Google’s biggest show for the year has begun and we saw some amazing new announcements being made on the first day of Google I/O 2014. The most exciting and awaited announcement was of course the newest Android version and while Google remained mum on the official name, it just called it Android L.
Other announcements included integration of Android in to your car systems, TV and wearable devices. So here is a quick roundup of what all Google had in store for the year 2014.
Android L Developer Preview
We were very eager to see the new Android update, but sadly the official update is not revealed. Rather, Google has employed a new strategy this year by announcing a developer preview of the update. This helps developers and OEMs to scrutinize the update and work on it before the official release is out. The Android L SDK is already out and developers can start working on apps for the new upcoming Android platform.
The preview shows a new UI design with a much more flatter UI with card-like enhanced notifications just like Google Now. There is a whole new lockscreen with notifications and privacy features, a new notification bar, multitasking, updates in Chrome and so on.
The official L update will reach consumers by fall and hopefully a number of OEMs will launch the update for their devices in the same time frame.
Google officially announced the Android Auto program which brings your Android phone experience to an Android Auto-ready car’s entertainment system. So now you have your car powered by your Android smartphone. It is fully compatible with steering based controls and using voice commands it lets you listen to music, navigate your way around places, receive calls, reply to text messages, and many more features. Just sync your Android smartphone, and you are good to go. The platform seems quite intuitive and Google has confirmed that Android Auto equipped cars will be rolling out by the end of this year.
Google is invading your living room once again with Android TV. While Google TV wasnt a big success, this is a whole new operating system for your TV and it can also be incorporated with your Smart TVs, set top boxes, and even gaming consoles. Android TV can be controlled via smartphones, controllers, tablets and even wearable devices. You also get access to the Play Store so you can now either watch a movie or switch easily and play your favorite videos games. Gogle has already got partners like Sony, Sharp and TP Vision which will be launching Android TV powered televisions by next year.
A new step in wearable devices was showcased as Google announced the LG G Watch, the Samsung Gear Live and Moto 360 smartwatches. The former two are already available on the Play Store while the Moto 360 will be launched soon. These wearables allow seamless connectivity with your Android device and gives you all your notifications, messages, updates and so on. The SDK is already out and developers can now create content for the wearable devices.
Probably the most exciting and unexpected announcement was the Android One program. Google has officially tied with partners including Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to offer smartphones at a $100 price point with the latest update. With this Google is targeting the low end segment of the smartphone market and this could be excellent news for Indian consumers.A Micromax Android One smartphone was shown off featuring a 4.5 inch display, dual-SIM, a microSD card slot, and FM radio and cost less than $100.
A lot more is expected to be announced on day 2 so stay tuned for the updates. Also check out rest of the announcments that Google made on the first day over here.