by Swapnil Bhartiya

8 big plans Google has in store for Android

May 24, 2016

Android is the center of Google’s universe

Android is at the center of Google’s consumer story and the company is betting big on the platform. Not only is Google going to finally change how Android phones gets updates, it’s also going to change how apps works on Android devices and how we communicate with those devices. The company is even bringing Android apps to its Chrome OS platform. Here is a handpicked list of some of the big plans Google has for Android.

Android N gets Chrome OS-like updates

Android N

Android has been plagued with fragmentation because Google has no control over OS updates beyond its own Nexus devices. Google is now borrowing a page from Chrome OS and bringing a similar update mechanism to Android. In the upcoming release of Android, codenamed ‘N’, there will be two partitions on the device. Updates will be installed in the background and a simple reboot will switch to the latest version without any delay or interruption.

Android apps are coming to Chromebooks

Android apps coming to Chromebooks

Image by Google Blog

Chrombooks are selling like hot cakes. In the first quarter of 2016, Chromebooks outsold Macbooks. Now Google is making Chromebooks even more powerful. In mid-June the app store for Android (Google Play Store) is coming to Chromebooks. That will allow Chromebook users to run Android apps natively, bringing millions of apps to Chrome OS devices.

Google is building its VR platform on top of Android

Google VR platform

Google has been on the VR bandwagon with its super inexpensive Google Cardboard viewers. But Cardboard wasn’t a real competitor to Oculus Rift or Sony VR. Now Google is getting serious and is building its VR platform Daydream on top of Android.

Google Assistant

slide assistant

Google is taking on the likes of Cortana, Siri and Alexa with its own AI assistant called “Google Assistant,” which is expected to replace Google Now to power search on Android devices. I only wish it had a better name. Borg maybe?

Google Home

Google Home

At Google I/O the company announced Google Home, a voice activated, always listening device that will compete with Amazon’s Echo. Since most Google technologies are powered by Android, I am assuming Android will also power Google Home.

Android Watch 2.0

Android Watch 2.0

Image by Android Wear

Google is bringing a massive version jump to Android Wear. Android Wear 2.0 will feature a total UI overhaul with “material design.” Other improvements include calling capabilities without being attached to a phone and more native apps.

Instant Apps

Instant Apps

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to download an app just to do one certain thing, one time? Like paying for parking? Or showing your airplane boarding pass? Google is changing this with Instant Apps. Instant Apps is more or less breaking down of apps into small parts to instantly deliver specific information for Web services — without needing to to download dedicated apps.

Android Auto

Android Auto

Image by Android Auto

Google is working on a major update to its Android Auto app that makes it irrelevant whether your car’s infotainment system is powered by iOS, Android or Microsoft Sync. With the upcoming app, all you need to do is slide your phone into the cradle and take control of your information. The only physical connection with the car would be either an auxiliary input or pairing with bluetooth to use the car’s speakers.