Google I/O 2014 Highlights: Android Wear, Android L, Android Auto and Android TV
Google's I/O 2014 keynote just wrapped, here are the highlights:
We got our first proper glimpse at Google's smart watch / wearable platform, Android Wear. The first devices running Android Wear, the LG G Watch and the newly announced Samsung Gear Live will be available to purchase through the Google Play Store.
Android Wear appears to be seamlessly integrated with Android phones; notifications will constantly be in sync between the two devices. Of note is the ability to use voice control to add a reminder or note to your watch, which instantly syncs across to your phone.
Update: For more details on the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, click here.
Android L is the latest version of the Android operating systems, due out in Spring. Aside from a complete visual overhaul, Android L will bring users improved notifications, better power saving options and increased performance for all apps. Android L also features contextual awareness; for example, if you are wearing an Android Wear watch, your Android phone can automatically unlock without the need for a pin, as it recognises you as its owner.
25 car manufacturers have signed on to bring Android to the car. Android Auto is designed to be a hands free experience, encompassing many of the features people use phones in their car for. Rather than being completely integrated into your car, Android Auto is powered by your Android phone, making it easily updatable. Maps, music and messaging are all integrated, and all feature voice control.
Google officially announced Android TV, a version of its mobile operating system that will run on both television sets and set-top boxes. Android TV handles live television, and has a redesigned home screen highlighting entertainment content, apps and games. Search is a key part of the experience, and users will be able to use searches such as "show me all Oscar nominated movies from 2002". Android TV has full Google Cast support, giving it the same functionality as a Chromecast. Sharp, Sony and TPVision will be manufacturing television sets running Android TV, with some available as early as this year.
And on the subject of Chromecast, the device is receiving a few small updates too. The most important include the ability to mirror an Android device to your television, and the ability to connect to Chromecast without the need to be on the same WiFi.
For a complete re-cap, check out our live coverage of the event here.