Tag Archives: #io17

What’s new from Firebase at Google I/O 2017

Originally posted on the Firebase Blog by Francis Ma, Firebase Group Product Manager

It's been an exciting year! Last May, we expanded Firebase into our unified app platform, building on the original backend-as-a-service and adding products to help developers grow their user base, as well as test and monetize their apps. Hearing from developers like Wattpad, who built an app using Firebase in only 3 weeks, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

We're thrilled by the initial response from the community, but we believe our journey is just getting started. Let's talk about some of the enhancements coming to Firebase today.

Integrating with Fabric

In January, we announced that we were welcoming the Fabric team to Firebase. Fabric initially grabbed our attention with their array of products, including the industry-leading crash reporting tool, Crashlytics. As we got to know the team better, we were even more impressed by how closely aligned our missions are: to help developers build better apps and grow successful businesses. Over the last several months, we've been working closely with the Fabric team to bring the best of our platforms together.

We plan to make Crashlytics the primary crash reporting product in Firebase. If you don't already use a crash reporting tool, we recommend you take a look at Crashlytics and see what it can do for you. You can get started by following the Fabric documentation.

Phone authentication comes to Firebase

Phone number authentication has been the biggest request for Firebase Authentication, so we're excited to announce that we've worked with the Fabric Digits team to bring phone auth to our platform. You can now let your users sign in with their phone numbers, in addition to traditional email/password or identity providers like Google or Facebook. This gives you a comprehensive authentication solution no matter who your users are or how they like to log in.

At the same time, the Fabric team will be retiring the Digits name and SDK. If you currently use Digits, over the next couple weeks we'll be rolling out the ability to link your existing Digits account with Firebase and swap in the Firebase SDK for the Digits SDK. Go to the Digits blog to learn more.

Introducing Firebase Performance Monitoring

We recognize that poor app performance and stability are the top reasons for users to leave bad ratings on your app and possibly churn altogether. As part of our effort to help you build better apps, we're pleased to announce the beta launch of Performance Monitoring.

Firebase Performance Monitoring is a new free tool that helps you understand when your user experience is being impacted by poorly performing code or challenging network conditions. You can learn more and get started with Performance Monitoring in the Firebase documentation.

More robust analytics

Analytics has been core to the Firebase platform since we launched last I/O. We know that understanding your users is the number one way to make your app successful, so we're continuing to invest in improving our analytics product.

First off, you may notice that you're starting to see the name "Google Analytics for Firebase" around our documentation. Our analytics solution was built in conjunction with the Google Analytics team, and the reports are available both in the Firebase console and the Google Analytics interface. So, we're renaming Firebase Analytics to Google Analytics for Firebase, to reflect that your app analytics data are shared across both.

For those of you who monetize your app with AdMob, we've started sharing data between the two platforms, helping you understand the true lifetime value (LTV) of your users, from both purchases and AdMob revenue. You'll see these new insights surfaced in the updated Analytics dashboard.

Many of you have also asked for analytics insights into custom events and parameters. Starting today, you can register up to 50 custom event parameters and see their details in your Analytics reports. Learn more about custom parameter reporting.

Firebase for all - iOS, games, and open source

Firebase's mission is to help all developers build better apps. In that spirit, today we're announcing expanded platform and vertical support for Firebase.

First of all, as Swift has become the preferred language for many iOS developers, we've updated our SDK to handle Swift language nuances, making Swift development a native experience on Firebase.

We've also improved Firebase Cloud Messaging by adding support for token-based authentication for APNs, and greatly simplifying the connection and registration logic in the client SDK.

Second, we've heard from our game developer community that one of the most important stats you monitor is frames per second (FPS). So, we've built Game Loop support & FPS monitoring into Test Lab for Android, allowing you to evaluate your game's frame rate before you deploy. Coupled with the addition of Unity plugins and a C++ SDK, which we announced at GDC this year, we think that Firebase is a great option for game developers. To see an example of a game built on top of Firebase, check out our Mecha Hamster app on Github.

Finally, we've taken a big first step towards open sourcing our SDKs. We believe in open source software, not only because transparency is an important goal, but also because we know that the greatest innovation happens when we all collaborate. You can view our new repos on our open sourceproject page and learn more about our decision in this blog post.

Dynamic Hosting with Cloud Functions for Firebase

In March, we launched Cloud Functions for Firebase, which lets you run custom backend code in response to events triggered by Firebase features and HTTP requests. This lets you do things like send a notification when a user signs up or automatically create thumbnails when an image is uploaded to Cloud Storage.

