Google aims to rule your ride, phone, wearables, and TV
Google debuts Android One – a new, low-cost phone – Google Fit, Google TV, and Google Drive, all part of the company’s plan for a brave new world powered by Google.
Since 2008, Google has hosted an annual developer conference called I/O in San Francisco. I/O attracts developers who write code on Google’s open source platform, and in turn, Google blesses them with new features they can implement in their code.
Google’s keynote at I/O was 2.5 hours. That’s right: Two-and-a-half hours. Lucky for you I watched it all (give or take a few smoke breaks). I’ll break down the most relevant news and spare you the boring details.
Google will be releasing Android One, a smartphone system that aims to put its technology into the hands of the masses. The phones will cost less than a $100. According to engadget, “…engineers will design cost-conscious hardware, and other companies will simply manufacture it. There are plenty of fringe benefits, but the biggest one is that Google will be able to dictate a minimum set of standards for forthcoming Android handsets.”
Moving right along…Google Fit
“[Google Fit is] a platform to organize all of the data from the myriad health trackers and body sensors that we’re all sure to have strapped to our body in the near future. It looks a heck of a lot like Apple’s Healthkit for iOS. More fun personal data Google has on you!
Google showed off an LG G Watch at the event yesterday, with some cool features:
- ‘Always on’ display
- Google Maps – turn-by-turn directions right from the smartwatch
- Voice commands (you can be like Dick Tracy, talking into your watch)
- Integration with health related apps
- and more…
Google gives you the ability to bring its ecosystem right into your car. Here’s the best part: you can plug in, put your phone down, and use the controls of your car to “drive” your phone. I firmly believe Android Auto is likely here to stay; it won’t become obsolete as quickly as everyone thinks. Having this type of software in your phone rather than hardwired into your car makes it flexible and adaptable to updates.
Android Auto will be available later this year.
Google TV will provide an online streaming experience, running on its Android software, of course. Android TV is a follow-up to Google TV, the company’s first foray into TV software, which failed to gain widespread adoption. This time around, Google seems to be focusing on creating a platform more squarely focused on entertainment and ease of use. The platform will enter a crowded market that already includes Apple, Amazon and Roku, but the company did announce some key partners: The 2015 line of HD and 4K televisions from Sony, Sharp and TP Vision will all support Android TV.
This is what Google TV’s home interface will look like
Google also announced more news specific to developers. To find out more, click here. If you have time and want to watch the entire keynote, there’s a recorded live stream here on KnowTechie.