Google I/O 2016 thoughts

This isn’t going to be a full write up of Google I/O 2016. There are many that do a great job of that, you can read TechCrunch’s here, The Verge here, and The Next Web here.

I’m going to touch on the two things that I am really excited about. The first is Google Home. I’ve been excited about Amazon’s Echo but haven’t jumped in yet. I’ve read and seen examples where the Echo can be a really cool utility because of it’s always listening functionality. I air on the side of Siracusa here (listen to the ATP 170 to hear his thoughts) and think that the the full stack integrations with merchants isn’t there yet, so it won’t be able to do the things I really would like it to do. However, if I trust any company to do this really well, it’s Google. Google’s core competency is in big data processing and machine learning which is exactly what this product is meant for. I will 100% be a buyer of this product.

If only my new Apple TV had the always listening functionality with enhanced microphones. Apple could have already had a horse in this race. Siri on iPhone and Apple Watch isn’t sufficient because the ‘hey siri’ is way too hit or miss.

Marco Arment writes up a great piece on his fear that Apple is not focusing enough on the machine learning/AI strategy, where its competitors already have an advantage. Let’s see if Apple opens up a Siri API at WWDC next month.

The other Google IO announcement that is really exciting and I plan on diving in much deeper with, is Firebase.

Firebase was purchased around 18 months ago and this is the first major addition to the platform. With Parse shutting down this is a welcome to the developer community that want to rely on back end as a service (BaaS) platforms. I am personally excited and already diving into the documentation to see how I could utilize this service in my next side project. The reason why it’s so intriguing? Google is building this platform to be multi channel: iOS, Android and Web. Back end services are one of those things Google does well and this update to Firebase is going to help fill the void where Parse left off.