This years Google I/O keynote just finished. The next ‘L’ version of Android is going to impact users right across all aspects of their daily lives and will undoubtedly create an opportunity for a powerful monitoring and control interface for the smart home.
A smart unlocking feature was demo’d, using location, voice or a wearable like a bluetooth watch to create trusted unlocks for your phone. Other improvements coming to Android include a faster runtime, better graphics performance and longer battery life. Google is working to create “a seamless experience across all connected devices” and sees voice as a major source of input whether driving your car or cooking in the kitchen.
androidwear powers smart watches with both square and circular screens. Google say the average android user checks their screen 125 times per day and so they are building ‘glance-able, contextual apps’ for the Android powered wearables. How about turn-by-turn walking directions on your watch – tourists rejoice. And the demo ordering a Pizza from a watch in under 20 seconds seemed to go down really well with that developer audience. The LG G watch is available to order today as is the new Samsung Gear Live. The round faced Moto 360 will be available later this summer.
androidauto is coming later this year and is the car interface to the things you want most whilst on the move – navigation, communication and music. Voice input is even more important here, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Apps are cast from your phone to your cars screen. When you upgrade your phone to a newer faster model you’ll see the improvements in your car.
androidtv brings all that voice search technology to your telly too. Controlling your big screen from your phone of course too, whilst providing that simplified 10 foot lean back experience that users want. You can also use an android powered TV like a chromecast to send video from your mobile device. Google announced all 2015 model Sony and Sharp TVs will be powered by their system. Chromecast has been a huge success for Google and they will have the added ability to send video from a users without the need for them to be on your local WiFI network.
Google announced integration between their Chromebook laptops and Android devices. Some of the Android successes quoted in this mornings keynote include 1 Billion active Android users and 62% of the global market for tablets. In addition androidone is a new initiative to bring the next billion people onto the platform from the developing markets with high quality low cost devices. Lastly Google Fit is a new set of APIs that blends data from multiple apps and devices, a platform to record and monitor your health.
With Apple due to announce its rumoured iWatch in the Autumn, it’s certainly going to be the year of the smart watch.