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The Google I/O developer conference kicked off on Thursday with a staggering number of announcements. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Android M Developer Preview:The next version of Android will include simplified app permissions, custom tabs for Chrome, better deep app links, Hands Free Payments, fingerprint reader support for Android Pay, Doze power management and UI improvements.
  • Brillo: As expected, Google unveiled an Internet of Things (IoT) operating system called Brillo. It will communicate with Android devices and Google’s cloud computing services via a communications layer called Weave.
  • Android Studio 1.3: The updated version of the IDE offers support for C++, faster Gradle performance and a new memory profiler.
  • Polymer 1.0: The application development library is now ready for production use.
  • Cloud Test Lab: Based on technology from Appurify, the service (which will be available soon) will provide mobile development firms with cloud-based testing capabilities.
  • Now on Tap: Google is updating Google Now with a host of new features and better integration with more apps.
  • Android Wear:The wearable platform has improvements like always-on screens, wrist gestures and emoji recognition.
  • Google Photos: The new consumer photo service will offer unlimited storage plus editing, search and sharing capabilities.
  • Play Store updates:Mobile developers will get access to more analytics plus A/B testing.
  • Android Nanodegree: Aspiring mobile development pros can learn all about Android in a 6-month course that costs just $12.
  • Virtual Reality: Google has added more capabilities to Google Cardboard and announced a new Jump VR platform that works with GoPro hardware.

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