Google explained the details about Android Wear, a version of OS (operating system) customized for wearable gadgets such as smartwatches. It will support various screen configurations, be it circular or square. It will also understand the user’s voice, so he can interact with it. (JPN)
The company also introduced Android Auto and Android TV. Android Auto has been tailored to work with cars while Android TV on the other hand is optimized for TV-watching. It is aided by a recommendation system and voice searches.
Android Auto will reportedly give information like time to the destination when you need it, and it is voice enabled so you can interact just by talking to it.
According to sources, Google started the conference with a preview of the upcoming ‘L’ (Android 5.0) release. The L release will reportedly sport ‘material design’ which basically means that the developers will have the ability to add the illusion of depth. The user will also be able to get instant access to notifications from the lock screen so that the user can act on them without unlocking the phone.
It is also reported that Chrome will get a multitasking upgrade which is meant to make moving between the web and apps much easier. It is built on top of a new API that lets apps populate multiple tabs. Chrome will reportedly also bring in new design elements.
According to sources, Google also talked about upgrading its app indexing, which will let developers give Google the ability to search within apps. A Google search will show the result in both the Web and also within an app like OpenTable. This feature was as of now only open to a few apps but is now global.
Google's I/O event, a rally of sorts designed to get developers excited about creating apps and devices for Google's ecosystem, comes at a time of transition for the company, which makes most of its money from advertising thanks to its status as the world's leader in online search.
The company is trying to adjust to an ongoing shift to smartphones and tablet computers from desktop and laptop PCs. Though mobile advertising is growing rapidly, advertising aimed at PC users still generates more money.
At the same time, Google is angling to stay at the forefront of innovation by taking gambles on new, sometimes unproven technologies that take years to pay off, if at all.
On the home front, Google's Nest Labs, which makes network-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, announced earlier this week that it has created a program that allows outside developers, from tiny startups to large companies such as Whirlpool and Mercedes-Benz, to fashion software and ‘new experiences’ for its products.
Integration with Mercedes-Benz, for example, might mean that a car can notify a Nest thermostat when it's getting close to home, so the device can have the home's temperature adjusted to the driver's liking before he or she arrives.
Nest's founder, Tony Fadell, is an Apple veteran who helped design the iPod and iPhone. Google bought the company earlier this year for USD 3.2 billion.
Opening the Nest platform to outside developers will allow Google to move into the emerging market for connected, smart home devices.
Google explained the details about Android Wear, a version of OS (operating system) customized for wearable gadgets such as smartwatches. It will support various screen configurations, be it circular or square. It will also understand the user’s voice, so he can interact with it.