With Google I/O coming up in a week, we are seeing a wave of new Android Experiments, ranging from an innovative reminder app to wallpaper games.
Android Experiments are some of the most creative open source projects that are based on the Android operating system; we see a few here and there throughout the year, some making a bigger impact than others, but as we near Google I/O 2017, Google has added a bunch to its website. Let’s have a look at what they are and what they do:
Animal Detection Device
The video doesn’t say much, but it gives you an idea of what the device looks like. As the name suggests, this little box actually has advanced machine learning technology built right in. Powered by Android Things, and with cameras, sensors, and neutral nets, the device can detect wild animals like bears, moose, or mountain lions and then records images as well as environmental data (humidity, temperature, air pressure, pollution, and UV). Advanced animal detection devices could help with scientific research, especially in tracking and protecting endangered animals.
Available on Android 7.1 and above, Shortstories utilizes Android’s App Shortcuts feature. Essentially, the app will give you a scenario as a notification, posing a situation where you will need to make a choice. As explained in the official description, “App Shortcuts provide a means of making a choice, and making a choice poses a new scenario.” This text-based, multiple choice game will let you view your achievements and various paths you’ve taken in a particular story as well.
Home Screen Arcade
The name says it all, really: similar to Shortstories in utilizing your device’s home screen, Home Screen Arcade basically turns your wallpaper into a canvas for an arcade game. You have games like Pac Man, Tetris, and Pinball, and all game controllers can be added as home screen widgets. I personally prefer to keep my home screen tidy and simple, but being able to kill time right from your main screen could be a plus for some users.
Camarada is an innovative camera app that lets multiple smartphones sync with one another to create “dynamic camera arrays, producing true 3D videos that previously were only possible with costly, specialized equipment.” Though the video doesn’t show much, if it’s indeed well-executed, Camarada could be a really cool way to make content with your friends.
Last but not least, Taskzy is a sophisticated context-aware app and is my personal favorite. It automatically opens apps or reminds you to open certain apps depending on where you are, what you’re doing, how fast you’re traveling, what the weather is like, etc. The video gives us a glimpse of what it can do, but there are very specific settings available too: for instance, you can ask it to open YouTube when your headphones are plugged in, the weather is icy, and you are relatively still. You can imagine all the possible combinations here.
It’s possible that we will see even more projects from Android Experiments in the coming week, leading up to Google I/O next week. Which of the five experiments is your favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment below!