With the first major flurry of announcements out of the way, it’s a good time to look at all the things that have so far been unveiled and launched by Google. Of course, all of the announcements and updates aren’t exactly done yet, so follow our updates and takes on the announcements as they happen.
First up is Google Play Game Services, which is a bunch of new APIs with which Google aims to go toe-to-toe with Apple’s Game Centre.
Then was the Google Play Music All Access, which is a subscription based radio service that creates playlists catered to your tastes.
Google then announced its own variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4, with the main attraction being that it runs on stock Android and will get updates alongside Nexus devices.
Google+ got a massive update with a new layout and several new image-editing features.
The company then raised the curtains on Hangouts – a unified chatting service that replaces Google Talk. The main attraction here is that it is platform-agnostic.
Finally, Google unveiled a redesigned Maps with a new interface and more community features.
If you wanna watch the whole keynote, check out the video below:
12:58am – Over and out
And that's a wrap for the keynote address at Google I/O. We'll be bringing you in-depth coverage of all the big announcements from today and of course, all the latest from Google I/O over the next few days. Stay tune to tech2.
12:55am – Advancing technology
“There's many many important things we can do, but we can't do, because we're not allowed, by regulation, for example,” says Page. “I'm very, very excited about the future,” he says before signing out.
12:45am – Personalised search is not the end of serendipity
An Indian developer asks whether a more personalised search will erase the possibility of discovering new things randomly. Page calls it a great question, but in the same breath says he's not worried about such a possibility because Google knows the difference between the two concepts and that randomness is not always a great thing.
12:43am – Questions all around
Page is fielding a volley of questions. The Keynote has overrun its three-hour schedule, but of course this has to be expected. Surprising that there's been no news about a new Android version or Nexus devices.
12:25am – Q&A
The CEO is taking questions from the audience. “I am sad that the Web is not advancing as fast as it should be,” says Page answering a question about the long-term future of the Web. All manner of questions being asked, from how can Google protect freedom of speech to what can we see from Google for the real world (as opposed to the virtual kind) in the future. Someone asks him about production run for Glass. “You'll have to ask Sergey (Brin),” Page says, but adds that Glass is about removing the barrier between humans and machines. “It's all about getting happy users,” he said.
12:11am – Page time
Larry Page, Google's CEO is now on stage. His voice seems under strain due to the recently-revealed illness. But some inspiring words about his beginnings as a computer guy. “It's not all zero-sum,” says Page talking about the state of technology and the relationships in the industry, which he believes has soured.
12:05am – A new earth
Google Earth now uses web standards for a smoother experience. The full Earth experience is now available in browser thanks to Google Maps. A very cool demo of Earth mobving through space with the exact position of the stars and the Sun. All this is real-time.
Google Earth in space!
12:01am – Built for you
Map recommendations adapt based on what you star or save. And it will show you similar places to visit based on these choices. It changes from person to person. So it's a unique map for every user.
11:58pm – Customised maps
New Google Maps experience will bring custom-built maps, immersive imagery and a snappier navigation experience. Vector maps in your browser make zooming in and out a cinch. You can click on pictures that come with location cards and you are taken straight into an indoor store view UI. You will also be able to see recommendations and reviews by your friends.
The new Google Maps experience
11:51pm – New and improved Maps for mobile
All Maps points will have a five-star review system. Restaurants will have Zagat reviews attached. But users can leave their own impressions of a new eating joint etc. Navigation and directions will also get a revamp. Real-time incident alerts will be coming soon too. So you can be alerted when something untoward happens on your route.
11:43pm – Mapping the world
Google Maps will be the focus of the next segment. North Korea became the latest country to be mapped by Google. 50 countries around the world have Street View now.
11:39pm – Google Now improved
Google Now is getting new cards. Reminders is one of them and Google can also show you your personal pictures based on your questions. “Show me the pictures from my Goa trip” will result in exactly that. Of course, these pictures will have to be on your Google+ account.
New search experience
11:33pm – Voice search is the future
Google is demonstrating the voice search feature of Google search. Everything from directions, images, general info etc. Amazing that some queries don't need any keywords. “Hot-wording” is what Google calls it. The latest experience is coming to Chrome browser and Chrome OS. The voice search can do much more than just basic search. Everything from flight bookings to very, very particular information about sights and attractions, such as height restrictions for roller-coasters.
