Google kicked off its 2015 I/O Developers Conference last week with many major product announcements, Quartz reported. The conference gave a preview of what Google users could see in coming months, including a new virtual reality device, cloud storage for photos and its own pay system for Android users, the article said.
These developer conferences have been known to be the host of many new announcements, USA Today reports. But many of those products announced at past I/O developer conferences, such as Google Glass and a renewed Google+, haven’t seen much success.
Here are five things that stood out at the conference that are worth watching over the next year.
1. Android Pay: This is set to be the replacement of Google’s wallet application on mobile devices to facilitate in-app and tap-to-pay purchases, according to the Verge. Android users will be happy to hear 700,000 merchants will be accepting Android Pay. Users might not have to take their phones out for Android Pay if a beta test starting in San Francisco works out, The Verge says. This feature lets users set up tabs at stores and identify to the cashier they’re paying with Google, before leaving with their items.
2. Universal App Campaigns: Google is the king of search and to further solidify the title, it announced a new tool making it easier for developers and marketers to purchase ads for app downloads on mobile devices, Bloomberg reported. Facebook has launched a successful advertising service for app downloads and Google is hoping to use this to increase its hold on the market. The new tool will help boost revenue for programmers developing Android apps and streamlines the process to promote applications across Google search.
3. Google Photos: At the conference, Google announced Google Photos as a stand-alone entity, separate from Google+, TechCrunch reported. Unlimited free storage is only available on photos of up to 16 megapixels. Users who want to upload bigger photos can use its limited free storage version, which allows users up to 15 GB of free storage.
4. Cardboard VR: The Cardboard virtual reality devices were given out at last year’s I/O conference as a gift, but this year Google announced a new software kit for Cardboard to create more apps, the New York Times reported. Cardboard works by placing a smartphone inside of the device and an inexpensive lens turn the phone’s images into 3D. Google also upgraded the cardboard device to better fit newer phones.
5. Android M: Google’s next operating system was announced Thursday, bringing fingerprint support and longer battery life to devices, Wired writes. Google Now was also added, which allows users to access Google recommendations and search assistance within an app. Unfortunately, a release date hasn’t been announced yet.
For stories related to the Google announcements, look at businesses that are using Android Pay, and track the hype leading up to the Android M release. Also, virtual reality has been gaining popularity, so look at activities around it.