Google’s largest present of the yr, I/O 2018, will begin up in only a few days. Along with tons of developer talks, the present usually serves as a popping out get together for a bevy of Google bulletins.

I/O hasn’t essentially been your typical tech announcement occasion the place months of pre-leaks reveal 90 % of what’s going to occur. However whereas we will not know what’s coming for sure—everybody remembers these skydivers carrying augmented actuality glasses, proper?—we are able to go into this yr’s present with a couple of knowledgeable predictions. Primarily based on our evaluation of proof, previous information, and Google’s regular launch schedules, here is what we’re anticipating at Google I/O 2018.

Android P Developer Preview 2

This primary one is straightforward. Yearly Google releases a brand new developer preview of Android at I/O, and Google’s personal schedule says we’ll get a brand new developer preview in “Might,” the identical month as Google I/O. A brand new preview of Android P is just about a lock. The actual query is “What will we count on within the second Android P Preview?”

Extra Materials Design 2

The primary Android P preview arrived in March with a giant UI overhaul. There’s an all-new notification panel and fast settings, a brand new primary settings display screen, and many redesigned system UI elements like the amount interface, textual content choice, animations, and dialog containers. Previously few months we have additionally seen a whirlwind of UI adjustments from Google in different merchandise, with a brand new design type showing in Gmail.com, Chrome in its Desktop, cellular, and OS varieties, the Google account interface, Google Pay, the Android Builders website, and the new Google Duties app.

All of those redesigns may loosely match below the identical overarching design type, which appears like an evolution of Google’s present “Materials Design” tips. The brand new design would not have an official identify, however internally at Google it has been known as “Materials Design 2” and “Materials Design Refresh.” No matter Materials Design 2 finally ends up being known as, at I/O we count on Google to formalize the brand new design type, publish design paperwork, and have a number of developer classes masking all the brand new adjustments.

Google likes to maintain the I/O schedule imprecise earlier than the keynote, however there’s a couple of classes that counsel Google will speak lots about Materials Design 2. One session is titled “Tips on how to incorporate what’s new with Materials Design in your code base.” One other session will cowl “how UX researchers helped take a look at, refine, and evolve the most recent Materials Design steerage.” I will interpret mentions of “what’s new” and “evolution” as hints of Materials Design 2 information.

In Android P Preview 1, there was a fairly clear conflict between newly redesigned screens and previous interfaces that have not been touched but. In Preview 2, hopefully we’ll see extra components of Android redesigned so we now have one thing approaching a cohesive OS.

Gesture navigation

Android borrows lots from iOS on this spherical of updates. Along with iPhone X-style notch help, Android is outwardly getting gesture help. This function was seemingly leaked by Google itself, which unintentionally posted an image to the official Android Developer weblog displaying a navigation bar we have not seen earlier than. The house button was a tablet form as a substitute of a circle, the again button used an older design, and the latest apps button was lacking. This was Android’s in-development gesture UI.

There is a ton we do not find out about gesture navigation, and it is clearly nonetheless in-development from the screenshot. Whereas it appears inevitable it would come to Android, we will not assure it will likely be prepared in time for Android P Preview 2. It actually looks as if a significant change for Google, and it is one thing the corporate might need to launch in beta so individuals can wrap their heads round it and supply suggestions.

Google Assistant “Slices”

The primary Android P Developer Preview contained a brand new “Slices” API, and we’re nonetheless undecided precisely what it would do. The Android P developer docs say a slice is “a chunk of app content material and actions that may be surfaced outdoors of the app,” however that is fairly imprecise.

Sebastiano Poggi from the app growth home Novoda has been diving into the Slices API since launch, and he thinks the obvious use for slices is for apps to show their very own content material contained in the Google Assistant search outcomes. The UI with slice renders at present seems to be very unfinished, however the structure is just like a Google Assistant reply. Poggi has constructed a complete slices demo app displaying how a Google Assistant interface may work. One app could be a major “Slice Host” (a slices-aware model of the Google Assistant) and lots of different apps could be “Slice Suppliers” and supply up data to show contained in the host app. So think about asking the Google Assistant (the slice host app) for Infinity Warfare film instances, and as a substitute of displaying search consequence information, customers with the Fandango app put in (a slice supplier) may present customized UI for the Google Assistant that will let customers shortly purchase a film ticket.

Since Google will want app builders to construct a slice functionality into their apps for this to work, the corporate wants to return clear about what the Slices API is and the way builders ought to use it. Google’s largest developer present looks as if place to just do that. Once more, the I/O schedule may be very imprecise earlier than the keynote, however the speak “Combine your Android apps with the Google Assistant” might need one thing to do with slices.

An Android TV dongle

When Google ended help for the Nexus Participant this March, it all of the sudden discovered itself with no first-party system for Android TV. That is very unhealthy for the Android TV developer ecosystem since, as regular with Android, third-party OEMs take their candy time when updating any system. If Google launched a brand new model of Android TV right this moment, precisely zero individuals would have entry to it on actual . Till Google fixes Android’s replace scenario, any good Android kind issue wants a Google-made developer system with day-one updates.

For Android TV, it looks as if a brand new developer system is coming in a Chromecast-like dongle kind issue. A Google-branded dongle with distant confirmed up on the FCC in April, which might make it a main candidate for a Google I/O launch. The dongle has related to the $69 2017 Amazon Hearth TV, which might make for developer freebie for people who attend the present. Android TV appears to be primarily specializing in a kind issue that’s constructed proper into televisions, however there are additionally set high containers just like the Nvidia Defend and Xiaomi Mi Field. There’s actually nothing in a dongle kind issue for Android TV, although. A souped up Chromecast-style system with the complete Android TV interface on it will be nice for wall-mounted televisions and folks that do not need to purchase a complete new TV.

Nothing within the I/O schedule shouts “We’re making new Android TV !” however Google’s TV OS has not been forgotten at I/O. There is a “What’s new with Android TV” session that might finish with a freebie being given out.

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