11:28pm – Next level
Knowledge Graph will soon be able to deliver statistics, comparison of stats, delivery tracking and other everyday tasks. It's going to get better voice recognition. Voice search to come to desktops and laptops through Chrome. “You don't even have to type the search term. Just sit back, relax and say, OK, Google.“
Future of search
11:25pm – The future of search
Amit Singhal will take us through the next era of Google Search. He's talking about the launch of Knowledge Graph last year and its impact. Knowledge Graph will now support Polish, Turkish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
Auto Awesome will make moving pictures out of burst-mode shots
11:21pm – “Let's talk about awesome”
That's how Gundotra began the next segment. Google will automatically create fun pictures when you take badly-shot images. This includes GIFs, auto-smiles, HDR and many other ways to create images. Google has already gone through your albums and created this “awesome” images and left them there are gifts. So check out your Google+ albums now.
11:15pm – Picture this
Google+ will auto-select images from your vacation based on various criteria, both photography-related and social metrics. Turn those 1000 vacation pictures into an album of the 100 best snaps. Another tool auto enhances pictures while they are being uploaded.
Google picks from your vacation photos
The tools running in the background
11:05pm – Let's Hangout
Gundotra announces Hangouts, a new app made for multi-platform messaging and easy sharing of multimedia content. Images, videos and conversations are on record and can be viewed easily. Video hangouts can be started with a click and all the people in the conversation will be thrown into a video chat. Again, lots of animated icons to show who's typing and who's joining in on the conversation.
Hangouts with long-term history
11:00pm – Social focus
Gundotra back on stage to show the new features of Google+. 41 new features to be launched today. A redesigned Google+ coming today. A new stream will be gracing Google+. A multi-column design will replace the traditional flat vertical design. Animations are a key focus with menus sliding in and out. Automatic hashtags and easy discovery of posts with same hashtags. In fact, users don't even have to hashtag posts themselves, Google's Knowledge Graph and image recognition engine will automatically tag posts.
The new Google+ layout
Automatci hashtags based on Knowledge Graph
10:55pm – Chromebooks for education
Looks like Google is really going after the education market. Pichai talking about how Chromebooks are ideal for educational purposes and for schools where funds are lacking. Pichai uses the example of schools in Malaysia where Chromebooks are transforming the school landscape.
Google Play for Education
10:47pm – Android and children
Chris Yerga is back on stage and looks like we will be looking at how Google will impact education. Schools told Google to make it better for students. Content, tablets and education-oriented apps. So here's Google Play for Education! A Play Store dedicated for educational purposes and aimed at school kids. All apps here are screened by educators. Apps can be pushed to several devices at one go thanks to Google Play for Education.
10:45pm – Swag time
What freebies do those lucky I/O attendees get this year? Well, only a $1299 Chromebook Pixel. We are sure more's on offer.
10:41pm – Mutli-screen, multi-player web
Google demoing Racer, a racing game that uses multiple screens and is platform and device agnostic. All you need is Chrome. Looks like a very fun game and we can't wait to try our hands at Racer. The game uses only web standards for audio and graphic.
Racer being played across mutliple screens
10:33pm – New media formats
Is JPEG on the way out? Google shows the WebP format for pictures, which could leave gifs, jpegs, pngs in the dust. H.264 videos could give way to VP9, which is incredibly smaller in size to H.264. YouTube is going to be rolling out support for VP9 later this year.
VP9 format is less heavy
WebP format images are very versatile
10:23pm – Chrome evolution
All the featurs of Chrome browser on PC will be coming to the Android app soon. Pichai shows us a demo of The Hobbit's website which allows users to navigate to movie's landscape and play games using the power of Web standards.
Chrome activations on the rise and how!
10:21pm – Back to Chrome
Sundar Pichai back on stage to talk about Chrome now. He's talking about the success of the Chromebooks and the Chromebook Pixel. 750 million people are now using Chrome.
Is the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, the best Android smartphone now?
10:20pm – Google Edition!
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition unveiled. Stock Android running on an S4 with no sign of TouchWiz. Thank, heavens! It will be available directly through Play Store. Bootloader unlocked, 16GB memory with a microSD card. But, (there's always a but) it's gonna cost $649.
Coming to the US from today for $9.99 per month
10:17pm – Listen now
Listen Now will bring all your tracks, your radio playlists and all recommendations under one roof. All Access is priced at $9.99 a month in the US. Comes with a 30-day free trial. Launching in the US today and will be rolling out to other countries soon after.
Google Play Music All Access
10:13pm – It's time for music!
