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Google I/O to shine a spotlight on Android

Google I/O to shine a spotlight on Android

Android's newest features will get plenty of attention at the Google's developers conference next month

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Google's upcoming developer conference will feature a familiar theme: mobile.

A surprise to no one, Android will be a principal topic at the Google I/O event being held May 18-20. The conference will shine a light on new features in the mobile platform as well as capabilities for battery optimization, image loading, sensors, and automobiles.

A review of sessions planned for Google I/O reveals topics including Progressive Web Apps, in which Google and Mozilla are looking to refine the Web app experience on devices, and Project Tango, for the development of 3D-capable mobile devices.

First and foremost, though, developers will get a saturation of Android content. "Come to this session to find out about new developer features in the platform. APIs, functionality, performance -- it's all here," reads one session's description. Another session, "Making Android sensors and location work for you," will feature a deep dive into Google's location engine. Yet another will cover optimizations for battery and memory consumption. "No one likes battery-draining apps or sluggish experience on their device," the description says. "We will go over new platform features aimed at optimizing battery and memory consumption such as Doze and the new background optimizations in the N release."

Android Runtime (ART) improvements will be focused on in another session, which will emphasize strategies for boosting performance and minimizing update times and disk usage. "We will be talking about the new exciting Hybrid JIT-AOT approach, profile guided compilation, the new compiler and application images." Android's application architecture, development tools, themes, and styles will be covered as well.

Details on the Android Auto platform will be aired at I/O. "Android Auto brings Android into the car and offers new opportunities for developers to reach users during the valuable hours they spend each week driving," according to the session description. "In this talk, you'll learn about APIs that allow developers to enable existing applications for the Android Auto platform and reach more users in the car."

Developers will also get the lowdown on building Progressive Web Apps. "We'll cover how we built a real, scalable, offline-first Web app powered by Polymer, Web components, service workers, notifications, Google Signin, Firebase, new browser APIs, and more." Additionally, Google will cover the tools and libraries being built for Progressive Web Apps.

Project Tango, meanwhile, will be covered from gaming, Android, and Area Learning perspectives. "With Area Learning, Project Tango can not only see the space around you, but it can also remember the space around you. This opens up a new range of possibilities for Project Tango developers," a session description reads.

Google's V8 JavaScript engine will be detailed, with a focus on speed, ECMAScript 2015 enhancements, and capabilities based on the WebAssembly runtime for executing C/C++ code. The Nearby project will also receive attention. "Nearby brings awareness of close-by smartphones, devices, and beacons to your app, using a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ultrasound."

Google also will feature its first-ever "Google Play" awards at Google IO, which will recognize the best apps and games.

Google is holding the I/O conference at an amphitheater within walking distance of its Silicon Valley headquarters; in previous years it was held in downtown San Francisco.

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