Google I/O conference in San Francisco kicked off on Wednesday morning. The three hour packed presentation of Google’s keynote speakers revolved around Android and Chrome as two main platforms as well as new Google Cloud platform.
“Our goal behind these platforms is to make sure developers can build amazing experiences,” said Sundar Pichai, senior VP of Chrome, apps and Android at Google.
In our Google I/O preview few days ago we went through what was to expect and largely we were right on the money, but here are summary highlights of what improvements and enhancements Google has ready for you this year.
There are about 900 million Android active users and 750 million Chrome users worldwide. At I/O 2013, Google introduced new APIs for Android as well as new Google Play services. Major improvements were laid out for Google+ including a new picture quality identification system, which supposedly determines the best images according to aesthetics’ algorithms. Google’s search service is getting re-imagined according to conversational queries it picks up. New location system called Fused Location Provider is to offer better, power efficient and more precise maps service. An API for Geofencing helps recognize up to 100 virtual boundaries in map apps. Another new API is Activity Recognition helping developers to effectively measure physical movements of the phone.
Google+ receives few enhancements. Users can now sign in to Google+ and Hangouts with from various platforms. Google+ Stream now supports multiple columns and Google+ Photos get new editing and organization features.
Android Studio, the IDE (integrated development environment) for Android developers has been launched in hopes to attract developers to this platform and to enhance their productivity.
On related news Google plans to sell Samsung Galaxy S IV without Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. The pure Android interface (Nexus UI) Galaxy S IV will be in Google Play on June 26 starting at $649. The enticing thing about this is the almost instantaneous Android updates.
With top level international security certification (ISO 27001:2005) for GCE, Cloud Storage, and App Engine, Google hopes to have large corporations switch to Cloud computing.
Much attention was paid to Google Cloud and its new GCE (Google Compute Engine). Last month Google opened this exclusive club to public. Developers can now access a Gold Support package for $400 a month, or just get billed for support time. Some services are billed at 1 hour minimum, other take a 10-minute minimum and Google bills by the minute. Google added support for routing features to connect to their on-premises servers.
“Our enterprise sales force is certainly in a lot of conversations with a lot of enterprises about the overall cloud platform,” said Greg DeMichillie, director of product management for Google’s Cloud Platform, in a press briefing on Wednesday. “I think we’re at the beginning of that process, largely because if you look at enterprises in general, the enterprises that are out there actively working on the cloud are pretty small [in terms of quantity rather than size]. It’s the classic bell curve. It’s really only the leading edge companies that are seriously looking at it. …We think that over the next 12 months we will see a pretty big upswing.”
1.8.0 upgrade of Google App Engine brought support of popular PHP language. PHP programming language is increasingly popular among app developers and its support in App Engine should bring in more customers for Google Cloud Platform this year. Google launched managed NoSQL database called Google Cloud Datastore at this year’s I/O conference. Many wordpress sites like GadgetMix could take advantage of Google Cloud SQL and PHP support in hosting and development in Google Cloud. The Cloud Datastore could be used by devs even if their apps aren’t on App Engine, or GCE. Google has implemented the Datastore to compete with popular Amazon S3 and other clouds. LINK
DeMichillie, however, says that Google isn’t looking to compete with Amazon on price. “We intend to be a premier offering in terms of performance and abilities, but not in terms of price,” he said, adding, “I don’t think we need to peg our prices to others. The reality is we just price it effectively, and the result is we are as cheap [as] or cheaper than others.”
Google’s open source Cloud Computing introduces all-digital OpenStack cloud to join anti-VMware cloud, and hybrid cloud.
In order to promote unification of all services, Google triples the free cloud storage to 15GB on Google Drive.
As rumored, Google Play Music streaming service, offers users access to all music for $10 a month. Millions of songs listed in Google Play can be played using your favorite device. New section, Google Play for Education ads content for both students and teachers. New features have been added to Google Play Developer Console. Usage Metrics, Referral Tracking, Beta Testing, Staged Rollouts and of course Revenue Graphs are helping devs with their app business. App Translation, translates apps to various languages. If you sign up before June 30, you’ll get the membership for just $8 a month.
Google Play Game Services
Google Play Game Services, unlike Apple’s Game Center can be accessed from multiple platforms, like Web or Android apps, and all data (like achievements) can be stored on the cloud. Yes, Google’s apps are in Apple AppStore as part of Google’s worm strategy. These android apps on iOS platform also get Google Play Game Services.
Google Now gets ability to set reminders using voice commands. “Hot-wording” is a new term introduced by Google. Using Hot-wording, user can set a spoken command to activate Google search. In Google Glass, which surprisingly didn’t get much attention at this year’s I/O, we use hot word “ok Glass” to activate the search.
“The search of the future will need to answer, converse and anticipate,” said Singhal.
As reported, Google revamped their Google Maps. There are over million websites and apps accessing Maps API and some billion monthly users. Google unveils new Fused Location Provider, a new location system capable of more accurate and power efficient rendering of maps. New Geofencing API is to help recognize up to 100 virtual boundaries in map apps. The new cleaner Maps offer more relevant and important data while distracting left column is omitted. The full page can be previewed at maps.google.com/preview
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