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GDG Summit and Google I/O 2016 Recap

Last week I was in San Francisco and Mountain View for two conferences - Global Google Developer Groups(GDG) Summit & Google I/O 2016. 

Day 0: GDG Summit

The annual global GDG Summit is held every year before Google I/O. GDG is a community run group for Google technology enthusiasts. You can learn more about the Philly group here. The global summit  is where GDG organizers from all over the world who are attending Google I/O gather and catch up with other organizers. Some of the fun things we did were the sharing table before the summit and a Firebase, lego and Arduino workshop at the summit.



Night 0: Women Techmakers Dinner


The day before Google I/O, we had a dinner hosted by Women Techmakers which helps women in tech become more visible. 






Day 1 to 3: Google I/O

Google I/O is an annual developer conference that celebrates Google technologies. This year, it was held in Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View for 3 days.


This was the first time I tried sketch-noting at a conference which is a great way to retain information instead of writing notes.

A lot of the talks and content are already available online on YouTube so I'm going to focus on the things that stood out to me in the keynote and sessions:

Google


  • Assistant - a conversational assistant that is available across all Google products like Hangouts, Home etc
  • Home - a device that recognizes your voice and is powered by Google Assistant
  • Allo - a messaging app with smart replies
  • Duo - a video conferencing app with live video of the other caller before you pick up

Android


  • Instant Apps - lets a user open up a part of your app without installing it from the Play Store
  • ConstraintLayouts - a new Android layout still in preview
  • Improvements to Material Design
  • Improvements to Google Play Store Beta testing
  • Wear 2.0 which brings other app functions on your watch face
  • Tons of improvements in Android Studio Preview 2.2
  • More features in Android N including VR

Firebase

Mobile-backend expansion to support notifications, analytics, crash reporting etc all under one roof.

Virtual Reality 

Daydream - a mobile virtual reality platform with headsets and controllers coming to Android N.

Fun fact I learned in a VR controller session: Do you know why Google Cardboard has no head straps? Because your head moves faster on its own and holding Cardboard up with your hands makes sure you move your head slowly to experience VR better.


Nights 1 and 2

Google had some fun after hours concerts featuring Charlie XCX and Kygo on Night 1. They also had Arcades, Concerts and other fun stuff on Night 2.


And to end it all, here's something I always look forward to at I/O: Code Labs!





















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