Today, in an effort to better serve our web developer community, we're expanding Firebase Hosting to integrate with Cloud Functions. This means that, in addition to serving static assets for your web app, you can now serve dynamic content, generated by Cloud Functions, through Firebase Hosting. For those of you building progressive web apps, Firebase Hosting + Cloud Functions allows you to go completely server-less. You can learn more by visiting our documentation.

Firebase Alpha program and what's next

Our goal is to build the best developer experience: easy-to-use products, great documentation, and intuitive APIs. And the best resource that we have for improving Firebase is you! Your questions and feedback continuously push us to make Firebase better.

In light of that, we're excited to announce a Firebase Alpha program, where you will have the opportunity to test the cutting edge of our products. Things might not be perfect (in fact, we can almost guarantee they won't be), but by participating in the alpha community, you'll help define the future of Firebase. If you want to get involved, please register your interest in the Firebase Alpha form.

Thank you for your support, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, feedback. The Firebase community is the reason that we've been able to grow and improve our platform at such an incredible pace over the last year. We're excited to continue working with you to build simple, intuitive products for developing apps and growing mobile businesses. To get started with Firebase today, visit our newly redesigned website. We're excited to see what you build!

Google I/O: New Ways to Put Users at the Center of Your Apps and Payments

Cross posted from Inside AdMob

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce

I/O is a magical time at Google. Every year, thousands of developers gather in Google's backyard to share new product ideas and learn about our latest innovations in computing.

We're meeting at an exciting time for the developer community. It's a time when consumers have more choices than ever before—like where to shop, what to watch, which games to play and how to communicate with friends and family. Your product needs to stand out. You need tools to help your business grow. And you need to make sure your users are happy.

We think we can help.

This week, my team and I shared 3 new innovations for developers to make it easy for users to pay for your services, build profitable businesses and grow your user base.
Enabling users to pay with Google

Starting today, our suite of payment solutions will be expanding. The Google Payment API enables merchants and developers to turbocharge checkout conversion by offering your users an easy way to pay with credit and debit cards saved to their Google Account. Users will have multiple Google payment options at their fingertips, like a credit or a debit card previously saved via Android Pay, a payment card used to transact on the Play Store or a form of payment stored via Chrome. And they'll be able to use these saved payment options in third-party apps and mobile sites, as well as on Google Assistant when they are on-the-go.

Paying with Google for Panera Bread on Google Assistant

For users, this means faster checkout. Now they'll never miss a deal because they're stuck on a bus and don't want to pull out their credit card in front of strangers. They'll no longer experience the pain of stumbling on a sale that ends at midnight when they're tucked in bed with their credit card out of reach. Users can save time and headache by using credit and debit cards they've already saved to their Google Account whenever they see the option to pay with Google on supported apps or sites.

For developers, this API is a significant innovation that can enable faster checkout, drive more conversions, increase sales and reduce abandoned carts—all with a simple integration. Learn more about our Google Payment API here.
Earn more from your apps with the brand new AdMob
People turn to their mobile devices throughout the day to shop, communicate and stay entertained. For developers, in-app purchases are one way to monetize. Ads are another way.
AdMob was built to support the app ecosystem. With over 1 million apps across iOS and Android, AdMob has paid over $3.5 billion dollars in ads revenue to developers. But there's more we can do to help you succeed.

Today, we're introducing a completely redesigned AdMob. Rebuilt from the ground up, AdMob is now simpler to use and delivers richer insights about your users' in-app experiences.

Simpler to use: We've applied Material Design to all aspects of the AdMob look and feel to deliver an easy-to-use and intuitive experience across the entire platform—on mobile and desktop. You'll get more done in less time. Below you can see how easy it is to pick an app that you're monitoring, check out its key metrics and then quickly take action to fine-tune its performance.


Redesigned AdMob experience 
Deeper insights: We've also integrated Google Analytics for Firebase into the core of the redesigned AdMob so you have quick access to the metrics that matter most for your business. Once you link your AdMob and Firebase accounts, you'll have access to detailed ad revenue data and user insights like time spent in the app and in-app purchases—all in one place.

Google Analytics for Firebase dashboard in AdMob

Know your user, find your user with Universal App Campaigns
Earning money from your app is one piece of the puzzle. You also need to think about how to grow your user base.

