Thursday, 28 May 2015


Are we there yet? No!
Are we there yet? Uh-uh...
We are here!
GOOGLE i / O 2015

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How’s it going? It is great to see you as always! Did you enjoy Google i / O 2015?

Here are my thoughts... Read on!

#GoogleiO2015 #iO2015 #Android6 #AndroidM #AndriodWear #AndroidAuto

Is it me? Have you noticed that the Google i / O keynotes have become progressively lacklustre? Don’t misunderstand me... ...there were great tidings as per usual but these revelations are mostly aimed at developers (app programmers and general Google / Android / Chrome programmers). In other words: There were no announcements regarding new tech for us to drool over! Typically my mind wandered and I don’t think that that the Nexus Player was mentioned at all nor was Google Glass. Hmmmm... I would have thought that there would have been an announcement on the next version of Chromecast; I had the inclination that Google Glass wouldn’t be mentioned at all as I reckon that there is a lot of work to be done still! That said we learned that more content was being added to Chromecast – including HBO! Yay!

We learned about developments in Google Wear and Auto; there are new wearables on the horizon but, again, no details. Fair enough!

I was very happy and surprised to learn of Android codenamed ‘M’ that’s in the pipeline that will go back to basics i.e. quashing thousands of bugs (not that I have noticed anything untoward with my Nexus 6, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S4 and Moto G 2014)! The sound settings will return to having control of notifications, ringtone, alarms and media on an individual basis! As predicted Google are going to try and deliver battery efficiency with a facility called “Doze”. Doze effectively allows your device to go into a deeper sleep mode when not in use for long periods. There is, predictably, support for the USB C type port that should allow devices with the USB C port to charge more efficiently. Great!

If, like me, you do a lot of messaging and word processing on your mobile device you will be glad to know that selecting text will be easier with Android M – Milkshake. That’s good news as there are times when I am close to throwing some of my handsets against the wall!

Sharing will be made even easier! I never had a problem with sharing – when I borrowed my nephew’s iPhone I realized just how wonderful life is on Android.

Android M – Mudpie will include the fingerprint scan as part of the security functionality within. This means that any device with a fingerprint scanner will be compatible directly with Android 6, M – Moonpie.

Android Pay pretty much sounds like what Samsung has created with Samsung Pay; I am no expert by any means but it seems as though there isn’t much between these two payment options.

Perhaps we can glean from this that the next Nexus devices will include a fingerprint scanner. Of course there was no mention of the next Nexus devices as they are typically announced towards the third quarter in time for Christmas! The tablet isn’t such a big deal anymore and so there is no need to wax lyrical over the Android (iPad killing) tablet! In the event of these new Android devices I can only hope that they’ll be getting some decent processors respectively.


In a nutshell ‘Brillo’ is a scaled down version of Android that should allow electronics manufacturers to include Brillo in a multitude of devices such as smarthome devices such as Nest, fridges, coffee machines, cameras and so on. The idea is that these devices do not need to run on the up to the minute CPU! Brillo is said be able to run on the most minimal hardware requirements. Brillo can definitely up Google’s game somewhat as Android is ubiquitous and it should make things easier for the manufacturer to create devices that make it easy for the consumer to connect to (and control).

Brillo opens up many, many possibilities for manufacturers to add Android compatibility with just about every conceivable piece of electronic equipment! So, the next time you purchase a standalone digital camera it could very well be that it has Android compatibility built into it which brings me to...

I have been hearing and reading on the prospect of Google Photos... Google Photos does look pretty awesome with its ability to catalogue photos and videos for free and unlimited! Whoohoo! But the catch – if you can call it that – is that the photos are taken with a 16MP camera (so there goes the standalone Brillo enabled 30MP camera) and the video is limited to 1080p! I think it’s pretty good going! I like it and I will use it for sure! It’s available right now! Yay! Oh, but does this mean that the forthcoming Nexus handsets will be limited to 16MP??? Mind you 16MP is great quality! But you know me and Android fanatics – we want the biggest, fastest and the best! Yes, this is subjective but I am sure that those who just love taking pictures on the handset would want to have the highest possible MP rating!

