Google I/O

Google Fit

Google jumped on the fitness bandwagon with the announcement of Google Fit, an open platform designed to¬ what else ¬ help people track of their fitness goals. Google Fit is essentially a set of APIs that will allow developers to link up with other apps for a bigger, more holistic view of a user's level of fitness. Users will be able to choose who their fitness data is shared with and also delete this information at any time. The platform will also allow developers to tap into other fitness trackers and monitors; Nike has already pledged its support so other apps and wearables can leverage its unique NikeFuel information.

Google Wear

The big news, of course was wearable computing. Google demoed it's Android Wear SDK to show off wearable functionalities. The platform will power all of Google's support for wearables. Essentially, Android Wear moves the important notifications on your phone's home screen and moves them to your watch.

Device commands are handled by swiping on the surface of the wearable ¬ or by voice. You can use your device to instruct your phone to play music on your phone, and manipulate the player from your wearable interface. Any app that you download on your phone will be automatically installed and updated on your wearable device. The first Android Wear devices will ship this year, starting with the LG G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live

Android L

The next generation of Android is the Android L and it is built using Material. The developer preview also showed lockscreen notifications that allow users read, open and dismiss alerts from the lock screen. These notifications are rendered as individual cards, and pop above other notifications when touched. If you swipe down, you can see a full list of notifications and then double tap to launch the app. The Chrome browser has been revamped. The new version of Android will also have a power saver mode that promises a longer battery life.

Android Auto

Android Auto is Google's attempt to take over your car. It's a voice enabled experience that brings together navigation, communication and music. It's contextually aware ¬ which means it knows that you are probably driving home from work when you start your engine at 6:00 pm in your office garage. The system offers options on routes home and checks if you want your favourite songs played as drive. Google Maps has also been made completely voice-enabled. You can have the car computer tell you about nearby places of interest without ever touching the dashboard. The search giant also unveiled the Google Auto SDK to get developers started. Material Design Android “L“ is the next version of Android, and it will be underpinned by Material, Google's new design language. It's Google's Google's new design language. It's Google's entry into the era of flat design, after Microsoft and Apple. It's one way of dealing with differing screen sizes, ratios and pixel densities, maintaining a consistent look and feel across a range of devices. The look is cleaner and lighter, animations appear more playful and the focus is on making content clear. “We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science,“ notes the Material site.

Android TV

After Google TV ended up flopping since its 2010 launch, Google is trying to crack the TV market with Android TV.

Reviewers have noted that it looks like a mishmash of its competitors like Apple TV or Roku, but Android TV tries to make the act of finding a film or TV show easier. If you are the type that watches viral Youtube videos, your recommendations will focus on similar clips. If you are a Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black buff, the show will remind you when to tune in. The first Android TV set-top boxes are coming this fall, and televisions with Android TV built-in are coming from Sony and Sharp next year.

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