Saturday, June 28, 2014

Google I/O 2014 Keynote Wrap-up: Must Read!!

I/O happened! I am pretty sure all the Android enthusiasts around the world would have watched the I/O either via live stream or in a viewing party. Let's get started!

Firstly, Sundar Pichai, VP of Android, gave an overview of advancement in the technological world. P.S.: I don't know if many people noticed, but he was wearing a Moto 360!

Google is so far the only company that talks about 30 day active users. If they talked about just installations, the numbers would double or triple. These were some common stats given but the fun began now!
Android Silver = Android One

The LONG rumored Android Silver was announced at I/O in the name of "Android One". The concept is that Google will partner with manufacturers to provide them stock Android and hopefully every device will get software updates STRAIGHT from Google. This is very similar to Google Play Edition devices. They gave the example of a Micromax phone and 3-4 other manufactures from India. (+1 if you are Indian!)

Android L Developer Preview

Old Gmail app and new Gmail app

One apk for all form factors

Heads Up was officially announced received an UI overhaul 

New Recent Apps in Android L

This I/O, Google announced the Developer Preview for Android L and the full version will be announced later this year, hopefully with a Nexus 6.

It looks like they still haven't named the OS and for now, they are teasing us by calling it "L".

There are 5000 new APIs in Android L and a major UI overhaul, one like going from Gingerbread to ICS.

Next, Wolverine gave us a look at Material Design (:P). Material design is a new design language at Google that aims at giving pixels not only width and height, but also depth. Material design is the rumored Quantum paper. They have also update the Roboto system font.

The lockscreen now shows notifications below the clock. The best current example of this is Dashclock. Dashclock is a lockscreen widget that gives you options to add extensions for certain apps.

Motorola implemented a feature called "Trusted Bluetooth Devices" last year with the Moto X. It basically means that if a trusted bluetooth device is connected with your phone, it will not ask you for a password. Google added this feature in Android L, but on steroids. If you have an Android Wear smartwatch and you are wearing it, the phone will not ask you for a password, but as soon as you give your watch to someone else, your phone gets protected.

All this is awesome but the standout for me this year is Project Volta. Project Volta aims at improving battery life by limiting the times that radio signal wakes up your phone.

Android Wear

Android Wear was officially announced a while ago but now, the first devices, namely the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are up for pre-order on the Play Store with shipping starting from July 7th. Read more about Android Wear and a comparison of both the devices here and here.

Android Auto

Android Auto is kind of like the central entertainment/GPS system in your car. The SDK for development is released if anybody wants to develop for this platform. The concept is similar to CarPlay by Apple but it has Google Now instead of Siri and Google Maps instead of Apple Maps ;) It's very simple to use: you plug your phone in via a cable and then you can receive and initiate calls and text messages or listen to music. It is basically Google now on your car dashboard.

Android Auto will start shipping out in cars before the end of 2014 (YES) in over 40 manufacturer's cars.

Android TV

If I had to give the shortest description possible: Android TV is a chromecast built into your TV with gaming support. But I don't have to give a short desciption, do I? :P

Android TV has a beautiful UI and if you read my previous article about what to expect from I/O this year, you would know that I was super excited for this. Android TV connects via Wi-Fi to the internet to give you Play Movies and TV on your TV. You can control Android TV with a controller, your phone or your Android Wear smartwatch (Kudos, Google).

Android TV does everything the Chromecast can do, including casting local media or your device's screen onto your TV. It will come built into select TVs starting from 2015 with all major TV makers like LG, Samsung and Sony, Sharp, etc.

Chromecast improvements

Massive increase in Chromecast usage

Tutorial showing casting without being in the same Wi-fi network

Chromecast is a winner as it is but Google improved it even more this I/O. Your Chromecast can now connect to Android L devices without being in the same Wi-fi network. It uses supersonic waves to achieve this.

Backdrop lets you cast your Google+ photos in the background

The photo stream of Chromecast from Google is beautiful but now with the Chromecast app, you can choose to have a slideshow of your personal Google+ photos.

Screen mirroring via Chromecast app

Supported devices for screen mirroring

Chromecast now also supports mirroring your Android device. And I'm glad to tell you that with Android L, you just have to swipe down from your notifications and press on "Cast Screen". It's as simple as it gets!


Incoming calls

Text messages

Battery low warning

If you have connected your Chromebook with your Android L device, any incoming calls or messages will also be seen on the Chromebook and it's a super awesome feature!

Apart from this, Google Drive now offers unlimited storage to enterprise customers for 10$/user/month in the celebration of 190M 30 day active users.

That's all for this I/O wrap up guys, I hope you liked it! If you did, check out my other articles listed on the right or you can find the ones you might be interested in by using the labels. Follow me or our official page on Google+ to be one of the first to know whenever we write more awesome content! :)

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