Expectations for Google I/O 2017

The following notes are not intended to be comprehensive or predictive, but are merely some stray thoughts:

I have far fewer expectations this year than in previous years, as most of what I was anticipating was already introduced in the Android O Preview. Namely, this included finally making JobScheduler mandatory, and no longer allowing apps to register broadcast receivers for implicit broadcasts in their manifests.

I’m expecting the following topics to be discussed during the opening keynote: deep learning, deep learning, and deep learning. The machine learning sessions and office hours should be comically over capacity.

Regarding Project Treble, we have basically no details right now. I’m hoping the Android team will elaborate on it, at least during the Fireside Chat.

I was expecting the usual ART optimization improvements, and this year seems fruitful. The new garbage collector should be exciting. Josh Ho also suggested an obvious, albeit minor win to me last year: performing full ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation instead of profile-guided optimization (itself a form of AOT compilation) while on power for apps that have not run yet. The purpose would be strictly to improve first run performance and energy usage. I'm not expecting this to be mentioned, if it was even added.

Yigit Boyar is going to introduce some improvements for Android app architecture. As part of this, the new approach to managing app lifecycles was previously teased and will now be announced in detail.

Romain Guy is going to present on color. You would not believe how complicated the topic is. Color management on Android is still a work in progress, so even though not everything will ship this year, I have faith that everything (such as HDR) will fundamentally be addressed eventually.

I have no idea if anything will be announced at I/O, but at some point UHD content will be launched on Google Play. I’ve seen that the Chromium team is working on HDR support, which will be ready before color management is added to the browser. We may thus see HDR content limited to sRGB before UHD content is launched. I expect Google to push Dolby Vision. Either way, I don’t expect any Android devices will fully support HDR this year.

For anyone interested in Fuchsia, there are two talks on Flutter. I expect at least 50% of the slides to feature animal memes of some kind. Wise developers should embrace Flutter as the future of mobile development on Google’s platforms.

Lastly, I’m personally curious to learn more Android Things.