Google's app innovations have delivered over 5 billion installs from ads and we are now helping developers drive over 3 billion in-app events per quarter—like users adding something to their cart or reaching level 3 of a game. Developers have gravitated toward Universal App Campaigns (UAC) as the "one stop shop" campaign type that scales your reach and maximizes app installs across Google's largest properties: Google Play, Search, YouTube, Gmail and the Display Network. UAC uses Google's machine learning technology to evaluate numerous signals in real time, refining each ad to help you reach your most engaged users. We're continuing to double down on UAC, with all new innovations being built into UAC to make app promotion even more effective.
Engage users in key moments of discovery with new UAC placements in Google Play 
Android reaches more than 2 billion active devices every month, with Google Play available in 190+ countries around the world. It's the place users come to discover new apps and games. Beyond searching for apps to try, users are increasingly browsing the Play store and finding recommendations for new apps. 
To help those users discover more of your apps, we are introducing new ad placements on the home and app listing pages in the Google Play Store. These new placements, available exclusively through UAC, help you reach users in "discovery mode" as they swipe, tap and scroll in search of their next favorite app. 

New ad placements reach users browsing in Google Play 
Discover more of your best users with new bidding options in UAC 
Some users are more valuable to your business than others, like the players who level-up in your game or the loyal travelers who book several flights a month. That's why we're expanding Smart Bidding strategies in UAC to help you acquire more of these high-value users. Using Smart Bidding, you can tailor bids for your unique business goals - target cost per acquisition (tCPA) or target return on ad spend (tROAS). UAC delivers the right users based on your objectives: installs, events and, coming soon, value. This update starts rolling out to iOS and Android developers and advertisers in the coming months. 
Introducing App Attribution Partners, a new measurement program 
Many developers rely on third-party measurement providers to measure the impact of ads and gain valuable insights about how users engage with your app. To help you take action on these insights in a faster and more seamless way, we are introducing App Attribution Partners, a new program designed to integrate data from 7 global companies right into AdWords.

Welcome to adjust, Adways, AppsFlyer, Apsalar, CyberZ, Kochava and TUNE... we're thrilled to have them onboard!

AdWords' integration with these partners ensures that you have consistent, reliable and more granular data where you review app metrics. Now you can take action with confidence and stay on top of your business performance.
As consumers live more of their lives online, it's increasingly important for developers to build user-centric experiences in everything that you do—from the apps you design, to the experiences you deliver, to the ways you help people transact. We know it's not always easy, so Google is here to help.

We look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

The Modern Mobile Web: State of the Union

Cross posted from the Chromium Blog

Posted by Rahul Roy-chowdhury, VP Product Management, Chrome
What a difference a year makes. Last year at Google I/O, we shared that the mobile web was open for business. New technologies such as AMP and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) were bringing new capabilities, better performance, and a streamlined workflow to the mobile web.
Fast forward one year later: more than two billion AMP pages have been created and "PWA" has proved to be far more than a buzzword—it’s now the way that many businesses around the world are building for mobile devices. For more details, take a look at the video from Google I/O on the latest mobile web state of the union, or read below on how these technologies are making the modern mobile web mainstream.
Momentum
Summing up all the great success stories from around the world in a single post is a tall order, but here are some highlights.

To improve the performance of Wego's mobile site, the company built AMP pages using amp-install-serviceworker to transition to a fast PWA experience. Average page load time decreased from 12 seconds to less than one second, and conversion rates increased by 95%.


When Forbes rebuilt their mobile website as a PWA, they began by re-thinking what their experience could look like on a phone. Instead of minimally updating their underlying site, Forbes integrated PWA technologies to provide an immersive, app-like experience. They saw immediate improvements and engagement rates have more than doubled since launch.


