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Google I/O, the tech company's annual developer conference, came and went last weekend. The conference focuses on encouraging development in Google platforms such as Android and Chrome. But for the non-techies out there, it's much more of a two day press conference about Google's new developments.
Google I/O had some good news for lawyers, from simple developments like longer battery life and easier email, to potential game changers like virtual reality and NSA-connected toasters.
Here's an overview of five promising developments.
1. Better Battery Life
In perhaps the most useful Google I/O development for lawyers, and mobile users of all professions, Google is promising better battery life for Android devices. Android M, the next version of the Android operating system, will allow for "deep sleep" mode when the device isn't being used. That means your battery won't drain as quickly when you're in a meeting, court, or typing away at a memo on your desktop.
2. Better Data Security Too
If you're not worried about data security, you should be. Google's new Vault project wants to provide you some piece of mind, however. Google I/O announced the new microSD card, which promises enhanced encryption technology that will be able to lock away information in real time. The card also uses two-step authentication, for extra security. That's great news for those handling sensitive client data -- which is all client data.
3. Inbox for Everyone
We've talked about Google Inbox plenty of times before. This new email app highlights your important emails, bundles similar messages together and is well-designed for mobile use. It's also finally out of beta. Now you no longer have to pester friends and colleagues for an invite -- everyone can sign up, just like with Gmail.
4. The Internet of Things
The "Internet of Things" has been the buzzword in Silicon Valley for awhile now. It's the idea that everyday objects, from your thermostat to your evil, murderous teddy bear, should have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. If the Internet does end up taking over daily life, Google might be the one running its operating system. The company announced two IoT developments at I/O. The first, Project Brillo, is an IoT operating system, supposedly able to run with a "minimal footprint." The second, Weave, allows IoT devices to communicate with each other. So get ready for your toilet to start Tweeting.
As futuristic as the Internet of Things sounds, one of the more interesting developments is seemingly more lowtech. All Google I/O attendees were given Google Cardboard. That's right, cardboard. Google's ingenious little cardboard box allows you to turn your smart phone into a VR machine, by strapping it into a cardboard box mounted on your face. If you remember View-Masters, you have an idea of how Cardboard works.
It's a novelty, sure, but it has some interesting applications. Imagine asking a jury to strap on some Cardboard as you walk them throw and 360 degree image of a car accident, for example.
The future is now people.