Just to go off tangent slightly... I found myself looking for a dedicated digital camera recently... Why? Four things:-

1. Optical zoom; I find that there is no Android handset or any other handset that has a really useful optical zoom. Digital zoom is no substitute!

2. Mega Pixels; I can get a very high MP rating on a standalone dedicated digital camera that should – with a decent lens – translate to even better pictures.

3. It ties in with points 1 and 2...’s a good lens! A good lens can make such a difference!

4. Video quality; although many of today’s top handsets can record high quality video I think better quality can be had with a better lens and microphone.

The question is: Will there be a Photos Pro and how much will it cost per month or year?

Anyhoo, it appears as though we’ll get a video editor thrown in the mix! Oh, Google Photo will put together photo collages and edit video for you automatically! It sounds interesting! I must give it a try some time... Google Photos is available NOW on Google Play Store!

Apart from new toys for the consumer I wanted to see...

The Android PC; I know that I keep going on about it but now that Android is multi-processor compatible I keep imagining the possibilities with an i7 CPU and a decent graphics card! I reckon that it would be easier to edit video on an Android PC than a Windows one. I am sure that many established software developers for the PC would do an Android PC version!

Google Car; with today’s electric car engines becoming more powerful, efficient and cost effective and 3D printing technology I think it is time for the consumer to design his / her electric car online and either have it delivered or be able to go to the manufacturer and drive it off the premises. When I take public transport I see people getting on the bus just to take them 5 minutes down the road. That’s nuts! The main reason is for shopping; all too often lone mothers with a push buggy have the arduous task of jumping on a crowded bus – often with no space for a third buggy – and I reckon the solution is the affordable Google (electric) Car! I’d get one as I would use it for short trips i.e. to shop, visit my folks (more often), etc. And because advances in battery technology it is possible to charge fully in a short space of time thus making Google Car a Godsend! Do you know how expensive it is to run a petrol / diesel car in the UK??? Jeez, Louise!

Oh, I forgot to mention that in Android 6, M – Maltesers, the user will be able to have more control over app permissions which is a welcome relief as I am concerned as to why certain apps have to access my contacts! What else do these apps access – my emails???

It’s always great to see, as an Android user, Google making greater improvements on the best and most used mobile operating system on the planet. However, it would have been better if the consumer had a new toy to get excited about – even if it was Chromecast 2! I did feel that there could have been more said on the Nexus Player and possibly a hint at a strong tablet to come... Yes, tablets are kind of pass√© at the moment but I feel that it is because the best is yet to come from Android. I think that Google’s Sundar Pichai missed out on an opportunity to get Android tablet users whipped up into frenzy over the delivery of a truly outstanding tablet (I still think it’s going to come from Samsung this year)! I am seriously ready to throw my Asus FonePad 7 LTE out of the window!

I get that Google might want to keep the forthcoming Nexus handsets under wraps for now but I look at the Moto products as taking up where the Nexus 5 left off in terms of affordability. I would have like to have heard news on the Moto G 2015 (add that to my things that I wanted to see list).

Google i / O 2015 was definitely one for the developers! The consumer will reap the benefits later. I did enjoy i / O 2015 nonetheless. I have come to appreciate this latest subdued style of keynote instead of watching and listening to the Apple one that blows smoke up...

Above: Flick your wrist and change the screen! Wow!

Saying that (above) I have yet to be convinced by the Android Wearable... Not that I find the Apple Watch better... So far I am just not enthusiastic with the reinvention of the watch. At least Google have, once again, made me curious about the forthcoming new wearable devices.

It’s now time to play the guessing game as to what the next version of Android will be called and to await its release early next year (I hope).

If you are a consumer I can only say to you: Watch out of Google announcements throughout the year! I am almost certain that Chromecast 2 is on the way... I think Google are waiting for Apple to announce Apple TV 2.

As for the Nexus handset or handsets (as the latest rumour is that LG and Huawei will be launching 2 new Nexus variants later this year)... ...the announcement will probably come late September – after Samsung announces the Galaxy Note 5. Certainly after Apple has announced the iPhone 6S and 6C (if they will release another plastic handset with a multitude of colour options again).

Roll on!

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