Google announced at the end of March that this year’s I/O event registration would be done differently, no longer offering tickets on a first-come-first-serve basis. Instead, I/O will open a registration period from 5:00am PDT on April 8th until 5:00pm PDT on April 10th, after which Google will randomly select from the pool of registrants to decide who will be attending the event. If you were picked, you need to pay $900 for general admission or $300 if you’re a student.
But what can lucky I/O attendees expect to see at the event?
According to sources, Google is said to be overhauling many of its native and web apps. 9to5Google published what they claim is a new beta version of Gmail on Android and it features new Travel, Purchases, and Finance tabs in your inbox, alongside existing ones such as Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. There will also be a new ‘pinning’ feature which allows users to pin an email so it remains at the top, and a ‘snooze’ feature which lets you delay an email for a period of time. Meanwhile, a ‘toggle’ feature allows users to switch between emails shown in chronological order and one showing pinned emails up top.
The changes will not be confined to the Android platform, as sources claim that the new look and experience will also be available for apps on iOS and the web.
One source who got to experience the new Gmail using Google’s Chrome browser stated that “It doesn’t have the feel of a traditional email client with folders/inbox on the side.” The source added that Google seems to be focusing on displaying mails in full screen, “they highlight one email at a time and you sort of cycle through them by snoozing them, archiving them away or deleting,” the source added.
This could be a tedious task, especially when you want to delete a bunch of emails, but the source also noted that there might still be a way to get a small list from a drop down menu of your emails.
Gmail isn’t the only app getting a makeover though. Apparently, Google plans to move many of its apps into this direction – wherein everything is displayed in full screen. The search giant internally calls this revamped version “Google 2”, a name that we hope will change when it officially gets announced.
Some might question why Google needs to change everything to deliver full screen display of content, and 9to5Google pointed out that it may have something to do with Android Wear. Google is aggressively pushing its efforts in the wearable tech market and the announcement of Android Wear, a dedicated platform for wearable devices, is expected help Google achieve dominance in the wearable tech industry.
Google is revamping many of its apps to deliver glanceable information, similar to what Google Now offers. The revamp can also be a push to streamline apps to deliver the same experience regardless of whether you’re using a wearable device, mobile device, or your PC.