Google has finally taken the wraps off of what’s new in their Android L preview. You’ll see a new Material Design language that they’ve been hinting at with app releases over the past few weeks and other under-the-hood tweaks, including better graphics and battery performance, security enhancements, and ART becoming the standard runtime moving forward. This new preview comes with 5,000 new APIs for developers, full 64-bit support, and some new tools for web developers, to boot.
The Google I/O keynote is always epic, but this year is likely to be the biggest and the best. Why? Because Google has so many more products to discuss. It’s not just basic Android and Chrome discussions anymore folks. We’ve got Android Wear, Android TV, Android in the car, Google Fit, Project Ara, and who knows what else. You don’t want to miss this keynote, so we’ve made it available for you right here. Just hit the break for all the action. It all starts today at 12:00pm EST / 9:00am PST. Enjoy!!
On Tuesday night, The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Google would indeed unveil some hardware to launch Android TV. This would give the company a set-top box platform to fight against Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and other devices. The hardware to be unveiled at Google I/O will carry not Google’s name or branding. Instead, another manufacturer is stepping forward to lead the way for Android TV.
As the Google Glass Explorer Program becomes more widely available, so do the upgrades. With Google I/O kicking off in just a few hours, the Glass team announced some really nice upgrades, on top of the 12 new apps that were just announced.
Performance has been a little lackluster, so all new shipments of Glass will sport 2GB of RAM, as opposed to 1GB. Google Now has been the focal point for Glass, so they have added two more cards. Now you can easily find where you have parked your car and know when that package will be hitting your doorstep. Finally, they have added a viewfinder for pictures. Just say, “OK Glass, show the viewfinder” and you will see white L’s in the four corners. You can then say “OK Glass, take a picture,” with a wink, or by pushing the camera button.
Do these new features make you more likely to cough up $1500 for a pair?
source: +Google Glass
Right before Google I/O starts tomorrow, Glass owners can toy with some new Glassware. There are 12 new services being added to be exact. The new Glassware services cover categories like personal fitness, sports, news, and cooking.
Hit the break for the full list with a description of each.
Google+ Photos continues to improve with a couple of new options announced today. First up is Auto Awesome Effects. This will stylize your land and cityscape photos, assuming you upload them to your Google+ account. Look for them to show automatically, just like other Auto Awesome features. You can even refine it by further editing these images if you wish.
Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and a ton of other people at Apple have typically never had anything nice to say about Android. That’s not to say Android’s leaders have never fired back, but Apple’s crew does not seem to do actually look at the facts. At WWDC a few weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook decided to talk about Android. He rallied his crowd by bringing up Android’s security flaws and called it a “toxic hell stew.” Android and Chrome’s leader, Sundar Pichai, sat down with Businessweek to make some clarifications and issue a response.
In the past, major versions of Android have come in the fall rather than at other times of the year. Even at Google I/O, the company only introduces much smaller updates compared to the fall. Tomorrow, that changes. Sundar Pichai, Android and Chrome’s leading man, tells Businessweek that he wants “the world to understand what we are doing sooner.” Google is going to show what is has in store with Android ‘L’ tomorrow and launch in later this year. Along with this, Android Wear and presumably Android TV are on the table for showtime tomorrow.
This follows Apple’s pattern of introducing an update months prior to its release. Android and iOS will receive updates and fight for supremacy with consumers this fall with a slew of new features and user interface changes.
Nest has announced a new stage in the development of their home automation platform, a new Nest API that can be used by third-party developers to connect not only apps with Nest hardware and products, but other hardware as well. As an example, Nest indicates LIFX bulbs can be connected to Nest Protect so that they will turn red when smoke or CO is detected. This gives users an additional visual cue to potential problems. The new Nest API is being rolled out as part of a “Works with Nest” certification for partner companies to help develop the ecosystem and in the words of Nest, “anticipate people’s needs and make their lives easier.”
Nothing quite like a broken promise. When the Chromebook Pixel with LTE launched, with a mighty $1450 price tag, buyers were given two years data at 100MB per month with Verizon for free. If more data was needed, the buyer could just buy more. But just one year later, Verizon has pulled the plug on this free data. The only option left is to pay for any and all data used.