Google I/O 2013, the biggest Google event has started and lots of BIG announcements/updates came through. Most of our expectation on new Android OS and devices never came, instead Google announced a series of enhancement to its existing services and products. Like the launch of 41 new features to Google+, Google Maps enhancement, Google Music getting a subscription model and so on. Let’s have a quick look into all the big announcements from Google –
When compared from previous year Google I/O Android activation has grown exponentially from 400 million activations to a total of 900 million Android activations. Google’s Chrome browser is also doing well with over 750 million active users from its previous year 300 million users.
- New API’s for developers and end users – Google Maps API v 2.0 , a location API that allow Geofencing (assigning triggers to specific geographical locations), Activity recognition API that can know if a user walk, drive, bikes etc, improved Google authorization AP.
- Google cloud messaging – Google now support persistent connections between Google and API servers. Developers can upstream messages to send data in both directions, from servers to apps and then from apps to servers. Google cloud messaging also supports cross-device synchronized notifications.
- Google Play Game services – new APIs for developers helping them to build more engaging, multiplier and social Android games. For users the new APIs help to play the same game across multiple devices, they can play a particular level of a game on one device and then continue with the next level from another device.
- Android Studio – the brand new IDE for developers helping them to build and test apps more faster and reliable. It supports rendering of app as they are edited in real-time, can test the app in different layouts and screen sizes.
- Google Play Developer Console updates – Developers can now beta test their apps on selected users and can have staged rollouts of their apps on different segment of users. An app translation service that allows developers to get professional translations directly in developer consoles.
- Google Play for Education – a destination where schools can find great educational content in Google Play, it allows bulk purchase and instant distribution to students.
- Search, Google Now – On Chrome you can ask questions to Google and it will speak the answer back to you, just like the Google Now on Android devices. For example, you’ll be able to just ask Google, “OK Google, will it be rain in Bangalore this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Google’s Knowledge Graph now supports Polish, Turkish, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese language.
Google Play Music All Access
A new subscription model music service allowing users to access and play millions of songs whenever and wherever they want on mobile, tablets, pc or web. Google Play Music All Access, the music streaming service is priced at $9.99 per month and if you sign up by June 1, you will get the service for $7.99 per month. It comes with 30 days free trail and only available in US, with exception to roll out to more countries soon. Users can create a radio station from any song or artist they love and browse recommendations from Google’s expert music team or explore by genre
Along the subscription service Google also updated the Google Music Android app and the web version (music.google.com)with a refreshed new User Interface, making it more awesome.
Unifying various Google messaging services mainly Google Talk and Google+ Messenger to build Hangouts. Actually it’s not a full-fledged unified messenger, it lacks SMS and Google Voice integration, but we can except Google to add them soon. It supports normal chats, group messaging, video and voice chats, send pictures and can read receipts.
- It brings one-on-one and group conversations with photos, emoji, and video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android and Apple devices.
- Video call with up to 10 friends.
- View and continue users Hangouts across devices.
- Shared photos and video call history.
- Keep a record of any Hangout for just a short period of time by turning history off
- .View collections of photos shared from each of your Hangouts.
Google+ new UI and 41 new features
Google’s social networking service Google+ got a complete redesign making it a simple and beautiful experience across mobile and desktop. In addition Google added up 41 new featured to Google+ taking user experience to the next level.
- A multi-column layout allowing users to see Google+ Stream in one, two, or three columns depending on their screen size and orientation.
- Photos and videos can fill the entire width of the stream, making it easier to scan, and nicer to look at.
- Auto adding related hashtags to the stream
- Photo uploads enhancement with Auto Highlight, Auto Enhance and Auto Awesome. Auto Highlight helps you find your favorites faster by de-emphasizing duplicates, blurry images and poor exposures, and focusing instead on pictures with the people you care about, landmarks, and other positive attributes. Auto Enhance improves brightness, contrast, saturation, structure, noise, focus and dozens of other factors automatically. Auto Awesome create a brand new animated image automatically based on a set of photos in users library.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition
We lacked new nexus and Google X device release during the Google I/O, but Google made us happy with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S 4 fully uncloked and running Google’s vanilla Android OS. It runs on pure Android OS just like any Nexus device and Google promise all future Android updates with no delay. The device will start selling in US from 26th June 2013 for $649.
Google will be selling the 16GB Galaxy S 4 model with bootloader unlocked. It comes with quad-core process, 5 inch full HD Super AMOLED touch display, 13 Mega pixel camera, 4G LTE and have expandable memory option with an SD card.
Google unveils the next generation Google Maps, which gets rid of any clutter in order to put users individual experience and exploration front and center. The new Google Map creates a tailored map experience for each search and click user makes. It will integrate the beautiful 3D experience from Google Earth and Street View directly into the new maps. Google will release new update for Map on Web, Android and iOS devices over the next month.
Source – Google Maps
That’s all I can make out of the Google I/O section yesterday, if you have missed out the Google IO 2013 Keynote session watch out below –
Photo Credit – Google