Posted by Chris Martin 16 May 2013
Google I/O announcement roundup: Android, Google Play, Google+, Chrome and Maps
Google's sixth annual Google I/O developer conference is underway and the keynote brought some interesting announcements.
Google said: "We believe computing is going through one of the most exciting moments in its history: people are increasingly adopting phones, tablets and newer type of devices. And this spread of technology has the potential to make a positive impact in the lives of people around the world—whether it's simply helping you in your daily commute, or connecting you to information that was previously inaccessible."
It can be hard to keep up with all the news so we've rounded up all the announcements into one neat article. As Google said before the event, announcements were more developer focus and no new Nexus devices were revealed. However, there's plenty of exciting stuff which will mostly likely affect you so read on to find out the latest from El Goog.
Google I/O: Android
Before you get too excited, Google didn't announce Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Instead, it announced a plethora of updated to existing Google services. The firm announced that it has reached 900 million Android activations.
One key announcement is that a 'Google Edition' of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will go on sale in June for $649. Instead of running TouchWiz, the smartphone will come pre-loaded with stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
As per the leaked information, Google Play game services was announced and launched. Like Apple's Game Centre, but not a standalone app, the service provides multiplayer, leader boards, achievements and most importantly, cloud saves. Supported games at launch include World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2 and Triple Town.
The other big Android announcement was an update to Google Play Music. A new 'All Access' service has launched in the US for $9.99 per month allowing unlimited streaming as a rival to the likes of Spotify and Rdio.
An updated version of Google Play Books enables you to upload and view your own PDF and EPUB files. Google Search has also been updated to include reminders, upcoming book, film and music releases and real-time traffic information.
Google I/O: Google+
Google launched a redesign of its Google+ social network which is cleaner and simpler much like the latest Google Play Store. As well as a new look, a standalone version of Hangouts has been launched which combines text, photos and live video across Android, iOS and PCs.
Users can now automatically upload/backup 15GB (previously 5GB) of full-size photos for free. New features offer to pick the best photos and enhance them automatically. Auto Awesome can create new content such as animated GIFs and panoramas from your content.
Google I/O: Chrome
On the Chrome side of things, there are now more than 750 million active users, according to Google. The firm previewed a new VP9 video codec for faster video-streaming performance and a requestAutocomplete API for faster payments. Experiments included Racer, a game played across multiple devices using Chrome.
Google I/O: Maps
The next-generation of Google Maps was previewed with a tailored experience for each user. Google said "every click draws a new map highlighting the things that matter most". The more you use the service the smarter it gets, recommending placed to go or alternative routes and modes of transport. Activity Recognition will know if you're in a car, walking or cycling without using GPS.
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