Google I/O 2014 News Recap: Details For Android L Operating System, Android TV, Android Wear Smartwatches And More [Video, Images]
Google revealed multiple new services and platforms during its annual I/O conference earlier today, including Android Wear, Android Auto, and the newest iteration of the operating system.
The new OS is known right now only as Android L, which could be the final name, but will likely end up representing some candy or dessert as is Google's custom. It looks to be a complete visual redesign, focused on a "material" theme with depth and color.
Everything looks more like it would on paper, with an emphasis on menus and options appearing as they should from your perspective. There's more color and more overlaying than before, and unlike some OS iterations, it definitely looks different than its predecessor.
Smartwatches featured prominently as expected with new wearables from Samsung, LG, and Motorola revealed running the new Android Wear software. You can read my more thorough recap of the devices and OS shown off during the Android Wear demo here.
Google also showed off Android TV, their media streaming service you can operate from your phone, tablet, or smartwatch. It's a very simple interface that provides the same service as Roku or Amazon, but opens up the Google Play ecosystem for media consumption.
If you have those, it's not likely necessary, and can also provide some Android gaming options with a tablet or controller. In addition, the entire 2015 HD and 4K smart TV lineups from Sony, Sharp, TP vision, and Philips will be integrated with Android TV. Google also briefly talked about Android One, an initiative offering "high quality, low-cost" smartphones for developing markets.
Aside from additions that will appeal to developers (SDK releases, new programming language), the other major reveal was Android Auto. It's Google's response to Apple's Carplay, integrating your smartphone and its services into your car. You can hook up your phone to compatible vehicles (many automakers are on board with Google's venture) and run services such as Maps off your phone onto the car's display.
Google Glass was absent from the keynote, as was any hardware reveal in the form of phones or tablets. The presentation started off exciting and trailed off towards the end, but was an overall solid enough showing from Google. Check back for more news and details out of I/O as it unfolds.