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Google to preview next major Android release, TV features, & wearable platform at I/O

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by sparkyscott21, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    Ahead of Google I/O officially kicking off tomorrow, Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai recently sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek for an extensive, in-depth interview. The talk covered a variety of things, including Pichai’s history growing up in India and moving to the United States. It also talked in detail about the general relationship between Pichai, former head of Android Andy Rubin, and other departments of Google. Most importantly, however, Picahi discussed what we will see the company unveil at I/O this week.


    Firstly, Pichai talked about Google’s ventures with set-top boxes and TV operating systems. Pichai said that he believes Google TV was a good initial step for Google in terms of TV, but that there is much more the company can do. Bloomberg claims that at I/O this week, Google will officiallyintroduce Android TV.

    Pichai remarked that looking across televisions today presents a very fragmented experience with no consistent tools for developers. Presumably, Google will hope to unify this experience with Android TV.

    We will have more to say about Android TV… We look across televisions and it’s no different from how smartphones were. It was very fragmented, with different underlying operating systems… and no consistent way for developers to target across the breadth of smartphones, etcetera. We see same things with televisions.

    I think it is going to be hard for individual OEMs to create a platform on top of which people will write content and services and which users will transact. If you buy content and services from your television, do you expect it to work on your tablet? If I bought something on my tablet, do I expect it to seamlessly run on my television? That’s the power that Android and an end-to-end experience can provide… It will work across everything.

    Next, Pichai also discussed wearables and Google’s recently announced Android Wear platform. Pichai remarked that the company will, of course, discuss wearables at the event. The company will also announce manufacturing partners and devices that are compatible with Android Wear. Pichai discussed the importance of people keeping track of their health on a regular basis and how its “crazy” that people on do so at the doctor’s office. It is believed that Google will give out the LG G Watch to Google I/O attendees, as well.

    He’ll also talk about Android Wear, a version of the operating system for fitness trackers and wearable computers, and he’ll announce new manufacturing partners and devices. Google is racing against Apple, which will introduce its iWatch in the fall.

    Pichai says it’s “crazy” that people visit their doctors at most once a year to have their heart rate and blood pressure measured. “You obviously need to be able to measure these things so many more times and then apply more intelligence to it,” he says.

    Finally, and most importantly, Pichai talked about the next version of Android. Normally, Google announces and releases a new version of Android in the Fall. This year, however, the company will preview it at I/O this week and release it later this year. This is something very similar to what Apple does with iOS. Last night, we saw some early leaked images of the “L” release of Android, although they didn’t show much.

    This year, Pichai will preview the next release (Lollipop? Lemonhead?) for the first time at I/O rather than waiting until the fall. It’s a significant shift toward greater transparency. “I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner,” he says.

    In the interview, Pichai also responded to Tim Cook’s claims that Android is a “toxic hell stew” and incredibly fragmented. You can read the full profile on Businessweek’s site now.





    6-24-14

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  2. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    Supposed Android TV screenshot


    Ahead of Google's I/O developer conference on Wednesday, a report claims the Internet search giant is cooking up a new batch of Android-based set-top streaming devices with support for video, music and video games.

    Citing sources familiar with Google's new play for the living room, The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is working on the initiative with multiple partners and will announce at least one of the rumored devices at its I/O conference tomorrow.

    People who have seen one of the rumored devices say it bears resemblance to the Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV, but runs a new flavor of Android dubbed "Android TV." Rumors of Android TV's existence first hit last October, with further reports claiming the OS will boast a stripped-down interface, push notifications, voice controls and more.

    Google appears to be structuring the new Android TV model after its Android mobile operating system for smartphones. Devices will be branded by the companies that make them, but each will run a version of Android TV, unifying key features like game support and music playback.

    It is unclear if Google will one day field its own set-top hardware like the Nexus brand of smartphones and tablets.

    Sources say one of the platform's major features is support for games that are compatible with both mobile devices and Android TV. For example, a user may be able to start a game on an Android smartphone, pause it, then pick up where they left off on their HDTV. The streaming devices are also said to support remote control functions from Android — and possibly other — portables.

    Google has been trying to shoehorn itself into the living room since 2010's Google TV flop. Two years later, it trotted out the $299 Nexus Q media streamer at the 2012 I/O conference, though that particular project failed before it hit mass market.




    6-25-14

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  3. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    Google will several big announcements during its Google I/O keynote today — and one of them will almost certainly be about Android TV.

    Sources familiar with the plans claim we’ll see “at least one” set-top box powered by the search giant’s latest entertainment platform during the event. In addition to playing movies and music, they’ll also allow users to play Android games through their TVs.

    The boxes will resemble products from Android TV’s main competitors, such as the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, sources for The Wall Street Journal say. The Android TV platform will be available to third-party hardware manufacturers, but it’s unclear at this point who has joined forces with Google to make the first.

    Details on the Android TV platforms itself are also scarce, but The Journal’s sources say we’ll be able to control it using our Android-powered smartphones. We’ve already seen leaked screenshots that show apps like Netflix, Pandora, VEVO, YouTube, and Hangouts will be supported.

    We expect, however, that most Android apps and games will run on Android TV — and many will be optimized with new interfaces that better fit the big screen. Riptide GP2, a popular jet-ski racing game, has already been updated to support the platform, and it has a new split-screen gaming mode just for Android TV.



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    There’s little doubt that Android TV will feature at today’s event, then, and it certainly won’t be the only talking point. We also expect to see a preview of Google’s upcoming Android 5.0 update, as well as news on Android Wear and Google Glass.

    You can tune into Google’s keynote on YouTube from 9 a.m. Pacific.




    6-25-14

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  4. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    Most smartwatches that we’ve seen haven’t exactly blown us away so far, but the hardware design team at Motorola really deserves a lot of credit for the Moto 360, an Android Wear-based smartwatch that looks absolutely terrific. Motorola has now posted a new video that gives us a nice up-close look at the Moto 360 and walks us through some of its basic functions, including how to turn the device on, how to bring up and respond to notification cards and how to use voice commands to ask Google questions. We still don’t know exactly when the Moto 360 is coming out and Motorola is only saying that it will release “later this summer.” However, it’s definitely the most anticipated smartwatch release outside of Apple’s still-to-be-revealed iWatch that we expect to see this fall. The full video follows below.




    6-26-14

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