Google Play Music All Access is official. Google says this is all about music and the technology takes a backseat. A guided way to find new music. Looks very similar to the Play Store. When playing tracks, users can turn it into a Radio service. Next track is a swipe away, and editable playlists, re-ordering of tracks, it's all there. “Radio without rules,” says Chris Yerga, Android Engineering Director.
10:07pm – Improvements to Google Play.
Recently, the Play Store was redesigned with a focus on user-specific recommendations. More changes are coming. Apps designed for tablet will be featured in the drop-down menu within each Play category. The Play Store's web version will also be seeing a redesign similar to the mobile interface.
The changes in the Google Play Developer Console
10:03pm – Crowd-sourced beta tests
Google is going to streamline beta testing for apps by opening up beta APKs to Google+ communities and developers can select who tests their fledgling app.
10:00pm – Developer focus
Ellie Powers, Product Manager, Google Play on stage now. New tools in the Google Play Developer Console being demoed. App Translation Service to instantly translate apps in different languages. More granular control over metrics, better pointers and guidelines to improve app performance and monetisation.
Android Studio in action
9:56pm – Android Studio
Android Studio is a new IDE truly built for the smartphone and tablet platform. Makes it easier to develop for Android. Real-time rendering not only for one screen size but all possible screen sizes so you can make modifications to make it look best on different form factors. You can also view the layout in different languages and make modifications accordingly to better wrap text.
9:54pm – Multiplayer services
Google will do the heavy lifting for the networking in multiplayer mode. Barra demoing Riptide GP2's multiplayer as three Googlers on stage playing the ganme simulatenously. They invite each other directly through the game. And of course, the game force closes!
The new Google Play game services features
9:51pm – Game on!
Google Play Games Services API is now out. Cloud saving: Synced game saves across devices. Finish one level on your phone, continue the next one on your tablet. We like this one. Public leaderboards: You can view leaderboards right from a game. The big one: This is not only launching on Android, but also iOS and web.
9:50pm – Synchronised notifications
Upstream messaging back to Google's servers has enabled synchronised notifications across Android devices. Swipe away an alert on your phone, and it disappears from your tablet.
9:46pm – Cross-platform single sign-on
Barra talking about how Google+ sign-in on certain websites will prompt users asking if they want to download the app to their Android device. And the install happens instantly. Barra used TheFancy.com to illustrate the new feature.
9:45pm – Location, location, location
Three new location APIs coming today. A new low-power location mode that uses less than one percent of power every hour. Then there's Geofencing, which puts up virtual barries on the map and triggers activities when these barriers are crossed.
The world of Android
9:41pm – That's billion with a B
Google Play has crossed 48 billion app installs, says Hugo Barra, VP Android Product Management. He has taken over from Pichai. A very fluid presentation so far.
9:40pm – The next step
Pichai says the next step is to bring the 4 and half billion people on to Android or mobile platforms. But wow, 900 million sounds like an incredible number of activations!
Pichai on stage talking about out multi-screen future
9:37pm –900 million activations!
The momentum since last year has been “breath-taking” says Pichai about the journey of Android. We can feel a big figure coming on about the number of activations. And yes, there it is. 900 million Android activations.
9:35pm – Pichai goes on about the journey of mobile computing and circles to Android and Chrome. “The goal was to design a simple, safer and faster browser and today it's the most popular browser in the world,” he says about Chrome.
9:32pm – Pichai talking about the mobile explosion. “People are adopting these devices at a great pace.” He uses a picture of the St Peter's Basilica to illustrate the point.
9:30pm – Vic Gundotra, Senior VP Engineering, welcomes the attendees and passes the mic to Sundar Pichai, the head of Android, Chrome and Apps
Google I/O is about to kick off in a few minutes and we, for one, are as excited as kids are for candy. While we have an inkling of what to expect at I/O this year, Google has a way of pulling surprises at its yearly gala.
An exciting day (and night) for Google fans
In terms of devices, we expect a new Nexus 7 tablet and a refreshed Nexus 4 (perhaps, even a white version) to be seen at I/O this year. But more importantly, Google is widely believed to show us its subscription-based music streaming service, a cross-platform unified messaging app (Babel or Hangout, depending on which rumour you’ve been following) and the latest iteration of Android, 4.3 Jelly Bean.
We also hope to see how Google Glass has been carried forward by Google after its unveiling at the event last year. In addition, a host of new features are expected to arrive on many of Google’s key services, Google Maps being a prime example.
We will be bringing you all the action from the keynote address this evening and you can even keep track of the latest through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Keep watching this space for more!
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