Ola, the leading cab aggregator in India, built a PWA and noticed that 20% of users who book using their PWA had previously uninstalled their app. By reducing the amount of storage space needed, the PWA allowed them to effectively re-engage with users that otherwise would have been lost.
Another success story is Twitter Lite, a PWA which minimizes data usage, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and is less than 1MB of space on a device. Twitter's new mobile experience is also optimized for speed, with up to 30% faster launch times as well as quicker navigation throughout the site. They've found that users are spending 2.7x more time on site, and as a result are seeing 76% more tweets on the new PWA than their previous mobile site. Twitter is seeing incredible re-engagement with 1 million sessions initiated a day from icons added to the Android homescreen.
Polished Experiences
Users expect a lot from their mobile devices, and we've added tons of APIs over the past year to meet that demand. The mobile web can support more use cases and get more done than ever before. A few highlights:
  • Improved Add to Homescreen: Earlier this year we unveiled Improved Add to Homescreen, integrating PWAs much deeper into the Android operating system. Now, in addition to being displayed on the homescreen, PWAs are also displayed in the app launcher and Android settings alongside native apps, and can also open in response to users clicking links in Chrome or other apps.
  • Payments: Checkout can be a complicated process. To improve payment flows on the web, we launched a one-tap payment API called Payment Request. Using this API allows web apps to support credit cards and Google payment mechanisms such as Android Pay. We also just announced that it is now possible to integrate this API with additional payment apps.
  • Media Consumption: Over 70% of internet traffic is video. To allow great mobile web media experiences we have given the users more control over playback with the Media Session API, improved full screen playback with the Screen Orientation API, and we’re filling out features for offline with Background Fetch. To learn more, see our mobile web media best practices and see how the APIs can come together at our PWA for Media demo.
Tooling
We’ve also been working hard to improve and extend the set of tools that let you build engaging experiences on the web.
Lighthouse is a new automated tool for measuring the quality of a web experience. It runs nearly 100 audits against your web app, checking everything from page performance, to byte efficiency, to accessibility, and gives you a summary score. New integration with Chrome's DevTools means you’ll be able to run Lighthouse audits without leaving the browser.
Polymer 2.0 is the next major release of the Polymer library, re-built from the ground up to take advantage of the best new features of the modern web platform. This release uses new Web Component API’s that have shipped in Chrome and Safari. It’s completely modular and best of all - it’s now 10% faster and 80% smaller.
Chrome is committed to making sure that you can develop easily, engage with your users, and build a thriving business around the web. For the latest news, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @ChromiumDev.

What’s next for Google payment and loyalty experiences

Posted by Pali Bhat, VP of Payment Products

Thousands of apps and millions of stores accept Android Pay, a simpler and more secure mobile payment experience. Android Pay is now available in 10 markets, with more coming soon, including Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. And in addition to our already announced Visa and Mastercard partnerships, we'll soon enable a streamlined mobile checkout experience for PayPal users.

The newest ways to pay with Google

Yesterday, we announced the Google Payment API, which lets people pay in app or online with any verified credit or debit card saved to their Google Account, via products like Google Play, Chrome and YouTube.

Paying with Google in the Wish app

For users, the option to pay with Google means breezing through checkout without needing to remember and type multiple lines of payment details. You simply choose your preferred card, enter a security code or authenticate with your Android device, and check out.

Developers who adopt this API can enable an easy-to-use checkout experience for their customers. Sign up for early access to the new Google Payment API.

In the upcoming months, we'll also enable people in the U.S. to send or receive payments via the Google Assistant. On your Google Home or Android device, it's as simple as saying "Ok Google, send $10 to Jane for pizza." All you need is a debit card linked to your Google account.

Pay friends on Google Assistant

Connect with customers before, during and after purchase

We're also announcing new ways for merchants to engage and reward customers before they walk into the store and after they've left.

The Card Linked Offers API drives customer loyalty by providing a new channel to deliver targeted offers, and Panera Bread is one of the first merchants who will roll out this new capability nationally. MyPanera members who save their loyalty card to Android Pay can discover offers and learn about new menu items, surfaced by Android Pay when they are at the store. The offer is redeemed when you use your MyPanera account at checkout.

Card Linked Offers for Panera Bread in the Android Pay app

We're also making it easier for Android Pay users to add loyalty programs. For example, Walgreens Balance Rewards® members who manually apply their loyalty account with a phone number and use Android Pay will receive a notification on their phone that easily enables them to link that loyalty card to Android Pay for future visits. This experience is powered by our smart tap technology, which Walgreens has fully deployed across their 8,000+ U.S. stores.

There's more—we're collaborating with Clover, a First Data company, to expand our smart tap technology beyond national retailers to businesses of all sizes. With the upcoming integration of smart tap in Clover's developer APIs, you'll be able to build Android apps for loyalty, coupon and gift card redemption and new features, such as order ahead and tap for pick up.

Visit developers.google.com/payments for the latest on all of our Google Payment, Loyalty and Offers APIs.

Google I/O: New Ways to Put Users at the Center of Your Apps and Payments

I/O is a magical time at Google. Every year, thousands of developers gather in Google's backyard to share new product ideas and learn about our latest innovations in computing.

We're meeting at an exciting time for the developer community. It's a time when consumers have more choices than ever before—like where to shop, what to watch, which games to play and how to communicate with friends and family. Your product needs to stand out. You need tools to help your business grow. And you need to make sure your users are happy.

We think we can help.

