All eyes on Android at Google I/O

The upcoming conference will focus squarely on Android, with sessions about how developers can utilize its newest features

While Google is known for a multitude of technologies, including search and cloud services, it's the Android mobile development platform that will take center stage at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco the last week in May.

Sessions at the conference will spotlight a multitude of topics related to Android, including Android application architecture, the Android Backup feature for backing data, Android Wear wristwatches, Android Auto, and TV technologies and application testing.

"One of the reasons over a billion users love Android is that they get to pick the device that's just right for them," reads one conference session description. "This can make it harder to test on all of your users' devices before release. Apps that are tested thoroughly get better reviews and make more money (fact!). We're here to help -- hear about the new ways Google can help maximize the success of your next app launch with cheaper and easier testing strategies."

Notification enhancements via Android's Lollipop OS are highlighted. "In Lollipop, you witnessed a huge evolution in Android's notifications," a session description states. "They're more accessible and robust than ever before. But there's a flip side: more competition for users' attention. So Lollipop also introduced ways for users to control unwelcome interruptions from notifications and other sources. Since then, we've been hard at work refining these features."

Material Design, unveiled last year for enhanced Android visuals, will be covered, and developers can get the lowdown on building location-aware apps using Android Location and Places APIs. "The Places API makes using location in Android more powerful by providing APIs to accurately determine and communicate about the place or semantic location that a device is currently at," according to one session description.

The conference will feature a session on video chat for not only Android, but also for the Web and rival Apple's iOS mobile platform, via the WebRTC specification. "WebRTC enables real-time audio, video and data communication on billions of clients across Web, Android and iOS. In this talk, you will learn how to build a high-performance, cross-platform voice and video chat application."

Aside from Android, Google's Lovefield, an open source, cross-browser relational database management system written in JavaScript, will be featured the conference as well, where the discussion will focus on using Lovefield to help with offline-first Web apps. "It provides expressive SQL-like query capabilities that bridge the gap created by WebSQL deprecation."

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