Weekly Tech Roundup: Highlights of Google I/O Conference
27 Jun. 2014 Enterprise Tech News
The past couple of weeks saw the launch of Amazon’s Fire Phone, Adobe upgrading its creative cloud and Blackberry announcing BBM for enterprises. Let’s take a look at the tech news of more recent times with Google’s developer conference I/O being the focus.
Google I/O June 25-26, 2014
Google I/O – The Highlights
In its annual developer’s conference Google I/O, the company made a slew of announcements. Some announcements, like Android Wear and Android L, were expected; while others were unanticipated, like Android Auto. Let us take a look briefly at the major announcements.
The long running dessert theme in the Android OS seems to be coming to an end with Google calling the next version simply “Android L“. A preview will be made available to developers and will roll out to users in the fall. Android L has a new design language, Material Design, which will run across Android phones and tablets, Chrome OS, smartwatches and the web.
Android L also integrates with Android Wear-powered smartwatches to authenticate your identity.
Google also announced a new initiative, Android One, the objective of which is bringing high quality yet affordable devices to developing and emerging markets like India.
Android Wear, Google’s platform for smartwatches and other wearables, will integrate with Android L and Android TV. It means that when you download an app to your phone, the Wear version of it will automatically be downloaded to the wearable device.
The same will be applicable for subsequent updates. The platform also has the ability to track fitness stats like your daily steps and your heart rate, provided your wearable device supports those features. The first Android Wear-powered devices— LG’s G and Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch— are both available now, and Motorola’s Moto 360 will go on sale later this summer.
This was quite a surprise. The voice-enabled system gives you the ability to cast navigation, communication and music or entertainment apps from your mobile device to your car’s dashboard. So now you can send and receive texts, get directions and make calls with only voice commands.
The company already has more than 40 partners for the system via its Open Automotive Alliance, launched earlier this year.
Google also unveiled the Android TV, which combines live TV, Android apps and Google Play services. The USP of the platform is that it offers easy searching and supports voice-enabled searching. These functions can also be controlled via an Android Wear-powered smartwatch.
Google is partnering with Sony and Sharp to develop Android TV-supported sets and Razer and Asus to make gaming specific set-top boxes.
It is quite apparent that Google wants to give users a more unified experience of Chrome OS and Android. On these lines, Android notifications, and eventually native Android apps, will be coming to Chromebooks.
Google Fit is the company’s new platform for tracking health and fitness information. This platform in addition to serving as a hub for all your health and fitness data will also provide relevant recommendations based on the data collected by sensors on your phones and wearable devices.
Google Cloud Dataflow
Google also introduced a cloud computing service based on two software systems, Flume and MillWheel that have helped Google drive its own online operation for years. The service is called Google Cloud Dataflow and it is primarily a way of easily moving, processing, and analyzing massive amounts of digital information that amounts to petabytes a.k.a millions of gigabytes.
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