This afternoon, my team and I will share 3 new innovations for developers to make it easy for users to pay for your services, build profitable businesses and grow your user base. Check out our live stream here or at the end of this post.
Enabling users to pay with Google

Starting today, our suite of payment solutions will be expanding. The Google Payment API enables merchants and developers to turbocharge checkout conversion by offering your users an easy way to pay with credit and debit cards saved to their Google Account. Users will have multiple Google payment options at their fingertips, like a credit or a debit card previously saved via Android Pay, a payment card used to transact on the Play Store or a form of payment stored via Chrome. And they'll be able to use these saved payment options in third-party apps and mobile sites, as well as on Google Assistant when they are on-the-go.
Paying with Google for Panera Bread on Google Assistant

For users, this means faster checkout. Now they'll never miss a deal because they're stuck on a bus and don't want to pull out their credit card in front of strangers. They'll no longer experience the pain of stumbling on a sale that ends at midnight when they're tucked in bed with their credit card out of reach. Users can save time and headache by using credit and debit cards they've already saved to their Google Account whenever they see the option to pay with Google on supported apps or sites.

For developers, this API is a significant innovation that can enable faster checkout, drive more conversions, increase sales and reduce abandoned carts—all with a simple integration. Learn more about our Google Payment API here.
Earn more from your apps with the brand new AdMob
People turn to their mobile devices throughout the day to shop, communicate and stay entertained. For developers, in-app purchases are one way to monetize. Ads are another way.
AdMob was built to support the app ecosystem. With over 1 million apps across iOS and Android, AdMob has paid over $3.5 billion dollars in ads revenue to developers. But there's more we can do to help you succeed.

Today, we're introducing a completely redesigned AdMob. Rebuilt from the ground up, AdMob is now simpler to use and delivers richer insights about your users' in-app experiences.

Simpler to use: We've applied Material Design to all aspects of the AdMob look and feel to deliver an easy-to-use and intuitive experience across the entire platform—on mobile and desktop. You'll get more done in less time. Below you can see how easy it is to pick an app that you're monitoring, check out its key metrics and then quickly take action to fine-tune its performance.

Redesigned AdMob experience

Deeper insights:
We've also integrated Google Analytics for Firebase into the core of the redesigned AdMob so you have quick access to the metrics that matter most for your business. Once you linkyour AdMob and Firebase accounts, you'll have access to detailed ad revenue data and user insights like time spent in the app and in-app purchases—all in one place.

Google Analytics for Firebase dashboard in AdMob
Know your user, find your user with Universal App Campaigns
Earning money from your app is one piece of the puzzle. You also need to think about how to grow your user base.

Google's app innovations have delivered over 5 billion installs from ads and we are now helping developers drive over 3 billion in-app events per quarter—like users adding something to their cart or reaching level 3 of a game. Developers have gravitated toward Universal App Campaigns (UAC) as the "one stop shop" campaign type that scales your reach and maximizes app installs across Google's largest properties: Google Play, Search, YouTube, Gmail and the Display Network. UAC uses Google's machine learning technology to evaluate numerous signals in real time, refining each ad to help you reach your most engaged users. We're continuing to double down on UAC, with all new innovations being built into UAC to make app promotion even more effective.
Engage users in key moments of discovery with new UAC placements in Google Play 
Android reaches more than 2 billion active devices every month, with Google Play available in 190+ countries around the world. It's the place users come to discover new apps and games. Beyond searching for apps to try, users are increasingly browsing the Play store and finding recommendations for new apps. 
To help those users discover more of your apps, we are introducing new ad placements on the home and app listing pages in the Google Play Store. These new placements, available exclusively through UAC, help you reach users in "discovery mode" as they swipe, tap and scroll in search of their next favorite app. 
New ad placements reach users browsing in Google Play

Discover more of your best users with new bidding options in UAC 
Some users are more valuable to your business than others, like the players who level-up in your game or the loyal travelers who book several flights a month. That's why we're expanding Smart Bidding strategies in UAC to help you acquire more of these high-value users. Using Smart Bidding, you can tailor bids for your unique business goals - target cost per acquisition (tCPA) or target return on ad spend (tROAS). UAC delivers the right users based on your objectives: installs, events and, coming soon, value. This update starts rolling out to iOS and Android developers and advertisers in the coming months. 
Introducing App Attribution Partners, a new measurement program 
Many developers rely on third-party measurement providers to measure the impact of ads and gain valuable insights about how users engage with your app. To help you take action on these insights in a faster and more seamless way, we are introducing App Attribution Partners, a new program designed to integrate data from 7 global companies right into AdWords.

Welcome to adjust, Adways, AppsFlyer, Apsalar, CyberZ, Kochava and TUNE... we're thrilled to have them onboard!

AdWords' integration with these partners ensures that you have consistent, reliable and more granular data where you review app metrics. Now you can take action with confidence and stay on top of your business performance.
As consumers live more of their lives online, it's increasingly important for developers to build user-centric experiences in everything that you do—from the apps you design, to the experiences you deliver, to the ways you help people transact. We know it's not always easy, so Google is here to help.

