(SAN FRANCISCO) – On Wednesday, Google‘s two-day annual I/O Conference got underway in San Francisco, where the company made plenty of new announcements, including an Android update, the ultimate smart TV, some wearable devices, and some of the smart home devices.
The main focus of this conference in recent years has been on tablets and smartphones, however, this year, Google has tried to extend its Android operating system to homes, cars as well smartwatches.
Sundar Pichai, the head of Google’s Android division, was the first to give his keynote address regarding the increasing reach of Android phones and tablets. He announced that the users of Android have now jumped to one billion, who take around 93 billion selfies, and normally check their phones 100 billion times a day. He also said that the installations of Android app increased by 236% over the previous year.
He said, “We want to create a seamless experience across all these devices.”
During the keynote address, Google presented smartwatches of three different manufacturers; LG, Samsung and Motorola. Emphasizing the interaction between a smartwatch and a smartphone, the executives said that with Google Android Wear, the users will be able to unlock the screen of their smartphone, provided they are wearing the watch. Moreover, the watches will also include Google Now voice-activation system, that will allow the users to either set a reminder, or start playing music on their smartphone by just telling the watch verbally.
Much like Apple entered the automobile entertainment system with its CarPlay, Google has also worked with some of the car manufacturers to get some Android features that might help people while driving. Along with Google Maps, third party music and audio apps will be included. The company announced that about 25 manufacturers of cars will ship ‘Android Auto’ very soon, and the first cars to acquire this are to be sold by the end of this year.
Not only this, but Google has also introduced its Android TV, which will play streaming movies, games and television shows from any device and will cast them on the big screen. With Android TV, the users just need to guide their smartwatch verbally for the programs they are looking for, and Google will search them and inform the users if they can be purchased from its online Play Store.
Likewise Apple’s “continuity“, Google also introduced its new batch of Chromebooks that are now linked to the smartphones. This would allow text messages and telephone calls to be answered via chromebook. The Android apps will also be available on the Chromebook, promoting more interactions between a smartwatch or a smartphone and a laptop.
Other announcements included Google Fit, an API through which the developers can build apps by focusing on the “quantified self” movement. Google also announced that using Google Docs, the users can now edit their Microsoft Office documents without converting them in different file formats.
Moreover, Android L, the latest version of Android, will feature a three dimensional look, with some new animations.