We’d hoped Google would talk about their Digital Wellbeing features at Google I/O 2019. They took some good steps forward in helping implement technologies to curb cell phone addiction. (More about what we had hoped to see on our predictions blog.) We really liked the thoughtfulness behind this initiative. More OS focus on digital wellbeing will place more user scrutiny on app behaviors. It’s more important than ever to find the right balance between data that is necessary for apps to help empower the user vs. data that is interesting/valuable to the company collecting it.
We love this push forward in the mobile industry from a work/life balance perspective. As a company we always encourage our team to take unplugged time off of work to connect with their friends, their families, and to practice self-care. Our attachment to our devices is a growing problem and we’re excited to utilize technology that helps address the issue.
It’s also interesting to consider how this push will affect companies with apps as a main pillar of their business. Where do companies find the balance between the push for people to spend less time on their phones and companies wanting users to be on their product more? Hopefully, we’ll see this lead to more apps putting a focus on UI/UX that helps people use apps more efficiently and spend less time on their devices.
Nest, a Helpful Home
This seems like a really great choice. At this point, Nest is an awesome brand. Moving Google’s smart home division into Google Nest seems like a no-brainer. One of the major caveats to the smart home movement is data security. Perhaps this is part of why Google is capitalizing on the Nest umbrella? It was good to see that data security was a big part of the conversation at Google I/O 2019…especially since they’re taking a bigger step into the smart home movement with their focus on Nest.
Also, that Nest Hub Max looks legit.
One of the other big conversations at Google I/O 2019 was the topic of accessibility. Google announced technologies called Live Relay and Live Caption. Grab your Kleenex and check out the story they shared called Project Euphonia. This one tugged at our heartstrings because Detroit Labs cares a lot about inclusion and accessibility. When you’re designing an app, it’s always important to think of all of the users who will take advantage of your technology, not just yourself. The Live Relay and Live Caption technologies look like they are going to be a major breakthrough for people with hearing/speech disabilities.
Thoughts from the keynote
Peike is out in California in person for the conference. Check out his thoughts on his favorites from day 1.