After months of rumors and commits in Chrome OS development, it was made official at Google I/O yesterday: Chrome OS will soon natively support Linux apps. It is a significant step forward for the platform and should bring improved tools to developers on the platform.
During the keynote, where this was almost mentioned as an after thought, Android Studio was highlighted as being one of the apps that will work once this feature rolls out to everyone.
During Google I/O last week, Googler Stephan Somogyi presented the 3rd Annual Google Security Update. The update covered a lot of ground for a 37 minute presentation but one of the key messages around Android was how device fingerprint scanners have dramatically improved device security. How? Simply by having people setup the lock screen and use their fingerprint as the key to getting into their device. With the introduction of these scanners on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, Stephan reported that now 90% of Nexus owners have enabled the lock screen. That is up from just 50% the previous year.
As part of the 3rd Developer Preview of Android N, four new wallpapers made their way into release. The better news is you can download them all here on the site. The new wallpapers continue the trend of having natural scenes for wallpapers and all four of them are beautiful. Three of the four are beach/surf scenes while the fourth is a close up texture image. They look great on phones and tablets and are all 2880 x 2560 resolutions for your large screen devices.
To save everyone who isn’t interested from having to have the page render, I’ve added the images after the break. You can tap on each one then right-click to save it or you can visit the wallpaper page and check out the hundreds of wallpapers I have over there.
What is interesting to this point is that there have been no Material Design wallpapers in any of the Previews so far. All five of the wallpapers in N have been nature scenes so it will be interesting to watch if a new Material wallpaper or set of them comes when the final build of N is released later this year.
Enjoy these new wallpapers on all of your devices and given their size, you may even find them pretty nice to view on your PC, Mac or Chromebook too.
As expected, Google announced yesterday at I/O that the 3rd Developer Preview of Android N is now available for those registered in the beta program. What is more interesting is that the company was quite clear that they believe this build is stable enough for general consumption on your every day devices. It is a significant difference from the language used in the first two previews which was very clear in their “developer only” messaging. While I would still caution those who don’t want to put up with odd behaviors or diminished battery life from download it, if you have an eligible device, you can get it through the Android Beta program site.
Google I/O 2016 kicks off in just a few hours and the first day highlight, as always, will be the keynote message. While space was limited to actually attend the event in person, you can view this important message live on YouTube. That message is expected to be a mix of product updates and announcements as well as a vision that Google has for the future. It should be a great couple of hours and you won’t miss any of it.
As I put in my post earlier this morning, this year’s I/O could be the most interesting and exciting in years. A lot of the vision and path Google has for the future will be discussed in this keynote so if you have the time to watch, it is certainly well worth the effort. If you can’t watch it live however, the link above should give you the recorded session after the fact too.
As for things expected to be discussed, there will be discussion of course of Android N but also Project Chirp, the new smart home solution, Virtual Reality, Project Tango and probably a few other tidbits that will shape the future of how we compute.
As developer conferences go, Google I/O stands out for a lot of reasons. Unlike Microsoft’s Build Conference or Apple’s WWDC, Google tends to bring to light countless projects each year, some of which never make it any further than I/O… but they get exposed. The last few years, however, I/O has become synonymous with Android. In 2014, we saw Android Lollipop. In 2015 we saw Marshmallow. Sure there were other things but fundamentally, that’s what remember these last two conferences launching.
Google I/O 2016 is going to be different. Very different. Starting today, we see the Mountain View company’s vision for the future. Yes we will hear about Android N but it won’t be front-and-center. It is, after all, already available in beta. That vision is going to include a wide range of products, services and solutions, all of which will not only shape the future for Google but the future of everyone who touches their technologies.
For those who are attending Google I/O 2016 in person or remotely, the official app for the developer event is now in the Google Play Store. The app gives you the ability to see all of the sessions that are available and setup your schedule of those that you want to attend. Even better, if you aren’t one of the lucky attendees in person, you can live stream the events remotely and can add those events to your Google calendar so you can tune in.
If you are one of the countless thousands who pre-registered for Google I/O 2016, it is time to start checking your inbox. Google has started sending out the formal invites to the developer conference and for those of you who have received an invite, you only have 24 hours to secure your place or it is lost forever. No pressure.