Google Inc. has unveiled new products and services at its sixth annual developer conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco today. These include: Google+ Hangouts, Auto Enhance and Highlights photo-editing tools for Google+, Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 and many more.
This is our roundup of Google I/O 2013 Roundup:
Google has updated its voice search feature with what it calls a “no-interface” approach for Chrome and Chrome OS. With the latest version of Google Search, saying “OK Google” and asking a question will prompt it to respond, with no button presses needed. Like Siri or previous voice searches, users can ask a question with natural language, and Google’s Knowledge Graph will parse the question, giving a voice response and showing results. Searches can be personalized (as long as you’ve turned on the Gmail Search field trial feature)
Google’s Hangouts group chat feature is now a little more useful, with one-on-one conversations, a way to look back at chat history, and a standalone app for people who want to use Hangouts as a general communications tool.
New in the chat service, which is a headlining feature of Google’s Google+ social network, is a way to do one-on-one chats with people during a group chat. Google is calling the new feature facetoface, and hopes it will get more people to use Google+ instead of jumping to another communication service.
Google is showing off two photo-editing tools for G+ called Auto Enhance and Highlights. Starting with Auto Enhance, this is clearly the fruit of Google’s eight-month-old Snapseed acquisition: with this feature you can do things like adjust for exposure, soften skin, minimize wrinkles, remove red-eye and reduce noise in low-light shots.
At Google I/O in San Francisco on Wednesday, Hugo Barra, Android’s VP product management announced an unlocked “Google Edition” of the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.
“What you’re seeing here is real,” Barra said. He showed the user interface of the smartphone (pictured below), which he says is the same as the interface Google sells on its Nexus devices. “It’s Google’s take on Android,” Barr added, noting that it will be available directly through Google Play in the U.S.
He announced the unlocked model will be available on AT&T and T-Mobile, will have LTE support, 16 GB of RAM that’s expandable with an SD card, and its most appealing feature is that it’s bootloader unlocked. The crowd of developers erupted in applause when he announced that this new Galaxy S4 will receive system updates “promptly with every Android platform update.”
Barra said the device will be available starting June 26 on Google Play for $649.
Your information saved in Chrome in your desktop browser will be able to sync with your mobile web browser on Android. This means you’ll fill out a form, for example, with your name, address, payment information, all the good stuff, you’ll be able to save it (as you have been able for quite some time). The big deal here is that this information will be able to be accessed instantly from your mobile Chrome web browser at a tap.
Google flaunted a new subscription music service, Google Play Music All Access, at Google I/O. The service, which Google says “blends your music collection with ours” across multiple devices, will launch Wednesday in the United States for $9.99 per month. People who subscribe by June 30 will pay only $7.99. It comes with a 30-day free trial and will eventually roll out to more countries.
Google announced a handful of new developer tools at its I/O conference Wednesday in San Francisco. Among the handy new tools are Android Studio, which allows developers to view and tinker with their app rendered at different screen sizes and resolutions; new dev console features like app performance analysis; and Google Play game services, which provide a multiplayer experience and player matching within apps.
Android Studio, which is a new IDE based on IntelliJ, will give developers a bit more flexibility in how they create their apps. At the I/O keynote, the Android Studio demo showed the interface’s ability to render apps at various screen sizes (only Nexus devices were used) and view what the app looks like in different (spoken) languages.
Google Play game developers and players alike are getting a quartet of game-changing additions today: real-time multiplayer, leaderboards, cloud saves and achievements. And that’s not all — the latter three services will function cross-platform between Android, iOS and the web. The whole initiative is called —unsurprisingly — “Google Play Game Services,” and it’s available today in a smattering of games. Unlike Apple’s Game Center application, what Google’s offering is backend support for developers rather than a standalone application.
Google has rebuilt Google Maps from “the ground up,” with a focus on the design and interactions directly within the map.
From seeing clouds hovering over the world in real-time and how the Earth looks in the milky way as the sun sets, the new Google Maps essentially has Google Earth baked into it. With stunning Google imagery, as well as user-generated photos which can be uploaded and submitted to Google Maps, the platform has never looked better.
“I think Google Now…gives you information without even having to task…flight times, boarding passes, directions, all with no effort,” added Page. “A really smart assistant that does these things for you so you don’t have to.”
“We, as Google, and as an industry, all of you, are really at only 1% of what we’re capable of.”
“Every story I read about Google is ‘us vs some other company’ or some stupid thing, and I just don’t find that very interesting. We should be building Great things that don’t exist. Being negative isn’t how we make progress. Most important things are not zero sum, there is a lot of opportunity out there.”