We look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce

Source: Inside AdMob


What’s New in Android: O Developer Preview 2 & More

Posted by: Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

android-o-logo.png
With billions of Android devices around the world, Android has surpassed our wildest expectations. Today at Google I/O, we showcased a number of ways we’re pushing Android forward, with the O Release, new tools for developers to help create more performant apps, and an early preview of a project we call Android Go -- a new experience that we’re building for entry-level devices.
Fluid experiences in Android O
It's pretty incredible what you can do on mobile devices today, and how easy it is to rely on them as computers in our pockets. In the O release we've focused on creating fluid experiences that make Android even more powerful and easy to use, and today we highlighted some of those:
  • Picture-in-picture: lets users manage two tasks simultaneously, whether it’s video calling your friend while checking your calendar, or reading a new recipe while watching a video on a specific cooking technique. We’ve designed PIP to provide seamless multitasking on any size screen, and it’s easy for apps to support it.
  • Notification dots extend the reach of notifications, a new way for developers to surface activity in their app, driving engagement. Built on our unique and highly regarded notification system, dots work with zero effort for most apps - we even extract the color of the dot from your icon. 
  • Autofill with Google simplifies setting up a new device and synchronizing passwords by bringing Chrome's Autofill feature to Android. Once a user opts-in, Autofill will work out-of-the-box for most apps. Developers can optimize their apps for Autofill by providing hints about the type of data expected or add support in custom views. 
  • A new homescreen for Android TV makes it easy for users to find, preview, and watch content provided by apps. Apps can publish one or more channels, and users can control the channels that appear on the homescreen. You’ll be able to get started with creating channels using the new TvProvider support library APIs
  • Smart Text Selection: In Android O, we’re applying on-device machine learning to copy/paste, to let Android recognize entities like addresses, URLs, telephone numbers, and email addresses. This makes the copy/paste experience better by selecting the entire entity and surfacing the right apps to carry out an action based on the type of entity.
  • TensorFlow Lite: As Android continues to take advantage of machine learning to improve the user experience, we want our developer partners to be able to do the same. Today we shared an early look at TensorFlow Lite, an upcoming project based on TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine learning library. TensorFlow Lite is specifically designed to be fast and lightweight for embedded use cases. Since many on-device scenarios require real-time performance, we’re also working on a new Neural Network API that TensorFlow can take advantage of to accelerate computation. We plan to make both of these available to developers in a maintenance update to O later this year, so stay tuned!  
(L) Android O: Picture-in-picture, (R) Android O: Notification dots

Working on the Vitals in Android
We think Android’s foundations are critical, so we’re investing in Android Vitals, a project focused on optimizing battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability. Today we showcased some of the work we’ve done so far, and introduced new tools to help developers understand power, performance, and reliability issues in their apps:
  • System optimizations: in Android O, we’ve done a lot of work across the system to make apps run faster and smoother. For example we made extensive changes in our runtime - including new optimizations like concurrent compacting garbage collection, code locality, and more. 
  • Background limits: up to now it’s been fairly easy for apps to unintentionally overuse resources while they’re in the background, and this can adversely affect the performance of the system. So in O, we've introduced new limits on background location and wi-fi scans, and changes in the way apps run in the background. These boundaries prevent overuse -- they’re about increasing battery life and freeing up memory.
  • New Android Vitals Dashboards in the Play Console: today we launched six Play Console dashboards to help you pinpoint common issues in your apps - excessive crash rate, ANR rate, frozen frames, slow rendering, excessive wakeups, and stuck wake locks, including how many users are affected, with guidance on the best way to address the issues. You can visit the Play Console today to see your app's data, then learn how to address any issues.
Android Go
Part of Android’s mission is to bring computing to everyone. We’re excited about seeing more users come online for the first time as the price of entry level smart phones drop, and we want to help manufacturers continue to offer lower-cost devices that provide a great experience for these users. Today we gave a sneak peek of a new experience that we’re building specifically for Android devices that have 1GB or less of memory -- Internally we call it “Android Go,” and it’s designed around three things
  • OS: We’re optimizing Android O to run smoothly and efficiently on entry-level devices
  • Apps: We’re also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard. 
  • Play: On entry-level devices, Play store will promote a better user experience by highlighting apps that are specifically designed for these devices -- such as apps that use less memory, storage space, and mobile data -- while still giving users access to the entire app catalog.
The Android Go experience will ship in 2018 for all Android devices that have 1GB or less of memory. We recommend getting your apps ready for these devices soon -- take a look at the Building for Billions to learn about the importance of offering a useful offline state, reducing APK size, and minimizing battery and memory use.

