This morning, Google kicked off its 6th annual I/O conference with over 6,000 devs at Moscone Center in San Francisco, 460 I/O Extended sites in 90 countries, and millions around the world who tuned in via Mountain View’s livestream.
Over the next three days, Google will be hosting technical sessions, hands-on code labs, and demonstrations of products and partner technology.
“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,” explained Sundar Pichai, Google SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps.
“This is why we focus so much on our two open platforms: Android and Chrome. They enable developers to innovate and reach as many people as possible with their apps and services across multiple devices. Android started as a simple idea to advance open standards on mobile; today it is the world’s leading mobile platform and growing rapidly. Similarly, Chrome launched less than five years ago from an open source project; today it’s the world’s most popular browser.”
As expected, Google reps made several announcements today, including:
Android & Google Play: A monthly music subscription service with access to millions of songs that joins our music store and locker; and the Google Play game services with real-time multiplayer and leaderboards. Also, coming next month to Google Play is a special Samsung Galaxy S4, which brings together cutting edge hardware from Samsung with Google’s latest software and services—including the user experience that ships with our popular Nexus devices.
Chrome: With over 750 million active users on Chrome, Google says it is focused on bringing to mobile the speed, simplicity and security improvements that we’ve seen on the desktop. To that end, Mountain Voew previewed next-generation video codec VP9 for faster video-streaming performance; the requestAutocomplete API for faster payments; and Chrome Experiments such as “A Journey Through Middle Earth” and Racer to demonstrate the ability to create immersive mobile experiences not possible in years past.
Google+: Mountain View unveiled the newly designed Google+, which helps users easily explore content as well dramatically improve online photo experience to offer up crisp, beautiful photos—without the work! We also upgraded Google+ Hangouts—our popular group video application—to help bring all of your real-life conversations online, across any device or platform, and with groups of up to 10 friends.
Search: Search has evolved considerably in recent years: it can now have a real conversation with users, and even make your day a bit smoother by predicting information you might need. Today Google added the ability to set reminders by voice and we previewed “spoken answers” on laptops and desktops in Chrome—meaning you can ask Google a question and it will speak the answer back to you.
Maps: Google previewed the next generation of Maps, which eliminates clutter in order to put individual experience and exploration front and center. Each time a users click or search, the app draws a tailored map that highlights required information. From design to directions, the new Google Maps is smarter and more useful.