Today was Google’s annual developer’s conference and during the three-hour shindig there were several expected and some unexpected announcements. Don’t have time to sit through the whole thing? No frets, we got your backs!
First up is the expected announcement of Android L. I’m sad they’re seemingly dropping the dessert names, I thought it made them just that much cooler than their iOS making counterparts. L’s new design, Material Design, is set to run across not only all things Android but the web and Chrome OS as well. We’re talking everything, Chromebooks, watches, phones, tablets, internet, I mean it – everything.
Android L is bringing new optimizations to battery life and notifications. Notifications finally will be able to be managed straight from the lock screen. L will also bring performance upgrades including PC quality gaming to devices. L is also set to mesh with Android wear to authenticate your session so you won’t have to keep entering your pin. Android L is available to developers now with a consumer rollout set for this fall. As usual, devices will vary.
Android Wear is another new initiative for the fledgling wearables market. Wear will co-exist with Android L and Android TV to deliver a better experience. When downloading an app to your device, now the Wear version will also download for full mesh. App updates will be automatic.
Wear notifications are going to be streamlined so you only the most important ones, like missed calls and texts. You can interact with them by simply raising your wrist. Say you have a watch like the Samsung Gear Live, which has a built in heart rate monitor, Android Wear will track your heart rate and steps walked during a day. Other watches will go on sale this summer sporting those features.
Something new to compete with Apple is Android Car. Much like CarPlay, the system will be a techie’s navigation, communication, and music setup and will be voice controlled. Yay! Much like Android L, Car will push out this fall with developers able to play and make apps with the SDK soon.
Android TV is another new feature coming soon from Google. TV will be a nice mixture of live tv, apps and Google Play. Android TV will function some what like a Chromecast, where you can fling content from your device to your TV. It will also feature easy search and voice commands plus searching using an Android Wear toting device. Google has partners in Sony, Razer and ASUS to make Android TVs and gaming boxes.
On the Chromecast front, you will no longer need to be on the same wifi network to fling content from a friend’s device, no more sharing passwords. Also it will allow mirroring between TVs and other devices like phones or tablets.
Google is bringing together ChromeOS and Android in Chromebooks. The new unified set up will allow Android notifications and native apps to the Google laptops. You’ll be able to view missed calls and texts straight from your Book.
Lastly is Google Fit, a fitness oriented program to get us all healthy. Not much is known about Fit other than it will be a hub for all the fitness info like steps walked, heart rates and other health tidbits. The SDK will be available later on for developers to craft apps.
Well geeks, a lot came out in three hours. Anything catch your eyes? I’m interested in the upcoming Android L because I always like a new OS. I could take or leave Wear mostly because I’m not into the whole wearables scene. What say you?