O Developer Preview 2, Now in Public Beta
Today’s release of O Developer Preview 2 is our first beta-quality candidate, available to test on your primary phone or tablet. We’re inviting those who want to try the beta release of Android O to enroll now at android.com/beta -- it’s an incredibly convenient way to preview Android O on your Nexus 5X, 6P, and Player, as well as Pixel, Pixel XL, or Pixel C device.

With more users starting to get Android O on their devices through the Android Beta program, now is the time to test your apps for compatibility, resolve any issues, and publish an update as soon as possible. See the migration guide for steps and a recommended timeline.

Later today you’ll be able to download the updated tools for developing on Android O, including the latest canaries of Android Studio, SDK, and tools, Android O system images, and emulators. Along with those, you’ll be able to download support library 26.0.0 beta and other libraries from our new Maven repo. The change to Maven from SDK Manager means a slight change to your build configuration, but gives you much more flexibility in how you integrate library updates with your CI systems.

When you’re ready to get started developing with Android O, visit the O Developer Preview site for details on all of the features you can use in your apps, including notification channels and dots, picture-in-picture, autofill, and others. APIs have changed since the first developer preview, so take a look at the diff report to see where your code might be affected.

Thanks for the feedback you’ve given us so far. Please keep it coming, about Android O features, APIs, issues, or requests -- see the Feedback and Bugs page for details on where to report feedback.

Get ready for Google I/O 2017

Posted by Mónica Bagagem, Product Marketing Manager
We’re excited to be hosting Google I/O 2017 next week at the Shoreline Amphitheatre! The agenda for May 17-19 is packed with rich, technical content. Here are some tips to help you make the most of it.

Attending in person?

Everyone is guaranteed a spot for the keynotes but seating will be pre-assigned on a first-come, first-served basis during badge pick-up. Your seating section will be noted on your badge. Badge pick-up starts on Tuesday, May 16th, between 7AM - 7PM PDT at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. Plan to come by early to get the best seats!
Sessions start at 2PM after the Developer Keynote ends, and are roughly 40mins in length. To help make it easier for you to attend your favorite talks and minimize lines, you can reserve seats for sessions now via our web app, Android app and iOS app using your Google I/O registration email address. Additionally, App reviews and select Sandbox demos will be reservable onsite on a first-come, first-served basis at the beginning of each day.
Beyond attending technical Sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to check out our latest product demos and speak directly with Google engineers throughout the Sandbox space; during Codelabs where you can complete self-paced tutorials; and at Office Hours where you can get specific questions answered 1:1 with Googlers.
Remember to save some energy for the evening! On Day 1, we’ll host an After Hours Block Party from 7-10PM. It will include dinner, drinks, and lots of fun, interactive experiences throughout the Sandbox space: our very own comedy club, an international food market & pizza party, several musical performances, a VR drive-in, a Museum of Developer Art, to name just a few! On Day 2, we’ll have an After Hours Concert from 8-10PM (don’t worry, we’ll feed you dinner, too!). Stay tuned - we’ll be announcing the talent closer to I/O.
Don’t forget to to check the Mountain View weather forecast for each day; we recommend bringing a jacket for the evening festivities as it can get chilly after dark. Although all Sessions and Sandboxes will take place in climate controlled structures, Shoreline Amphitheatre is an outdoor venue - so come prepared for whatever mother nature might have in store!
Finally, you can find directions, shuttle schedules, biking, parking, and carpooling info here.

Attending remotely?

Even if you’re not at Shoreline, you can still participate in I/O from afar! Here’s how:
  • I/O Extended: Find an I/O Extended event near you to watch the keynotes with your community, participate in hackathons, codelabs, and much more.
  • Livestream: Tune into the livestream throughout the 3 day festival on desktop and mobile.
  • I/O Live Widget: If you want to bring the livestream and the #io17 social conversation to your audience, you can customize and embed our I/O Live widget on your site or blog.
  • I/O Guide: Follow our Guide, Timothy Jordan, as he tours the venue and gets the inside scoop. You can find him on any of our livestream channels throughout the event, in-between sessions.
  • #io17request: Between May 17-19, send us your questions about I/O via English-language tweets that include the #io17request hashtag. A team of Googlers across Android, Chrome, Assistant, VR, Machine Learning, and more will track down answers to your burning questions.
  • I/O in photos: Be sure to follow out our real-time I/O photo album from Shoreline!

Check out our FAQ page if you need more info and join the conversation at #io17. See you veryyyyy soon!

