Google I/O 2013: Search is Dead, Google’s Pandora-like radio service, better Google+, revamped Maps & Chrome Pixel
May 15, 2013 8:06 PM –
This year at Google I/O the search giant stayed true to their word by focusing more on developers and what they can build with their services.
A lot was announced, though sadly no new version of Android and only one tech gadget- albeit a great gadget, Chrome Pixel, was given out to attendees. I was desperately anticipating Glass. In the past Google has been notorious for giving away a phone at least, but it seemed to semi-excite the crowd with the announcement of a pure Android experience on an unlocked Galaxy S4 available in Google Play (in the U.S.) starting June 26th for $649. At I/O 2011 Google announced 100 million activations of Android, 400 million in 2012, and now they’ve nearly tipped a billion at 900 million in 2013. We also learned there were 48 billion app installs in Google Play this month alone. Read on for a summary of all the goodies announced at the annual developer’s conference.
“The end of search as we know it,” was the slogan. Instead of seeking out things with the Google Now search app, it’s moving more towards conversational search to understand questions you ask and even anticipate next questions. They added this for desktops too! Other enhancements include new cards for Reminders, Public Transit, Video Games, TV Shows, Books, and Music Albums. Although I couldn’t get it to work solid in my tests, it now comes with a ‘Hotword’ activation wake up like Vlingo by saying “Hey Google…” and it listens for your voice search.
Watch on Mobile
Google Play Music All Access
A new Pandora-like service launching in the U.S. first for $9.99/month, you search an artist and the service builds a playlist- with the exception that you can see what’s up next, skip unlimited tracks and modify the playlist.
Watch on Mobile
…received a lot updates but I’ll summarize three major areas: Stream, Hangouts & Photos. The stream has multiple interactive columns. Hangouts was unveiled, a real time communication app, yet confuses me as they already have a product with the same name that’s traditionally known for group video chats. 😕 Photos received an awesome debut, basically this tool gives you the power of photo editing of the pros and it automatically does it for you on G+ photos you upload.
Maps is has been totally revamped to the next level! It’s more immersive, more personal, more social, zooms inside of buildings, swims underwater and lights up the nightlife from space. No joke, see what I’m speaking of and snag a preview and request an invite for yourself here.
Google Play Services
They announced new APIs, some of the same tools they use to build apps like Google Now and Maps. These include Location APIs (Geo-fencing and Activity Recognition), Google+ Sign-In (cross platform), enhancements to Google Cloud Messaging, and Gaming (also cross platform) giving users the power to start a game on the phone and continue on a tablet later, achievements, leaderboards and multi-player action. Another cool feature you hipsters with two or more Android devices will like is the notification dismiss, flick away on one device and see it dismiss on another synced device.
For you devs reading this, you’ll be happy to start using Android Studio developer tool. Even better are the various optimization tools in the Play store developer console such as referral flows, referral tracking, revenue graphs and translation services.