Android Biggest Update Ever: Wear, TV & Auto
Google unveiled their biggest Android update ever, Android L as well as Android Auto, Wear and TV to 6,000 developers at the 7th annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, overnight.
There are now one billion Android users, Sundar Pichai, Senior VP Android, Chrome told developers.
“We estimate that’s more than 20 billion text messages sent every day. 1.5 trillion steps taken with an Android. And more importantly, a roughly estimated 93M selfies.”
Google announced more than 5,000 new API features (application programming interfaces), for its forthcoming update, Android L, which also features material design, hailed as a “new design language that takes a comprehensive approach to visual, motion, and interaction” and lets developers add visuals to the screen.
“Beyond the mobile phone, many of us are increasingly surrounded by a range of screens throughout the day – at home, at work, in the car, or even on our wrist,” says Android’s Senior VP.
Google wants to make it easier to move from an Android phone, tablet, laptop to a TV, car or watch, and between Android and Chrome interfaces. It wants the user experience to be fluid across devices – checking a message on a smart watch, replying on a smartphone and view it on a laptop.
Codenamed Android ‘L’ it will be available on mobile, tablets, TV, cars, wearables and include new features such as: lockscreen notifications which surfaces content and updates to the screen without unlocking; better battery life (Project Volta); ‘recents’ which lists recently used apps and Chrome searches; better camera capability and a new ‘kill switch’ that wipes all info off your device if stolen and resets to factory settings.
As wearable becomes big bacon in the tech industry, enter Android Wear, which is Android on your wrist. “You get the information you need, quickly at a glance – just like you’re used to doing with your watch,” says Pichai. Just say “Ok Google” to the watch and ask questions and do stuff like call a cab, see the traffic en route or text a friend.
New Android wearables, LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and Moto 360 will be available in the coming months.
LG and Samsung wearables are on sale in the US, today.
LG have confirmed G Watch will be “available soon” down under.
It was rumored yesterday Google would be unveiling a new set top box. However, it did announce Android TV brings Android apps and games to your living room. Android is baked directly into your TV-watching, through a set-top box or part of the TV.
You can use voice search to find a TV show, download or stream a movie, video on YouTube, and play Android games with a gamepad.
Android TV, supports Google Cast technology and “will ship with products from a range of consumer electronics later this year”. Philips, Sony are said to be releasing Android TV’s soon.
Google are making cheap sub $100 phones made for emerging markets. The ‘Android One’ project will provide smartphones that are ‘high quality, affordable and come with reasonable data plans.’
Android partners will launch an initial range of sub-$100 ‘One’ smartphones starting in India this fall, with more countries to follow.
Android Auto – coming to a car near you
Google is coming to a car near you and lets you connect your Android phone to a car, to create Android Auto.
The Google interface transfers to your car’s screen, letting you use Google Maps, listen to music playlists and radio stations through Play Music, voice search, and get reminders from Google Now. It’s safer than fumbling around with your phone.
Audi, Jeep, Mazda and Kia are among the car majors that have signed up to Android Auto. Rollout starts later this year.