Google I/O 2022 urges developers to focus on the ‘real world’ – The New Stack
Google’s annual developer conference Google I/O, took place this week and one of the themes was developing for the “real world”. Google CEO Sundar Pichai used the phrase four times in less than a minute in his opening speech (with “real life” to boot) while discussing Google’s emerging augmented reality (AR) capabilities. He talked about giving Google users “the ability to spend time focusing on what matters in the real world, in our real lives.”
The implication for developers? That you should build apps and features that people use in their daily lives – on computers, cellphones and – if a promotional video in the keynote is to be believed – potentially a pair of HUD smart glasses (micro-heads-up display) .
The virtual world was barely mentioned in the keynote, other than a few minor features added to Google Meet, its meeting app. As for Virtual Reality (VR), apparently it does not exist at Google.
the developer talk continued to subtly push the development theme for the real world. The first product mentioned in the keynote by the host Jeanine Banks, developer relations manager at Google, was the ARCore geospatial API. “At no cost, developers can easily create immersive experiences by placing AR content on real sites in 87 countries,” Banks said.
Even Google’s web platform representative at I/O, Ben Galbraith, used the phrase “real world,” this time in relation to the Core Web Vitals performance program that Google’s browser team has been pushing for several years now. “Because the Speedometer measures actual web performance,” Galbraith said of the tool that measures website speed, “these improvements translate to faster experiences for you and your users. “.
Galbraith also mentioned the recent Lego Spike web app which uses advanced APIs (Chrome only) to bring interactive features to Lego. The APIs are for Bluetooth and USB connectivity, so again this is an example of connecting a real-world object — in this case, a Lego toy — with the internet.
Another highlight of the developer keynote was an update from Google’s Machine Learning (ML) division. “We believe 2022 is the year ML will be part of every developer’s toolbox,” said Google’s senior ML manager, Alex Spinelli. “We made sure that wherever you can run code, you can run ML,” he added a bit later. For deploying ML models, he pointed to TensorFlow Extended (TFX), which he says “allows you to implement full pipelines quickly and easily; and of course, if you want a managed solution for that, Vertex AI can have you covered end-to-end.
In a previous session, Karolina Netolicka from Google Cloud introduced AlloyDB for PostgreSQL, “a powerful new relational database from Google Cloud that is fully compatible with PostgreSQL.” It also has, she noted, “built-in ML.”
This week in development
Overview of Google web features
In a separate and entertaining space 30 minute sessionGoogle’s Una Kravets and Jake Archibald explained “what’s new for the web platform.” In previous years, this session showcased the latest Chrome features, many of which weren’t available in Apple’s Safari or Mozilla’s Firefox at the time. But this year, Kravets and Archibald tried to highlight cross-browser compatible features (although there are still a number of Chrome-only features mentioned).
Kravets talked about a CSS feature called “containment”, now supported by all browsers, which “allows developers to tell the browser how to display content on the screen and isolate a DOM subtree”, allowing thus the browser “to defer the rendering of the size, panes and layout for speed and efficiency.
Later, Archibald highlighted cascading layers, a CSS feature that’s brand new this year – and fully supported in the industry. “Engineers and standards managers from all browsers worked together to release this feature at around the same time,” he noted.
New SlashData Report: Python and Rust in Motion
Another big driver (albeit on a smaller scale) has been Rust, which has “nearly tripled in size in the past 24 months, growing from just 0.6 million developers in Q1 2020 to 2.2 million in first quarter of 2022”. The report states that Rust is “primarily used in IoT software projects but also in AR/VR development, most often to implement basic low-level logic for AR/VR applications.”
Another interesting set of stats in the report is for low-code tools. 46% of professional developers surveyed “use low-code/no-code (LCNC) tools for some part of their development work,” says SlashData. Although experienced developers, especially those with more than ten years of experience, are the least likely to use these tools.
Difficult week for Web3
The Web3 aka crypto crowd had a tough week as major cryptocurrencies and NFTs fell in value. According to a Techmeme title Thursday, “Bitcoin fell below $26,000 for the first time since December 2020, down 15% in 24 hours; Ether has fallen as low as $1,720, its lowest level since July 2021.” Of course, the rest of us in the economy are also hurting, with stock markets continuing their bearish run this year as inflation rises. . But for Web3 startups, crypto valuations have a much bigger impact at the development level, as the products being built have financialization at their core.
Much of the crypto’s value is gone,
And the NFT hype receded.
The best scholarship bosses
Unable to stem the losses.
The apathetic monkeys watch.
— Limericking (@Limericking) May 11, 2022
Molly White from the website with the ironic name Web3 is doing great put it right in an interview with Harvard Business Review. “These technologies [Web3] building financial barriers; they don’t spill them,” she told HBR. “They seek to introduce a layer of financialization into everything we do, which in many ways is worse than the legacy systems they seek to replace.”
I feel like it’s a bad sign when your stablecoin community talks about “buying the dip”
— Molly White (@molly0xFFF) May 10, 2022
Development Tweet of the Week
You may be rethinking your Web3 projects right now, but WebAssembly continues to be the golden child of web development.
—Dan Phillips (@d_philla) May 10, 2022
The New Stack is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Partners, an investor in the following companies mentioned in this article: Spike.