The Android conference lasted over 2 hours and Google showcased a wide range of new products. Here are our highlights:
1. Wearables – Moto 360 stands out
Earlier this month we reported how Apple is playing catch-up, planning to release their iWatch in October this year. The wearable technology market is growing quickly, it is set to triple this year to 19 million units sold and research firm IDC forecasts 111.9 million units by 2018.
As such wearables was a big focus, Google showed the LG’s G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and Moto 360. The LG and Samsung devices are both available now, the Moto 360 will launch later in the summer. During the keynote it became pretty obvious which smartwatch was the most popular amongst attendees. They all received the LG and Samsung model but when they heard they would also receive the Moto 360 the crowd went crazy.
The LG and Samsung devices look very similar and the only difference on specs is the display. LG has a 1,65″ 280 x 280 IPS LCD display while Samsung has a 1,63″ 320 x 320 AMOLED display. They both come with 4 GB internal memory, 512 MB RAM.
As the adoption of smartwatches increases we are also going to see more tailor made apps for the devices. With that in mind and looking at the three Android options presented we would wait until later this summer to go with the stunning Moto 360.
The LG G and Samsung Gear Live are available in the Play Store for $229.
2. Android L – Connected, faster, efficient and better looking
The new version of Android is going to be available for developers on June 26, for the regular consumer there is no exact release date, Google just stated it is going to be officially launched “this fall”.
What Google showcased looked promising:
- You are always going to be connected with Android L.
“We want to know where you are, and we want to be voice enabled. It shouldn’t matter which device you are using, we should pick up where you left off.”
Calls, text messaging, notifications etc can all show up on your PC, your search history accounts and apps – everything is synchronized between all your devices.
- Improved battery life
Google is going to give developers access to the battery use. A battery saver mode is also going to be integrated which can increase the battery life by up to 90 minutes per day.
- A new design
The new OS is going to have the same look and feel across all platforms.
The look and feel is clean, yet colorful, flat but also dimensional.
One of the biggest improvements that consumers are going to notice are the notifications which are much more user friendly in this version, can be viewed on the lockscreen and are customizable beyond that.
3. Android Drive – Your car is going to be connected as well
“Users increasingly are living in a multiscreen world. You are using the TV, wearing things on your body and when you get in your car, you expect the same experience,” Google said during the conference.
Android Auto is going to connect your smartphone to your car screen. You will have all your apps, contacts synced. Apple launched something similar called CarPlay earlier. How they are going to compare has to be seen.
- Google will launch a low-cost smartphone for emerging markets, priced below $100
- Android TV showcased. A sleek design compared to the previous Google TV, Android TV also has voice search capabilities. Several brands such as Sony and Philips have already teamed up with Google to launch the device later this year.
- Chromecast mirroring, the app-streaming dongle is officially enabled and you can put anything from your smartphone or tablet on your TV screen.
- Google Drive for work offers unlimited storage – we are going to write a separate article about this
- Prior to the event Google already announced the upgrade to Google Glass.
To conclude, the Google I/O was impressive to say the least. Google wants to be everywhere you are and connect all your Anrdoid devices.
For us the highlight was still the stunning Moto 360 smartwatch.