Google I/O lasts for two days this year, but Google definitely crammed some amazing new announcements you can’t afford to miss. Google’s I/O keynote covered everything from smartwatches to Android in practically everything you can find.
So here’s a quick roundup of what’s probably in store for Google I/O 2014.
Google gave us a better insight at the next version of Android, referred to as Android L. Android L brings a host of improvements including speed improvements, a new notification bar, multitasking updates in Chrome and so on. Another interesting thing about Android L is the new ‘personal unlock’ feature. L-devices will search for other Android devices that belong to you, and if the result is positive, you won’t need to unlock your phone.
The official L update will reach consumers by fall and majority of OEMs are likely to install the update for their devices in the same time frame.
Android Auto program is an in-car entertainment system that brings your Android phone experience to your Android supported cars. So you just connect your Android phone and all the things you care about- using voice commands, receiving calls, reply to text messages, navigation and apps are all on the in-car display. Google has confirmed that Android Auto equipped cars will be rolling out later this year, although there’s no word yet on a specific launch date.
Google TV wasn’t a big success, but now Android TV is swooping into pick up where Google TV left off. The software will be available to run direct from your TV and it can also be incorporated with your smart TVs, set top boxes, and even gaming consoles. Android TV can be controlled via voice or by Android devices such as Android Wear smartwatches, smartphones, controllers and tablets. Google has already got partners like Sony, Sharp, Razer, and Ausus which will be launching Android TV powered televisions by next year.
Google breaks down the Barrier between Office and Drive
Google Docs users can now access Microsoft Office files through the cloud-based platform. This means that you can view, edit, share and send the Office files without conversion back in their original format.
Google Fit is Google’s platform to track all of your health and fitness data. A set of APIs can be plugged into apps, allowing them to access all of your Google Fit data. Data can be collected from wearables as well, which can report things like heart rate, pedometer stats, and more.
Google wrapped up the event by announcing that along with two smart watches, they were giving all attendees a Google cardboard frame. The cardboard is actually an incredible simple way of getting a makeshift VR headset by pairing it with an Android Phone.
Android Apps on Chrome OS
Another good announcement is that some Android apps are going to start working on Chromebooks. While this is still in “the early days” of letting developers port their apps to Chrome, the demos showed the apps working very smoothly.
At Google I/O 2014, Rishi Chandra, Product manager for Chromecast, revealed some of the new changes coming to Google Cast and its streaming device. Users will now be able to search directly in the Chromecast app or on Google’s website. To make your TV sharing a great experience, Google lets users stream media to a TV without having to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
We got a look at Google’s platform for wearables back in March, but we really saw it take off on Wednesday. The only new hardware announced on the first day of I/O came in the form of Android wear powered LG G Watch, the Samsung Gear Live and Moto 360 smartwatches. The LG G Watch is avaible for $229 while the Gear Live will go for $199. The Motto 360 is expected soon. These wearables are all about quick, at a glance info, and gives you all your notifications, messages, updates and so on.
Another most interesting and unexpected announcement was the Android One program. Android One is Google’s attempt to bring smartphones to every hand across the world. With this google is targeting 5-billion people who are not using smartphones and this could be excellent news for Indian consumers. Google has tied with phone firms including Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to offer smartphones at a $100 price point with the latest update. A Micromax Android One smartphone was showcased with a 4.5 inch display, dual-SIM, a microSD card slot and FM radio and cost less than $100.
There’s still a lot of other stuff but these are the biggest highlights of Google’s I/O 2014 roundup.