Google I/O 2014: Official Schedule Hints at Project Hera Reveal
For those unaware of Project Hera, let's get you up to speed.
Hera, from what we know, essentially represents Google's effort to unify the experience users have in Android, Chrome, and Search all on your Android-powered device. It does this (from what we can tell) by using a special Chromium build meant to run on Android and execute tasks through the web both for Google and third-party apps.
Android's current multitasking view shows snapshots of the apps you have open, each one a "task." With Hera, however, the multitasking view shows snapshots of actions being taken in Chromium instances, making it sort of an HTML5-powered intermediate UI, where users can execute quick actions online without using the full app.
An easy way to think about what this functionality looks like is to imagine Gmail on the web. If you've just signed up for a new website and were sent a confirmation request, Gmail can understand that and places a button next to the message in your inbox that allows you to confirm your address without ever opening the email. Now, replace the email with an app, like Hangouts. Theoretically with the functionality we're discussing, Google would be able to alert a user to a new message, display it, and let the user enter a reply and send it without ever opening the app.
Now with the recently revealed google I/O 2014 schedule, google might just decide to reveal Project Hera.
"Google has posted the schedule for Google I/O, the company's annual product launch extravaganza held in San Francisco. While Google tries to keep things secret, many of the session names and descriptions end up being revealing anyway. Here's a list of the things that jumped out at us.
(The keynote this year is only two hours long! How will they fit everything in?)
As promised, there is a huge focus on design this year, with 11 sessions dedicated to how things look and function. It looks like Google's grand unification across products is a go, too, with sessions titled "Cross-Platform Design," "Cross-Platform Interaction Design," "Cross-Platform Visual Design and Imagery," and "Cross-Platform Motion Design"—there will clearly be a lot of cross-platform designing going on. The "Cross-Platform Design" session looks to be the big one, with the design leads of Android (Matias Duarte) and Google Search & Maps (Jon Wiley) in attendance.
More proof that we might just be getting the reveal of project Hera? Well apparently google just released a "for android" app section for the google chrome store. This query brings up all chrome apps that have android counterparts. It's out now, you can check for yourself. It seems like setup for project Hera.
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around Project Hera. It sounds like an entirely new way of interacting with your device. It should be interesting to see it unfold.
Now we might have this announcement at Google I/O 2014, but I'm not sure if it will be released on that day. Most likely will be released later in the year due to google never really releasing android betas. Still, with this new direction, as well as definite showcase of the new device category: Android Wear, it should be extremely exciting this year at I/O 2014.