Google also looks to conquer the low-end smartphone market with Android One

Google kicked off its I/O conference today with a number of impressive stats for mobile devices. Google announced that for any given 30-day period, there are over one billion people actively using Android devices.
Throwing out more stats, Android Chief Sundar Pichai also noted that Android users take over 93 million selfies and send over 20 billion text messages per day. Pichai was also quick to point out Google’s tremendous growth in the tablet market, where it has seen its market share grow from 39 percent in 2012 to 62 percent now in 2014.
Google’s Android One initiative is aimed at making smartphone easier and cheaper to develop for developing markets. Google will provide hardware reference designs that will allow manufacturers to churn out high-quality smartphones running stock Android.

On display at Google I/O was a new smartphone from MicroMax, aimed at the Indian market, which comes with a 4.3” display, dual SIMs, microSD slot, and FM radio for less than $100.

The L release of Android isn’t quite ready for primetime (production) yet, but that didn’t stop Google from showcasing the new “Material Design” language that’s being used to visually overhaul the operating system. Material design is used across Android, Chrome OS, and web platforms and encompasses rich color, a refreshed “Roboto” typography, and a greater use of depth and transitions throughout the UI.

You can take a look at preview of Material Design here:

The Android L Developer will be made available early tomorrow morning and includes over 5,000 new APIs and is the most significant overhaul of Android to date.
It also includes major improvements to system notifications, app authentication, graphics, and battery life (enabling the Battery Saver mode on a Nexus 5 can boost battery runtime by 90 minutes in a typical day’s usage scenario). There will also be secularity enhancement including malware protection, security patches via Google Play Services, Factory Reset Protection (in the event that your device is stolen), and Universal Data Controls.

When it comes to Android Wear, the LG G Watch will be available to order later today on the Google Play Store. Samsung is also coming onboard the Android Wear platform with the Gear Live smartwatch (it will also be available to order later today). The use of Android Wear marks a departure from Samsung’s current generation Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, which both run Tizen. Even Samsung’s first generation Samsung Galaxy Gear received a recent update to run Tizen.
Samsung Gear Live 

The Motorola Moto 360, however, is coming later this summer. So we’re once again getting strung along on when it comes to this device.

Google has also lined up a whole slew of partners for the Open Automotive Alliance in an effort to push Android Auto. Android Auto is an completely voice-driven interface that pairs with your Android device to not only give you directions through Google Maps, but to also provide you access to streaming services like Pandora, MLB at Bat, tunein, iHeart Radio, and more. Android Auto will also allow you to dictate text messages and listen to incoming text messages without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
The first cars with Android Auto will be rolling off production lines this year.

Google is also taking another stab at your living room with Android TV. Android TV also leverages Android L, and aims to give users a simplified user interface to access al of your local and streaming media content. It can also cast content, so it can be used just like Google Chromecast.
Android TV run on 2015 model HD and 4K Smart TVs from Sony, Sharp and TP Vision.

And as was widely reported over the past few weeks, the new Google Fit Platform was announced today, which offers a centralized repository for your health information (it’s similar in concept to Apple’s HealthKit). Some of the partners for Google Fit include Adidas, Nike, RunKeeper, and Basis.

One of the other big announcements made today is that native Android apps will be coming directly to Chrome OS. Users will be able to run Android apps (in a smartphone- or tablet-style overlay) on their Chromebook. Obviously, this would be a big boon for users of touch screen-enabled devices like the Chromebook Pixel, but would be a trickier proposition for Chromebooks that don’t feature touch screen displays.

Source: Google

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