Each year, the Google I/O 2024 event gives us some exciting insights into what is coming for the world of Android. This year, we were interested to see that there was a particular focus on AI.  
We chatted with our two of our Android Team, James Young, Android Technical Lead, and Billy Needham, Head of Development, to find out what the announcements could mean for our clients, our developers and the future of app development.  

The Age of AI

AI is on everyone’s minds at the moment, as one of the greatest advancements in technology in recent history, it is being used more and more in our day-to-day lives.  

Google have announced: updates to their AI system, Gemini, to improve the usability for developers; Project Astra, a new AI assistant, and; AI integration to their Google Search engine. 

We asked our Android team to tell us about the updates and their insights.  

Google Search

[Image Copyright: The Keyword, 2024] 

James: Google I/O 2024 was all about AI. They announced that all their products will now incorporate AI, for example, if you use Google Search you will be provided with generated overviews, or you can ask AI to create a photo library based on something particular. For me, I will be using it to create libraries of my cats, Frodo and Sam! 

Billy: These AI additions to Google Search means we can ask Google longer, more complex questions too. It has already seen increased user satisfaction and usage. Something we could utilise this for in app development is with an AI chat bot. For example, if a user is after something specific in an app, or on a website, they can ask the AI and be directed quickly and seamlessly through the app.  

I think that Google is really taking back some ground in AI by introducing it to all of their products. As users, we will become more accustomed to this responsive and understanding feedback through AI and will likely expect it to be everywhere. Integrating AI into your app could be something to consider now or in the the near-future. AI could improve apps in so many ways, not just as chat bots. We could also use them to analyse images and review user generated data. Or, let’s say you have a fitness app, the AI could be producing completely bespoke training plans for users that the app can then store and manage.  

Interested in AI for your app?


[Image Copyright: The Keyword, 2024] 

James: In development, we currently have the ability to build with Gemini, which allows us to easily integrate Gemini AI tools into Android apps. For developers specifically, Google announced some improvements coming to Gemini in Android Studio (formerly known as Studio Bot) which may lead to it superseding the AI tool, CoPilot, as the Android Developers coding companion. This is because Gemini is modelled around Android developer documentation, so it has a very good understanding of Android development and is able to be very specific when answering questions and offering potential solutions. The latest updates mean that Gemini is tailored entirely to Android development and can help us produce code and fix bugs more efficiently.  

Project Astra

[Image Copyright: Engadget, 2024] 

James: The most intriguing announcement for me was Project Astra, Google’s everyday AI assistant. Astra is able to understand the world around us through sight and sound, which means soon we will all have a helpful AI companion in our pockets to help us take on the day’s tasks. 

Billy: It seems like it’ll be really cool and a great way to push AI usefulness by allowing it access information from lots of sources. It could revolutionise what our apps can do. You could be looking at something while giving voice commands that are being digested and then passed to our apps for us to interact. 

James: I suspect going forward we will see a lot more AI integrations in everyday apps! 

We’re excited to see what the future of AI holds and how the apps we build will integrate these to make them more efficient and functional!