preview for Android.
Matias Duarte, vice president of design, said Google challenged itself to create design not just for Android phones and tablets, but to "craft one consistent vision for mobile, desktop, and beyond."
"What if pixels didn't have just color, but also depth?" he asked. This led the team to a new thinking: material design. Cue the video!
"We grew inspiration from paper and ink. However, unlike real paper, our digital material can expand, reform, and reshape intelligence."
The design is basically an embracing of the drop shadow. Mixing responsive design with seamless transitions in every animation. It’s like the entire UI is built from one solid piece that’s just stretched and reshaped.
"Those scenes and shadows provide meaning for what you can touch and how it will move," he said, referencing life-like perspective and shadows. "Material design is beautiful and bold because clean typographical layout are simple to understand. Your content is the focus."
Can design on phone and "logically and easily bring that design to laptops," Duarte says. System font Roboto has been updated for every screen.
The animations move with the physics of cardstock, but splash with your touch, "like ink rippling in a pond," he says. Buttons will now have animations built-in.
Android developers can create seamless animation transitions between activities and apps.
He demos the changes on the Gmail app: new typography, grid changes, bold colors.
The real value here seems to be that Google is automating design for your app using their algorithms and taste. I wonder how well it will scale to various apps.
Google releases guidelines for designers and developers: google.com/design
Dave Burke, director of engineering of Android, said there are more than 5,000 new developer APIs and will walk through a select few.
The L Design Preview of Android will include the new Material theme, new animation capabilities, 3-D views with real-time shadows, activity transitions, nested scrolling
Google's thesis of Material Design is impressive in motion. It's physical without being hokey 3-D or using fake textures. There is a liberal amount of drop shadow involved, though, which has been a bit out of fashion in favor of "flat design." Looks like Google is bringing drop shadow back.
Enhanced notifications in L: Notifications from lock screen are prioritized so most useful ones are presented. Swipe down and see full list of notifications.
About 15% of people have PIN or pattern lock, Burke says. L will feature personal unlocking. It can unlock automatically via swipe when it notices a Bluetooth-connected smartwatch. Without the smartwatch, it presents the PIN lock screen.
Chrome for mobile has grown 10 times in last year. It's now at 300 million devices, from 27 million the year prior.
In demo of upcoming Chrome, the browser highlights use of Material Design. When searching for Van Gogh's Starry Night, Chrome shows the artwork in a tile, and the title is on a blue background, which was automatically generated by Chrome.
Chrome tabs shown as overlapping cards with realistic shadows and perspective.
Multitasking made easier with tabs showing both websites and app content within Chrome.
Search results on Chrome mobile can launch apps that are installed on the device. For example, an OpenTable link on Google can open the app. The feature, which was previously was only available with a few apps, will be available to all developers.
Google is really geeking out on deep SDK, developer stuff right now. Grab another coffee.
While you grab your coffee: L should run more smoothly, about twice the performance over Dalvik. Memory allocator reduces number of pauses as well as duration of pauses. Cross platform on ARM, x86, and MIPS.
Graphics performance: Mobile performance historically has lagged desktops, but it's catching up with game console and PC graphics. L aims to close gap with the Android extension pack, a set of features that include tesselation, geometry shaders, computer shaders, and ASTC texture compression (read: you'll notice details, like smoke and lighting effects for games).
Project Volta aims to improve battery life. "You can't improve until you can measure." Battery Historian on L helps correlate battery discharge and device activity.