Today was the start of the first of three days of Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O this year’s is the 6th to happen so far.
There were a large number of announcements made today at the keynote.
- Google: 900 Million Android activations and over 48 billion app installs
- Google Play Games Service
- Android Studio: A brand new developer environment for Android
- Google Play Services updated with cross-platform Google+ sign-in, Google Cloud Messaging and new location APIs
- Google Play Music All Access
- Redesigned Play Store Web View
- Samsung Galaxy S4: Google Edition (The S4 made into a Nexus device) releasing June 26th, 2013
- Google Play in Education
- Google+ redesign, with photo features that automatically help you show off your best photos while enhancing them
- Google Hangouts: A Cross-platform Messaging system across Android, iOS and Chrome
- Button-Free voice search in Google Chrome by just saying ‘OK Google’
- Google Now: updated with voice reminders, emails and public transit data
- Google Maps redesigned for Android, Web and a Google Maps iPad app coming this summer
- Google Maps integrates Google Earth and Street View in a newly redesigned interface
Google: 900 Million Android activations and over 48 billion app installs
There have been over 900 Million Android device activations so far. That is compared to 100 Million in 2011 and 400 Million in 2013.
Google Play Games Service
The new service will allow Android game developers, (like Glu Games or Gameloft) to be able to save their game progress with Cloud Saves, where you could play on one device and then continue later on a second device. They also added achievements and leaderboards to the mix. There was going to be a demo of some of the multiplayer features on stage but failed due to connection issues. Some of the multiplayer features include the ability to let you compete or play along with your friends on Google+ or other people in your favourite games.
Android Studio: A brand new developer environment for Android
It is built off of the IntelliJ IDEA, and it features things like multiple layout view, to be able to see what your app would look like on a wide range of Android devices. Any tweaks and app revisions to the code will show up in real time while inside the development console, also Play Services like Cloud Messaging will be integrated.
Google Play Music All Access and New UI
It is a new Music subscription service, to compete with the likes of Spotify. It is integrated into the Google Play Music App after an update.
Once you launch the app after the update, you will be greeted with a screen with an option to start a 30-day trial of the subscription service. If you subscribe to the service before June 30th, you will only have to pay $7.99 a month and then after that it will cost $9.99 a month. IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need to actually accept the subscription if you want the 30 day trial, and be ready to cancel it if you don’t plan to use it longer than a month.
Google Play Music has also been completely overhauled with a brand new UI, which is very slick. It is has been simplified and it is much easier to navigate than before. If you swipe from the left, you are shown a new navigation panel, where you can choose between Listen Now, My Library, Playlists, Instant Mixes and Shop. When you swipe left or right on the Now Playing screen, it will skip to the next or previous song, the same works for when you swipe left or right on the bottom of the screen of when selecting a song.
Samsung Galaxy S4: Google Edition (The S4 made into a Nexus device) releasing June 26th, 2013
The Samsung Galaxy S4, one of the most awaited smartphones of the year is now technically a Nexus device. I believe that nobody saw this coming, I think more people were expecting a White Nexus 4 or a successor to popular Nexus 7.
This Galaxy S4 runs Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) just like the normal S4 does. However there is no TouchWiz on it whatsoever, zip, nada. This one is completely un-tampered with only pure Android.
It will be available from Google Play on June 26th in the US, with no mention of availability in other countries. It features a Nexus User Experience, compatibility with T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, 4G LTE support, 16GB of on-board storage along with the Micro-SD card slot, an unlockable bootloader which means it will work on any GSM carrier that supports it around the world and it will prompt system updates. And all it will cost is $649, which is $300 more than the Nexus 4 16GB.