The WillowTree team is out in full force at Google I/O this year, this time as a proud Android Certified Agency. At the close of Day 1, the team offered their perspective on the most exciting concepts and compelling speakers. Take a look: Margo Bulka, Product Strategist
Favorite Speaker: Anil Sabharwal, VP Photos - Personable, compelling and energetic, despite a few technical hiccups his enthusiasm was infectious!
Concept I’m most excited about: Hand’s down, it’s hard not to be ecstatic about Google Lens. From identifying a flower, to offering an AR streetview vision of restaurant reviews (as demonstrated in the keynote), the use cases for Google Lens could sprawl far beyond the garden or dinner hour. Why fumble around articulating a request with words when you can leverage computer vision? To top it off, integration with Google Home via Google Assistant offers real value that I can’t help but think this will make everyday life so much easier - which should always be the goal. Read more about Google Lens on TechCrunch here. Ayesha Zafar, Product Researcher
Favorite Speaker: Victor Tsaran, Technical Program Manager, Accessibility at Google
Concept I’m most excited about: The talk I clapped the loudest for today was definitely “What’s New in Android Accessibility.” WillowTree has done significant work when it comes to accessibility and something we have heard from users repeatedly is that iOS is traditionally more accessible than Android, however today’s presentation showed that this may soon not be true. Google has taken significant steps to improve accessibility in Android starting with shortcuts for turning Accessibility on and off. Though this may seem simple, the ability to quickly toggle TalkBack (or other accessibility features) on and off is a very important first step for Android becoming more accessible for users. I think this change, along with other new accessibility changes, will resonate with users and push Android’s TalkBack to catch up with iOS’ VoiceOver.
Emily Seibert, Software Engineer
Favorite Speaker: Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson was incredibly engaging. I was so excited that she spoke at both the Google Keynote and Developer Keynote later on in the afternoon. Her excitement about Kotlin made me, a web developer, excited.
Concept I’m most excited about: I’m most excited about the keynotes’ focus on AI and the discoveries to be made with the incredible amount of power that Cloud TPU provides. Google is applying AI across the board and the result is seamless multimodal integration and better user experience in its products. AI is Google’s game changer of the year. Austen Lux, Senior Android Developer
Favorite Speaker: Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, PM Director, Android
Concept I’m most excited about: I’m definitely most excited about Google announcing that they are fully supporting and endorsing Kotlin as a new programming language for Android! It is a very exciting change for Java/Android developers, and some have even called it “the Swift of Android” (referring to the new programming language Swift that Apple recently released for iOS development). Many Android developers (including myself) are super excited to have full Kotlin support coming from Google, because of the many advantages it brings to the table over Java (less verbose, null safety, no checked exceptions, easy learning curve, etc.).