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Thoughts on Google I/O

May 20, 2018

My first Google I/O as a Google employee was interesting; it was a chance to learn more about what’s going on (even though Google is relatively open there’s so much happening that it’s essentially impossible to keep track of it all) and to contrast the internal and external perceptions of announced technologies. It was also amusing to see the increase in tourists at the Googleplex; the Shoreline Amphitheater is close enough that we had I/O attendees wandering over to take pictures and look around.

Here are some of my favorite things Google showed off at I/O:

  • Android P. But then I’m biased.
  • Multiple devices from multiple OEMs offering the P beta (Project Treble starting to pay off).
  • Cleaning up the support library madness (v4! v7! v13! The design library!) into the androidx namespace and the Jetpack library.
  • Improved Kotlin support. I’ve been holding off switching over to Kotlin since it’ll temporarily slow me down while I learn the language, but with the KTX extensions and developer documentation I’m thinking about finally investing the cycles to do it.
  • Material Theming and the Material Theme Editor. If you’re a Sketch user, the latter provides really nice support for designing Android applications.
  • Support for running Linux applications on Chrome. The Pixelbook is a nice machine, but the inability to run Android Studio is a showstopper. It’d be nice to potentially be able to use a Chrome OS device for work (plus living with a Pixelbook would make it easier to explore user experiences that leverage both Chrome OS and Android on a single device).
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