Google I/O 2018: The Biggest Announcements

Orad Eldar

That time of the year for the major tech events has come, and following Facebook’s F8, it’s Google time! Google I/O 2018 was a great and major event, with many important developments and announcements. The cross-platform event’s sessions focused on web building, mobile, and enterprise applications with Google and open sources such as Android, Chrome and Chrome OS, APIs, Google Web Toolkit, App Engine, and more.

So, What Really Happened There?

Artificial intelligence was THE buzzword of the event. AI (and machine learning, as well) is the base of many new features in Google Photos. For example, Google Photos can take an old restored black and white photo and convert it to realistic color and touch it up in the process. A new version of the Google Photos app will suggest quick fixes, such as brightness correction and suggested rotations.

Android P, the next OS, was revealed, and also the application’s features, and… you guessed it… artificial intelligence once again. Google partnered with DeepMind to create a feature called Adaptive Battery. It uses machine learning to determine which apps you use frequently and which ones you don’t use as much, and it restricts background processes for seldom used apps in order to save battery life. Another cool feature is App Actions, which predicts actions based on a user’s usage patterns. It helps users get to their next task more quickly.

Something for AdWords

Google also announced a few updates for app developers buying and selling ads via AdWords and AdMob:
In a new beta, advertisers will be able to show more content within their app promotion ads, using feeds in UAC. Feeds are one way that advertisers can help “guide the machine” for UAC campaigns. By sharing first-party data about content inside their app with UAC campaigns via a feed, advertisers can help UAC find additional users with a demonstrated interest in their specific app content, and also assign specific creative assets with users interested in different types of content within their app

New feature was also introduced for the gaming industry – Google Play Instant and UAC: With Google Play Instant, a user can tap and try a game without having to download it first. Currently users can click to try Google Play Instant games organically from the Play store, but Google is now starting experiments that will allow UAC campaigns to easily drive traffic to these games as well. If the user plays the Google Play Instant game and then wants to get the full game, they can download the full version with one click. The major benefit of this new feature is that it allows users to play a native version of the game before downloading, potentially driving higher quality installs from users that have pre-vetted their interest in the game.

View through Conversion (VTC) reporting will be available for app advertisers in AdWords later this month. VTCs are conversions based on impression, and are done within a 24 hours window since the user sees the ad yet doesn’t click on it, and then later complete a conversion on your app (install or in-app event). With this launch, you will be able to measure VTCs in AdWords and in your third party app analytics provider. VTCs helps you to better understand the value of your advertising campaigns, and allows you to measure consistently across all networks, comparing apples-to-apples.

Open Measurement SDK into GMA & IMA SDKs: The IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK) is designed to facilitate third-party viewability and verification measurement for ads served to mobile app environments, without requiring multiple ad verification service providers’ SDK. Google has integrated IAB’s OM SDK into Google Mobile Ads (GMA) and Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDKs as a beta that will cover both Android and iOS. Both the GMA and IMA SDKs now use the single-source OM SDK — it’s a foundation that can power any vendor’s measurement tools, including Active View, Google’s viewable impression measurement technology, enabling advertisers to use their preferred measurement provider or leverage Google’s free, comprehensive, and actionable measurement solutions. The benefits are significant: app publishers and advertisers enable third party viewability measurement without any new integrations. In addition, without the need to run multiple SDK verifications, ads and pages load faster, leading to greater engagement among users.

Click-to-play video ads in Play: With 3.6 million available apps in the Google Play Store, it’s critical to reach the right users at the right time and place. Over the next few months, Google will roll out a beta for click-to-play video ads: a new way to reach players on Google Play with visuals, sounds and motion. These placements will help advertisers promote their game as users are tapping, swiping and scrolling to find their next favorite app in Google Play.

And a Touch of ASO

Google also announced the Android App Bundle, and this is a new approach from an ASO point of view. This is a new publishing format that lets developers deliver the same app experience, but in a smaller app size. The benefits of the new product are clear: statistics have shown that the likelihood of a user to install an app decreases with its size. With the new bundle, app installation is faster and is also less heavy, so it takes up less space on your device. This is most important and even critical for users with weaker devices, and in countries in which the data usage costs are very high. In such places, as we learned from experience, users often debate whether to download an app based on that factor.

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