With Android M, the next rev of Android, the default Google keyboard has a split typing mode for use on tablets where your thumbs have trouble reaching all the keys. This feature provides a very nice enhancement – the ability to have a split keyboard and multiple windows open. In tests, even with 4 apps open at the same time, scrolling was smooth and everything loaded up quick. Though this enhancement doesn’t appear to be available for smartphones, that could change in the future.
How Google Now on Tap works:
- You’re in an Android app
- You want to know something relevant to your current screen
- You launch Google Now on Tap by holding the home button
This launches Now on Tap and it takes only a split second to work. Now on Tap collects and interprets the data on your current screen, predicts what it is you’ll want to know based on the context of that information, and presents you with exactly what you’d want. Without even having to ask. It already knows.
Google has talked about Project Ara for several months, but until Google I/O, most folks had not seen a working prototype of hot-swappable modules on a smartphone. As a demo of how these modules work, the Project Ara team attached a camera module to the frame of a phone while it was powered on. The phone seamlessly recognized the camera, and it was functional. Next, they proceeded to take “the world’s first Ara photo in public” with the audience.