Input/Output. That's what the “I/O” in Google I/O, the world's largest gathering of developers, stands for. Held in and around the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, I/O is an annual event which has been running since 2008.
Attendees receive all the latest information in the world of software development (input), which they then put to work in the many codelabs* and sandboxes** at I/O (output).
The slogan of the event is “Innovation in the Open” (another meaning of “I/O”), and it’s the ideal environment in which developers can come together to discuss the latest and greatest in software development. It’s also where Google announces new products and updates to existing ones, giving the tone of their keynotes a celebratory air as the (excited and sunburnt) crowd applauds wildly for things like a single line of code.
But it’s easy to see why people are excited. The innovations being made at I/O are amazing; from augmented reality (AR) directions in navigation to better and more streamlined voice command interaction, the definition of what’s possible is being pushed further by the minute.
Which is exactly why we went there. As the Polestar 2 is the first car in the world to come with a native Android operating system featuring Google Maps, the Google Assistant and Google Play Store, we wanted to show developers what we’re doing to create a new, more modern in-car experience. We also wanted to hear from them what they thought. We even built a developer portal for just that.
We went to Google I/O with our output, and got some great input.
*A guided, hands-on coding tutorial for building new apps or adding new features to existing ones.
**A testing environment where you can independently test, monitor and evaluate software or programs.
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When in Rovaniemi
Do as the locals do. Words of wisdom that any seasoned traveller is familiar with. They don't just govern behaviour, however. They speak to the importance of having an open mind, embracing new customs, and adapting to one's surroundings. There are equivalents in all languages. In English, one is told that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It counts for the Italian capital, just as it counts for northern Finland. Which is exactly where we headed this winter.