For the many of you that can’t keep track of all of the different tech conferences out there, here is a little background on Google I/O. Google I/O is an annual conference that focuses on developers and is highly technical. It focuses on building applications with Google and open-web technologies like Android and Chrome. Now that Google I/O 2014 has wrapped up, here are some of the key take-aways from the conference…
Google debuted their latest version of Android, Android L, which is a complete overhaul of Android’s UI. It includes new notification, new colors, new design guidelines, and (probably most importantly) a new design language called Material Design. Material Design will span Android phones, Android tablets, Chrome OS, smart watches and the web. To get a feel for what you can expect Material Design to look like, watch the short video below.
Android Auto is Google’s answer to Apple’s CarPlay. Android Auto is completely voice-enabled allows you to use voice commands via Google Now to send and receive text messages, make phone calls, get directions, and cast music apps from your phone to your dash. This system will roll out later this year, but soon developers will be able to start building apps with Android Auto SDK.
Android TV will combine live TV, Android apps and Google Play. Google emphasized the platforms easy searchability, which includes voice-enabled searching and searches via a smart watch. Android TV will act a lot like Chromecast, in that you will be able to view your content on your phone or tablet. It uses the same API for TV, phone, and tablet. The folks at Google decided to do this so that there is a seamless transition between interfaces. Not a bad idea, if you ask me. Android TV is also bringing Google Play games to the big screen, well, bigger screen. You can know access your games on your TV screen and will allow for multi-players who are playing from different devices.
Is it me or does every tech conference have some big announcement for the world of wearables? Well, Google I/O was no different. Google’s platform for wearables will now integrate with Android L and Android TV. This means that when you download an app on your phone, for example, that app and all updates will automatically be downloaded to you wearable. Notifications will display on your watch and your phone. So, say you get a text message, your watch will vibrate and display a preview of the message. Notifications will also be “glanceable,” meaning that you can interact with your notifications with a lift of your wrist.
Have you noticed a pattern to Google I/O 2014? Android, Android, Android. Developers were said to be anticipating an Android heavy conference, and boy where they right! Android in your car, Android in your living room, Android on your wrist. Google is really hedging their bets on new Android development.