Google I/O 2015 round-up

Google's I/O 2015 is finished, and even though the company failed to treat us with any hardware, it did make up for it with a lot of software.

In case you missed it, here is everything Google announced during its keynote conference:

Android M

The biggest thing was something everyone was expecting – the preview version of the upcoming Android M OS. The preview version was launched, with the consumer release set for Q3 2015. Main features include granular permissions and Chrome custom tabs. Instead of lengthy permissions apps ask for upon installation, users will now be prompted for specific permissions when the app requires it. Chrome custom tabs allows developers to add custom features that overlays on top of apps.

Project Brillo

Here's one more thing we knew up front – Google’s working on its own IoT platform. That platform, called Project Brillo, is based on a barebones version of Android and is using its own language named Weave to communicate between the Brillo OS, the device and the cloud. Weave is available cross-platform.

Developer preview is expected in Q3, while Weave should arrive in Q4.

Google Now on Tap

The company wants to make your smartphone even smarter with Google Now. The personal assistant wants to be even more contextual by learning your behaviours, lifestyle and habits.

Google Now on Tap makes the virtual assistant accessible from any app through a home button long press.

Google Maps now offline

By the end of the year, Google Maps will be fully functional offline.

Google Photos

The company now offers a standalone Google Photos app, which allows for free and unlimited backup of all your photos. You can browse them across a timeline, or based on people or places you’ve visited.

Inbox by Gmail is now invite-free

The Gmail revamp Inbox is now available without an invite. The company has announced new features, including the undo send button, trip bundles, custom signatures and swipe to delete.

Developer tools

Google announced Android Studio 1.3, Polymer 1.0, a new Material design library and more tools to help devs create awesome apps.

Play Store for the kids

The company now offers Family Star - a sort of G-rated section of the Play Store that kids can peruse without fear of bumping into something inappropriate.

HBO Now

HBO Now is no longer exclusive to iOS devices. You should be able to use the service on your Android this summer.

Virtual Reality

An improved version of the Cardboard VR is coming, which will be compatible with more devices. Google Cardboard SDK for Unity will now support iOS, as well.