Highlights From The 2014 Google I/O Keynote

Google I/O Logo

The keynote for Google I/O 2014 ended about half an hour ago. I watched all two hours and thirty nine minutes of it, taking notes along the way. For your reading enjoyment, here they are!

Android One

  • A reference “software experience” for low-end phones in the developing world.
  • Hallmarks are: (1) stock Android, (2) updates directly from Google, (3) auto-installed carrier-approved software from Google Play.
  • Launch partners for India include Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice.

Android L

  • The next major release of Android, due this fall.
  • A new look: “Material Design” (think overlapping pieces of paper).
  • developers can now specify “elevation values”—that is, measurements along the Z axis.
  • “Recents” menu redesigned, now includes Chrome tabs as well as apps.
  • Search results now include installed apps and the web.
  • Android L is 100% ART and supports 64-bit processors.
  • Better battery life via “Project Volta”; for users, a battery saver feature.
  • Early system images for Nexus 5 and 7 will be available tomorrow.
  • Security updates will be pushed through Google Play, not Android updates.
  • Universal Data Controls: centralized privacy settings for all installed apps.

Android Wear

  • Materials UI optimized for square and circular screens, featuring cards that can be swiped away.
  • SDK includes geo-location support, demoed with ride-sharing app Lyft.
  • Eat24 demo: order a pizza in twenty seconds from your wrist.
  • Allthecooks demo: recipe steps speed away are synchronized between phone and watch
  • LG G Watch will be available later today (!).
  • Samsung Gear Live will be available later today (!!).
  • Moto 360 available later this summer (greeted with audible disappointment from the crowd).

Android Auto

  • Enabling the user to “cast” their phone to your car’s in-dash system.
  • Apps can be controlled from the dash or by voice.
  • Android Auto SDK will enable development of car-friendly apps.
  • 40 partners and 20 car brands have already joined the Open Automotive Alliance.

Android TV

  • Input from the user via a supported D Pad with voice.
  • Can also be virtual D Pad (Android TV app on tablet, phone or watch).
  • Voice-powered search delivers paid content to your big screen.
  • Games can be controlled by any Android device, or multiple devices at the same time.
  • Google cast is supported for the same functionality as Chromecast.

Chromecast

  • Now you (and others) can cast media to your television from cellular networks.
  • It’s opt-in, so the owner of the TV always have control.
  • New feature: Backdrop – an ambient screen saver/photo viewer for your TV.
  • Users can Google: “What’s on my Chromecast?” and get results from Backdrop on their handheld device.
  • Phone and tablet users can now cast their device screens to their TV.

Chromebooks

  • Android L will let you unlock and sign into your Chromebook with your Android phone.
  • Call and text notifications will appear on both devices.
  • Native Android apps are coming to Chrome OS.

Android for Work

  • Data separation and security: personal and work data are quarantined on same device.
  • Native Office editing (including saves) in Google Docs.
  • Increased security and controls for Google Drive.

INTERLUDE: High-level developer coding-type stuff that I didn’t really understand…

Freebies for Attendees

  • #cardboard…?
  • Free LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live.
  • A free Moto G 360 when it becomes available (!!!).

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to repeatedly press F5 on my computer until I see how much LG’s watch is going to sell for…