Skip to main content

Google I/O 2017 Recap: Things I learned

Google I/O 2017 was a lot of fun and informative. I wish I had Hermione's Time-Turner as there were many talks to attend and many amazing people to meet.

Here are some things I learned at I/O:

AI & Machine Learning

This year, I/O was all about AI on every Google product. A product mentioned at the Keynote was Google Lens which enables your smartphone to take pictures of an image like a flower and identify it. That's pretty helpful for a hobbyist gardener like me. 

I also happened to drop by their Android Experiments sandbox and play the AI powered Quick Draw with fellow I/O attendees.

Google Assistant 

Google's voice assistant is available on many devices now - not just on your Google Home & Pixel phones but on Android TV as well as iPhone. It's also available on more languages and has an Assistant SDK.You can build an app fairly quickly with Actions on Google and there is a challenge at You could possible win a trip to I/O 2018 if you entered!

Android TV

Speaking of Assistant, the Android TV is getting an update which includes Google Assistant. I couldn't get a picture of it at the Sandbox demo but it has a brand new launcher. When you focus on a launcher card, it auto plays trailers or clips of the video you want to watch. Can't wait for the rollout! Android O will roll out on Android TV devices pretty soon.


Google will soon roll out a standalone Daydream headset and has introduced Visual Positioning Service (VPS) which maps your indoors using Tango and Google Maps.

Code Labs

One of the things I look forward to every year are Code Labs. This year, I couldn't make it to the labs but I'll be spending the next couple of weeks going through 2017's code labs.


Architecture Components

There were plenty of intro and in-depth talks about Android architecture components that introduced LifeCycle Aware Components to help manage the app's lifecycle, and Room - an object mapping library for SQLite. More information at's more I want to learn about this so here are some interesting links for further reading

Instant apps

Instant apps is a feature that lets users preview your app before installing it. Android Studio now has instant app and feature modules that you can add to your app's project.

Support Library

Android support library 26.0.0 Beta 1 is now available through's Google's maven repository which means we don't have to download the SDK via Android Studio's SDK manager. There's font support now in the XML and Downloadable Fonts which lets you download fonts instead of bundling it in the apk (API 14+)


Android O now has notifications channels that lets users access and control their app notifications. Notification Dots (tiny dots that you can control the color of) show up on the app when a user has unread notifications on it.

Android Studio

Android Studio 3.0 Canary has so many goodies but some things that stood out to me on the new Android emulator were direct bug report filing, proxy support and Google Play Store. The Recycler View in Design Preview also shows your real data instead of the standard list of text view items. You can use the sample resource type to do this.

Play Console

I'm loving all the changes in Google Play. The recent change in the release management process was delightful since it has made moving an app from alpha to beta to production less scary than before. Google Play has also introduced an Android Vitals section that shows crash reports, ANR rate etc. There's also a new section for managing subscriptions.


Last but not least, Kotlin is now officially supported by Google as a first class Android language! 


How can I talk about Google I/O without talking about the wonderful Google/Android communities?

I attended the Women Techmakers dinner on Night 0.

I dropped by a design review session and discussed how to improve the apps I work on with Nick Butcher.

I spent an hour with folks from the Play Commerce team discussing Google's in-app billing library and Play Developer API about which I had given talks a couple of years ago.

It was cool to be part of an I/O where for the first time developers were given a stage to talk about learning and adopting Kotlin at your workplace.

It was great to see attendees from all over the world, mingle with Googlers and have a front row seat to the Android Fireside chat.

It was even more awesome to see Google listen to the developer community and support a new language and a new way of approaching Android architecture.

I had a lovely time at I/O and I'm looking forward to trying out all the things I've learned this year.

All Google I/O talks are now available at


Popular posts from this blog

Running our first GDG Philly Android Study Jam

Recently I joined the fantastic team of developers who run Google Developers Group Philly (GDG Philly), an umbrella organization that includes Android Alliance Philly and GoLang Philly meetup groups. Google Developer Groups or GDGs are community-run groups that are for developers who are interested in learning Google technologies.  

The first thing we organized in 2016 was Google Developers Groups Study Jams, a free series of global, community-run, in-person study groups. We ran an Android Study Jam for 5 weeks which used Udacity's Android Beginners curriculum for newbies as well as experienced developers.

Since GDG Philly focuses mostly on Android & GoLang topics, we didn't have to go too far to find facilitators. Three of us organizers - Arpit, Corey & I are Android developers so we split the teaching part into 3 sessions that each of us would lead. The Study Jam ran for 5 weeks with a two week break between Session 4 and Session 5 so that attendees could focus on work…

Chicago Roboto 2018 Recap + First Keynote!

Chicago Roboto was back again this year as a single track conference and there were a lot of excellent talks.  Last year I gave a talk with my co-worker and product designer extraordinaire Jess Moon about design and development workflows and this year I was back again but as a Keynote speaker. Keynote Giving a keynote was a stretch goal I set for myself in 2018 and I managed to achieve it early thanks to the Chicago Roboto review committee. The topic I chose was being an Android Advocate who brings teams and communities together. I will be writing a follow up blog post about my keynote process soon but before that, a quick shout out to Corey Latislaw and my coworkers at Warner Bros. Digital Labs who took a look at my first and second drafts and listened to all my half-baked thoughts and ideas. Achievement unlocked 🎉🎉🎉 - Gave my first keynote @chicagoroboto#chicagoroboto Slides with resources available at — Yash Prabhu (@yashvprabhu) April 12, 2018 The reco…

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. Sharing is caring. Awesome cultural sharing table at the pre- #io16 GDG Dinner. — Zarah Dominguez (@zarahjutz) May 17, 2016

Firebase & Lego Arduino workshop — Yash Prabhu (@yashvprabhu) May 17, 2016
Night 0: Women Techmakers Dinner
The day before Google I/O, we had a dinner hosted by Women Techmakers which helps women in tech…