Google I/O 2017 on your mobile devices

Posted by Mónica Bagagem, Product Marketing Manager

I/O is just a couple of weeks away… 9 days to be exact! As we get closer, we know many of you are excited to start customizing your I/O schedule so that you can make the most of the three festival days. In addition to customizing your schedule on google.com/io, you can also navigate through our 150+ technical Sessions, hundreds of Office Hours, and dozens of Codelabs via the Google I/O 2017 mobile app, available now for Android and very soon for iOS.

Available now: Android appiOS appWeb app (add to your mobile homescreen)

Here is a breakdown of all the things you can do with the mobile app this year:
SCHEDULE 
Browse, filter and find Sessions, Office Hours, Codelabs, and App Reviews across 14 tracks. All sessions will be livestreamed this year and you can access the livestream channel or the session recording after the fact in the respective session detail screen.
MY I/O
This is where you'll find all your saved #io17 events. To make things easy for you, these will always be synced from your account across mobile and desktop, so you can switch back and forth as needed. And since we know May 17-19 will be quite busy days, we'll send you reminders right before your saved sessions are about to start.

Exclusive for onsite registered attendees: To help make it easier to attend your favorite talks and minimize lines, you'll be able to reserve seats for sessions in advance of I/O via google.com/io AND our mobile app - as long as you're signed in with the same email address you used to register for the festival. You can reserve as many sessions as you'd like per day, but only one reservation per time slot is allowed.

Reservations will be open until 1H before the start time for each session. If a particular session has already reached the reservation capacity, you can join the waitlist and we'll automatically change your reservation status if any spots open up. A portion of seats will still be available first-come, first-served onsite. Reservations are open starting today via the Session detail screens on the Android app and on google.com/io/schedule. Note: Reservations will also be available on iOS once the app is launched.
FEED
Read through the latest details and announcements about I/O. You can also opt-in to receive notifications from us about the event, so you don't miss a thing!
MAP
Guide yourself throughout Shoreline using the custom conference map.
INFO
Find more information about onsite WiFi, our content formats, travel tips to get to Shoreline, and more. Under Settings, you can also set the timezone for the schedule and opt-in to receive notifications.

Keeping up with the tradition, we'll be open sourcing the app after I/O. Until then, start getting ready for I/O; we hope the mobile app will help you navigate the schedule and grounds for a great experience. See you soon!

Update: The iOS app is now available for download.

Start planning your Google I/O 2017 schedule!

Posted by Christopher Katsaros, Product Marketing Manager

Whether you're joining us in person or remotely, we're looking forward to connecting with you at Google I/O, on May 17-19. It's the best way to learn about building apps for the Google Assistant, how to go from Zero to App with Firebase, all of the goodies inside Android O, and much more!

Over 150 Technical Sessions, Livestreamed

The show kicks off at 10AM PDT on Wednesday, May 17 with the Google Keynote, an opportunity to hear about the latest product and platform innovations from Google, helping connect you to billions of users around the world. After that, we'll be diving into all of the ways developers can take advantage of this newness in a Developer Keynote at 1PM PDT. From there, the 14 tracks at Google I/O kickoff, with over 150 technical sessions livestreamed (i.e. all of them!) at google.com/io.

We've just published more talks on the I/O website, so you can start planning your custom schedule ahead of the conference (shhh! we've got a few more sessions up our sleeve, so don't forget to check back directly after the Developer Keynote).

You can also take advantage of Codelabs - self-paced tutorials on a number of technical topics to get you up and running with a Google product or feature. These Codelabs will be available both to those who are joining us in person at Shoreline, and online for those of you tuning in from around the world. More details will be available on the schedule soon.

Joining in person?

We received a lot of great feedback from attendees last year, and have been working hard since then to make sure this is the best Google I/O, yet. To help make it easier to attend your favorite talks and minimize lines, you'll be able to reserve seats across sessions before I/O starts. But don't worry, we're saving a few seats in each session that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis onsite. We've also increased the size of each of the tents this year, giving you more opportunities to see all of your favorite talks in-person.

Finally, we've doubled the number of Office Hours available, since you told us that being able to connect directly with Googlers to get your questions answered was extremely valuable. On top of that, all of the sandbox demo areas will be inside climate-controlled structures, making it easier to avoid the elements (but don't forget to bring your layers – Shoreline Amphitheatre is still an outdoor venue, after all).

See you in 3 weeks!

We're looking forward to seeing you in just a few weeks. We've got a few more updates to share before then; be sure to check out the Google I/O website for more details, or follow the conversation using the #io17 hashtag.