The three hour developer conference by Google on Wednesday showcased the latest that we can expect from Google over the next year. While there were many expected announcements, most notably the Google wear and Android TV, some were surprises for all.
The next version of the Android OS, is not going to be based on a dessert name. Android L, which will roll out to users this fall, has a new design language, going by the name Material Design. Its cross compatibility across phones, tablets, smart watches, Chrome OS, and the web is being touted as its biggest feature.
On the performance side, it is promising to bring ‘PC like gaming’ experience to mobile phones and tablets, optimisingoptimizing battery life apart from handling notifications from the lock screen itself.
A special initiative aimed at bringing low cost devices to developing countries like India.
The platform designed by Google for its wearables will integrate with Android L, apart from others like Android TV. For instance, an app downloaded for the phone will automatically download for the wearable, with automatic updates. Notifications will be concise, and will be taken from the phone or the smartwatch. For example a text message on the phone, will see your watch vibrate with a preview of the message.
Other features of Android Wear include monitoring your fitness, like your heart rate or daily steps, if the specific watch has those. Also, a feature called ‘glaceable’ wherein interaction with the device can be achieved by just lifting the wrist is present for notifications in Android Wear.
Google launched the Open Automotive Alliance earlier this year, and already has over 40 partners.
This system which connects the phone with the car dashboard, will allow you to get directions, play music, and communicate via phone/text messages by simply voice commands.
The Android Auto SDK is expected to be unveiled soon.
The Android TV, promises to combine Android apps, google play services and TV. Google emphasised on easy searching, including voice enabled searches which included even via wearables like the smartwatch. Apart from improvements to Chromecast, Google announced Google Cast for Android TV which will allow for streaming of content on TV from tablets or smartphones.
Google seemed to be looking at cross-compatibility of ChromeOS and Android, with all native Android apps coming to ChromeOS. Initially Android notifications (like a call, text message etc. on your Android phone) will be visible on the Chrome Desktop. Eventually apps will make their way.
However, the effort is touted to be still in the early days, and it may be some time before it is brought into practice.
Google unveiled the Google Fit, an entire platform specifically targeted at tracking health and fitness information. The Google Fit SDK is expected to be made available to developers soon. It will collect data from the various sensors attached to either wearables or phones and provide relevant recommendations. Many organizations, including fitness oriented like Nike, RunKeeper, Adidas, Noom are already partnering with Google in this effort.