Google I/O 2013: What We’ve Seen So Far

  • Google Play Music All Access
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google Maps

Google’s annual developer conference starts today and the company is pulling all the tricks it has hidden up its sleeve in a multitude of announcements that applies to a number of Google products and services.

  • Google Play Music All Access
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google Maps

Google’s annual developer conference starts today and the company is pulling all the tricks it has hidden up its sleeve in a multitude of announcements that applies to a number of Google products and services.

First up is Google’s music streaming service. Google Play Music All Access will be the company’s on-demand subscription music service and will initially launch in the US for $9.99 a month, with a free one month trial. Early adopters who sign up before June 30th will get a discount that will push its price down to $7.99.

Then there’s Google Hangouts. Hangouts which was previously codenamed as Babel will soon replace Google Talk as the company’s dedicated messaging app. The app is available on iOS and Android devices and allows users to keep a unified chat experience in sync across all devices and other Google services.

Users can also insert photos and videos into the app. Moreover, users will be able to start live group video conversations with up to 10 friends. Google Hangouts also feature a “one time notification” wherein users will only get alerts once in a device which will reduce the incidence of redundant notifications.

Google also announced today Google Play Games. It’s the company’s gaming network and functions relatively similar to Apple’s Game Center. Google Play Game services include cloud saving functionality across devices, achievements and leaderboards that use Google+ circles.

The company is also updating Google Maps. The new version of maps will use WebGL technology that improves speed. Other notable features of the app include a new 5-star ratings system for businesses, Zagat listing integration, improved UI feature and a dedicated tablet experience to name a few.

Google Plus also gets a major makeover. The social network has 41 new features including a new stream design which will show 1-3 columns of content depending on screen size and orientation, a related hashtag feature that automatically adds tags to your post using an algorithm, and an improved photos section that can automatically choose your best photos to display in your stream.

Last but definitely not the least is the announcement of a “Nexus-ified” version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. This S4 will run a stock version of Android with an unlocked bootloader and will retail for around $649 in the US.

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