Google developers got a preview of Google’s most ambitious Android release yet. With more than 5,000 new APIs (for non-techies, that stands for application programming interfaces) and a new, consistent design approach called material design, we’re continuing to evolve the Android platform so developers can bring to life even more beautiful, engaging mobile experiences.
Google is taking Android beyond the mobile phone, to the home, work, car, or even on our wrist. So, Google got to thinking: how do they invest more in their two popular, open platforms—Android and Chrome—to make it easier to easily and intuitively move from your phone, tablet, laptop to your TV, car or even your watch?
On the go: Android Wear and Android Auto
Most people check their phones more than 150 times a day. Often, it’s to read a text, look at a notification, or get some other simple piece of information. That’s a lot of time spent unlocking, swiping and entering passwords, when your hands could easily be free handling more important things.
Enter Android Wear, which extends Android, and its ecosystem of apps, to that most familiar spot for a “wearable,” your wrist. You get the information you need, quickly at a glance—just like you’re used to doing with your watch. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions or to get stuff done. Get alerted when it’s time to leave for dinner. Call a cab to take you there. See the traffic on the way. Text a friend once you’re seated. It’s all right there, on your wrist, easy to see, right when you want it. Today we announced that two Android wearables, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, are available to order today on Google Play, and the Moto 360 from Motorola will be available in the coming months.
NY Times – Google unveiled additions to Drive, its online storage service, tailored for businesses. Google said companies would be able to audit which employees were reading what documents, more easily encrypt documents and gain access and work with documents stored in older formats, like Microsoft Office. All of that is tied with an effort to improve battery life for Android devices, with a tool called Project Volta.
In the living room: Chromecast and Android TV
So, you get out of your car, and now you’re home, after a long day, in front of the TV. Last summer, we launched Chromecast, a small, affordable device that lets you cast online video, music and anything from the web to your TV. It’s getting an update to make it even more powerful, and convenient to use, with new features like the ability to allow others to cast to your TV without needing to be on the same WiFi network, a customizable homescreen with personal photos or beautiful art, and casting exactly what is on your Android phone or tablet screen directly to the TV.
Now, in addition to Chromecast, Android TV brings all that you love about Android apps and games to your living room. Android is baked directly into your TV-watching experience, through a set-top box or as part of your TV. You can use voice search to find a live TV show, a good flick from Google Play, or a music video on YouTube. Plus, because it’s Android, you’ll be able to play your favorite Android games, reimagined for TV and with a gamepad. Android TV, which, like Chromecast, supports Google Cast technology, will ship with products from a range of consumer electronics companies later this year.
For the next billion: Android One
All these amazing multi-screen experiences are built around a smartphone and basic internet connectivity. However, there are many people—billions of people, in fact—who still don’t have access to a smartphone. We want to change that; so today we announced an important initiative called Android One.
We’re working with partners on a comprehensive solution—which includes hardware reference platforms—to address the mobile computing needs of those in emerging markets. Android One will provide smartphones that are high quality, affordable and come with reasonable data plans. Our partners will launch an initial range of sub-$100 Android One smartphones starting in India this Fall, with more countries to follow. We’ve long wondered what potential could be unleashed if people everywhere had access to the latest technology and the world’s information. It’s time to find out.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.