Google just concluded their annual I/O conference. Google’s I/O is a 3 day conference is designed to bring together developers around the world to showcase its upcoming products in software, mobile, and technology. One of the more interesting product Google showcased is Google Home. Google Home is the answer to Amazon’s surprisingly successful Echo powered by Alexa. Google claimed Home is their very own assistant. During the 2016 I/O showcase, Google played a video of how Home can be used during a typical morning routine of a family. You can see the video here:
There were only two features that were unique to Google’s Cast enabled devices which are not available to Amazon’s Echo. First, is the ability to issue command to all Google Cast enabled speakers. The father in the clip issued, “Google, turn on music to all the rooms.” as a way to wake up the kids in the house. The other feature was to issue a show command which triggered a Chromecast to play a video. There was also a sequence where the father asked Google to check the traffic and upon reporting the traffic, the shortest route was sent to the phone.
For the time being, Google has offered scarce details on Google Home. It guaranteed integration to Cast enabled devices and services such as making dinner reservations and text messaging. It will be interesting to see the availability as well as the price. Google indicated that they purposely limited its functionality of the Home but it must have some wow factor to get people to jump from Amazon’s Echo or have both the Home and Echo in the same house.
Google recently had their annual I/O Conference in San Francisco, CA where they discussed upcoming features to be launched to the Chromecast. Google’s I/O Conference is a gathering of developers to hear from Google execs on support for the next generation devices, apps, and software. I/O stands for input and output and also “Innovation in the Open” which attests to Google’s philosophy of having open web technologies like Android, Chrome, Google API, Web Toolkit, App Engine, and others. Google’s I/O conference first started in 2008 and was held between May 28-29 this year 2015.
At the Google I/O conference, two major announcements were made on the Chromecast front which would improve the functionality and experience for users like us.
Queuing between apps
One major frustration as a user is the inability to smoothly transition between different apps. As great as the support has been for Chromecast, your experience is limited to a single app and any queue you have saved will be lost once you stop casting and open another app to cast. Google plans to change this by the creation of a auto-queueing functionality to allow you to line up videos in a playlist from different apps. You will be able to manage the sequence, remove, and initiate a cast at will regardless of which app you have opened.
Chromecast Game Manager API
The second announcement is for the casual gamer who wants to play multi player games using Chromecast. Google announced the launch of Game Manager Application programming interface (API) which will allow more than one device connected to a single Chromecast. Previously, developers had to code this themselves but Google’ has made this much easier to do.
Google’s also launched Remote Display API which allows gamers to control their TV using their handset. This can allow you to use your phone as a motion sensor similar to Nintendo’s WiiMote.