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Google I/O Recap – All The New Features

Google I/O Recap – All The New Features

16 words for you.

Material design. Pixels don’t just light, but move. Kind of. Not really. But it’s still awesome.

At Google I/O, Google announced the newest version of Android, dubbed simply “Android L.” They also announced Android One, Android TV, Android Wear.

Some of the coolest features on Android L that really surprised everyone include the following:

Depth with pixels.

In other words, Z elements can now be considered when developing apps, rather than just the X and Y elements of previous versions. This is brings new animation capabilities, 3D views with real-time shadows, and activity transitions with shared hero elements.

A streamlined notification system.

The main feature is integration with the lock screen. Pretty straightforward. But what’s more interesting is the new “Heads Up” notifications which appear at the top of your screen iOS 7 style, and what makes this even more cool is that even the call notifications use this, so no more calls interrupting your game of piano tiles.

A major new security feature on the lock screen.

If you’re wearing Android Wear, it can let your phone, Chromebook (or tablet, presumably) know via Bluetooth you’re the one near when an unlock is attempted, and your phone will simply unlock rather than asking for a password. Even if you’re just more than a few feet away, your device won’t unlock, it’s not just if it’s in Bluetooth range, so you don’t have to worry about people stealing your phone and unlocking it from across the room.

New Mobile Chrome features.

Website makers can now take advantage of new APIs that allow the new animations and elements from Material Design to provide more enjoyable web experiences. There’s also a new “Recents” menu, which will now also show your recent Chrome tabs. Other apps can take advantage of this new API as well.

Third party integration into search.

Looking up say, a restaurant which will include a result in some third party review websites that also have apps. Google will allow you to open up the result in that app. This had already been available to select developers, but now it’s available to everyone.

New graphic rendering capability.

The capability of the graphics on Android L are comparable to that of a PC. Seriously, that’s not an exaggeration. See it on the Google I/O Keynote once it’s uploaded here, it’s quite insane.

New security features.

Security patches will now be made via Google Play Services updates, which roll out every six weeks. There is now also factory reset protection and universal data controls now being offered.

New Google Play Games features.

New profiles update automatically based on the games you can play. You can also save games. Developers now also have a wide range of options to add new features to their games without having to update. Last but certainly not least, carrier billing is now available on tablets, even Wi-Fi ones.

Integration with Chromebooks.

Low Battery Alerts, Text, and other notifications from your phone will appear on your Chromebook. Some Android applications will work on Chromebooks now, even with some of the same APIs available. For instance, you can now record Vines on the Chromebook.

Better Integration With Business

User and Corporate applications now live together on the same device and same accounts. Data from the two are isolated from each other. There’s also now built in presentation editing in the Google Drive app. There’s now Google Drive for work, with unlimited storage for $10 Per User Per Month

Google Fit APIs.

It’s a whole platform that gives a complete view of the users fitness to third parties, with your explicit permission.

New APIs for the cloud.

The first is called CloudSave. Developers can utilize this to store data in the cloud instead of on the device, as well as retrieve it. Other features include the ability to debug programs running on many servers at once, trace issues that slow down apps that make requests over the internet, and view overall latency profiles.

Cloud Dataflow.

It’s a fully automatically managed service developers can use to create pipelines for creating, transforming, and analyzing large amounts of data.

Appurify is now on Android.

Testing for developers is about to get a lot easier.

Other notes:

-There are over 5,000 new APIs.

-System Images are soon available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013)

-A full Android Wear SDK is available soon.

And now for the other announcements, Android One, Android TV, and Android Wear:

Android One

Android Wear is an initiative by Google to rid the world of the horridly low end phones, primarily made by lesser known OEMs, that plague the market today, and continue to support the notion of Android being laggy long after Google eradicated those slowdowns in Jelly Bean 2 years ago. It’s plan is to lay out a set of standards, design budget-friendly devices that conform to those standards, and then have lesser known OEMs manufacture them. While this will hopefully come to developed countries such as America and the UK soon enough, Google is aiming for developing countries at the moment.

Android TV

  • The goal is to bring the same amount of attention given to other platforms to TVs.

  • Search is more streamlined, cards bring up Movies and TV to watch on Google Play and other services installed. It will also take really specific search queries, such as the one demoed: “Show me movies nominated for an Oscar in 2004?”

  • Android Wear can be used as a remote.

  • It can be used just like a Chromecast.

  • Google Play App Store for TV to launch in the fall.

  • A developing kit called ADT1 will be available through sign up page for developers to start developing for it.

  • All smart TVs from Sharp, Sony, and TPVision will run Android TV in 2015.

  • Streaming boxes running Android TV will come from Asus, Razr, and Bouygues, LG, and SFR.

  • Chromecast, which has outsold all other streaming devices combined, is the top selling electronic device on Amazon in 18 countries including US, UK, France, Japan, and Canada, and is the top device interacting on YouTube, can now cast without being on the same Wi-Fi network. It’s opt-in, and uses the cloud, as well as technologies that verify the device is in the same room as the TV. There’s also a new ambient experience called Backdrop, that can scroll through personal images, geospacial images from Google, various Art, and more. If you’re wondering what’s on your TV, you can ask Google Now on any device, including iOS devices, “What’s on my Chromecast?”, and Google Now will bring up a card for that particular image. Developers can also add their own topics for this. You can also now cast any Android device to the TV via Chromecast.

Android Wear

Android Wear has all of the features you’d expect, with few surprises. Almost anything you can tell Google Now to do on other devices are recognizable commands on Wear. You can also answer phone calls and receive notifications, which sync up as well. Swipe away on your watch, you’ll no longer see it on your phone, tablet, or Chromebook. You also, of course, have compatibility with round screens. The two really surprising things this new platform packs are the ability to control Android TV, and the ability to allow you to be exempt from entering passcodes on your other devices as long as you’re wearing your Android Wear device, or have it very near. All in all, Android Wear is a great new series of devices.

Android Auto

Android Auto brings the latest and greatest from Android and puts it in the car. It brings a easy to use interface with elements from Android L of course including Material Design. So what can it do? Similar to Android Wear, it has a heavy focus on Google Now. You’ll get relevant info when you need it along with the ability to say “OK Google” and make searches, set reminders, and perform actions. Of course since this is in a car there is also maps, music controls, and more. Google has even partnered with companies like Ford, Kia, Nissan, Volvo and many more to bring this to new customers.

So that’s everything Google announced at I/O. Make sure to leave your comments below and let us know what you thought of everything.

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About The Author

Justin Howell

Justin Howell is a lover of all tech using everything from Windows to Android and iOS. He is a contributing editor here at iTechTriad when he's not working on his own YouTube channel. You can catch him on Twitter and Google+