Google had no shortage of announcements for its keynote speech at the I/O developers conference 2014. Some of the announcements were expected from the company, while some were surprising.
The three-hour keynote highlighted many new releases by Google, along with updates on existing projects.
Google began the keynote with the announcement of the Android One program, which aims to provide guidelines for Android smartphones in developing markets. Google will be able to dictate the minimum requirements in hardware for all manufacturers in the world, with the first devices covered by the program coming to India.
Google announced Android L, the next big update for the Android operating system, and released a developer preview version of it. Why the rush in getting it out? It seems that Google is eager to showcase Material Design, the new design language for the platform. The design language will be used for Android devices, Chrome OS, smartwatches and web apps.
Google also promises massive performance enhancements with Android L, as the company looks to bring "PC-like gaming" to Android devices.
As for the name, there are rumors that L stands for "Lollipop," which could be true as that would continue Google's naming convention of sweets for the Android.
Google showed off its Android Wear SDK by demonstrating functionalities of a few Android wearable devices. The user interface of Android Wear allows the user to access Google Now cards, along with supported apps that are installed in the connected smartphone.
Apps installed to Android phones that have smartwatch counterparts will be automatically installed in the wearable device for immediate syncing.
Android Auto is a voice-enabled platform for cars that allows a user's Android phone to connect with the vehicle that they are driving. The user interface of the Android Auto will allow drivers to interact with their phone without using their hands, such as in sending and receiving text messages and looking up locations.
Google also released the Android Auto SDK, with the release of the platform for later this year.
Google looks to combine all possible kinds of entertainment with Android TV. Users can watch live programming or streaming content that is paired with a search engine for information such as casting and related video clips. Android TV also allows users to play games downloaded from the Play store on their TVs.
Similar to Chromecast, users have the ability to cast content to the Android TV from their Android devices.
Speaking of Chromecast, an update for the device will allow users to cast content through the cloud so that users do not need to be on the same Wi-Fi network to enjoy the device's service. This feature will be available later in the year.
Several Android apps are now available for the Chromebook, including Vine, Evernote and Flipboard.
Android for Work
Google announced the Android for Work program, which bridges a user's work and personal life into a single device. Native Microsoft Office editing is also now possible in Google Docs.
In addition, enterprise customers may now avail of a premium Google Drive account that allows unlimited storage space for a monthly fee of $10 per user.
Google showcased several improvements that the company made to Google Cloud, along with the apps that used its infrastructure such as Secret and Snapchat.
Google also launched a suite of tools for the Google Cloud, including Cloud Save, Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Trace and Cloud Debugger. Through these tools, developers can debug a running application among hundreds of servers and identify when alerts should be made for performance monitoring.
Google also revealed Google Fit, which is an open, multi-OS platform for fitness devices and apps. Google Fit combines all fitness data of the user into a single file, much like Apple's HealthKit.
For Google Fit, Google has forged partnerships with Adidas, Nike and Withings.
Google Play, which Google said has 100 million new users in the past six months, now has a Games profile feature, along with a "Saved Games" section, leaderboards and personal "quests" for users.
As Google concludes its keynote speech for this year's I/O conference, there are more announcements expected to be made over the two-day conference.