Larry Page

Missed yesterday's keynote and announcements? Here's a quick-fire look everything you need to know

Google I/O 2013 kicked off at Moscone West in San Francisco yesterday, with keynote announcements from the Android and Chrome teams, as well as new features for Search and Maps, a re-vamped Google+ and a new Hangouts app, as well as a brand new music subscription service. Oh, and a Galaxy S4 running stock Android. The keynote was rounded off by a some words of wisdom from Google CEO Larry Page, followed by a Q&A session.

Although we didn't get a new version of Android or (strictly speaking) any new devices, the first day of I/O was packed with stuff you need to know about.  Check past the break for a quick run-through of all the major points.

Want to watch the full three-hour presentation instead? The video's available over here.

The Google Play Samsung Galaxy S4

It's real. It's a Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with full support for T-Mobile and AT&T (including LTE) in the U.S. It'll sell on Google Play for $649 from June 26, with 16GB of internal storage, expandable via micro SD. It's also fully open -- both bootloader unlocked and GSM-unlocked. Google promises "prompt system updates" to future versions of Android.

Big Android numbers - 900 million activations, 48 billion app installs

More than double the 2012 figure of 400 million, Android is now just shy of a billion activations worldwide. Google Play also reached the 48 billion app installs mark, closing in on Apple's recent milestone of 50 billion.

900 million

New Google Play services - important stuff for devs without the need for a new Android version

We didn't get Android 4.3, but Google unveiled some major updates to Google Play Services, which will be pushed out to devices without the need for a platform update. Google Cloud Messenger got updated with new features for devs, including persistent connections, upstream messaging and synchronized notifications (a big deal for those of us with multiple devices.) Developers also got three new battery-friendly location APIs, designed to cut down on power usage in location-sensitive apps, and recognize different activity types, like running, cycling or driving.

Google Play game services - Android gets cloud save, achievements and leaderboards

Also part of the new Google Play services, game services include support for cloud-based game saves, achievements and leaderboards. Big-name developers like Gameloft are already on-board, and several big titles on Google Play already take advantage of Google's new gaming tools.

Game services

The new Google Hangouts - cross-platform messaging, and a replacement for Google Talk

Heavily rumored in the run up to I/O, the new Google Hangouts launched yesterday after being announced on-stage. It's built into Gmail and Google+ on the web, and on Android Google's pushing out an update through Google Play, replacing the old Talk app. The headline feature is free group video chat, regular and group messaging, and a significantly overhauled UI.

New developer tools - managed beta testing, Android Studio IDE and app translations

More hugely important stuff for Android app developers. Devs can now manage alpha and beta testing of apps directly through Google Play, and have staged rollouts to various groups of users. Developers can now get app translations from directly within the developer console too -- translations take a week to come back, and are automatically ready to go. But the biggest applause from the assembled devs came when Google unveiled Android Studio -- a brand new IDE with new features to make it easier to preview strings of code, colors, layouts and even translations in Android apps.

Android Studio

Google Play for education, 'designed for tablets' category in Play Store

Google Play itself also got some attention. Google unveiled a new 'designed for tablets' section in the Play Store to showcase the best Android tablet apps. Google also introduced Google Play for Education, making strides into the classroom with a content marketplace of apps, books and videos designed for educators.

A ton of new Google+ features, including cross-platform G+ sign-in

Google's social network was updated with some 41 new features. First and foremost, Google+ on the web got a major redesign, with a column-based view. VP Vic Gundotra also showcased new photo-editing and sorting tools designed to make the most of the pictures you have, and make your best shots look even better. And the Google+ Sign-in API was updated with cross-platform support, allowing you to download apps and sign into services via the web and on mobile simultaneously.

Google Play Music All Access, and a new Play Music app

Google announced its subscription-based music service, which costs $9.99 per month -- or $7.99 per month if you sign up for a 30-day trial before June 30. Google described All Access as "radio without rules," combining the best of your own library with stuff from Google's that it thinks you'll enjoy. The Google Play Music app for Android also got updated with a new, lighter look and support for the new subscription features.

Google Play Music All Access

Google Search gets smarter, Google Now gets new cards

Google showcased its new voice-based search experience on-stage, including use of "hot words," letting it take potentially ambiguous queries like "when does my flight land" and use your own data to answer it. Conversational search through Chrome can also use the context of previous searches to understand words like "it" and "there." The Google Search app for Android was also updated with six new cards -- reminders, music albums, TV shows, public transit, books and video games.

New version of Google Maps previewed on Android and the web

Google Maps got a significant visual overhaul on the web, with new, smoother graphics and search results integrated directly into the map. The next major version of Maps for Android was also previewed, with updated graphics and a similar visual style, closely resembling the iOS version of Maps, with a big search bar up top.

New Google Maps

Google Chrome milestones, Chrome for Android gets data compression

Google announced that Chrome now has 750 million users worldwide, making it the world's most-used browser. And the beta channel of Chrome for Android was updated with data compression and WebP graphics support, potentially allowing significant data savings for mobile web users.

Words of wisdom from Larry Page

The Google CEO talks about how awesome it is to live in the future, and how you don't make progress by being negative. Skip to 2 hours, 51 minutes into the keynote video for Larry's first appearance. It's followed by a Q&A session with the assembled devs and press.

The Android Central Google I/O Podcast Special!

Listen to Phil and Jerry's thoughts on the first day's announcements in the Google I/O podcast special!


What was your favorite announcement from the first day of I/O? What's the most important for Android? Shout out in the comments!

 
There are 29 comments

brendilon says:

As cool as I/O was, where's the article on the huge problems with updating to hangouts? That the app doesn't work on tablets? That it doesn't eliminate the stupid G+ Messsenger app?

The music update is very cool, and the subscription is great, but Hangouts is a big fat bomb thus far.

Seriously, where's the article about what a clusterfrack this was? IF it was Apple or Microsoft, you guys would be all over it.

still1 says:

here is a note on the hangout description. read before you comment.

"NOTE: If you aren't yet able to install Hangouts on your phone or tablet, or the Play Store "Open" button takes you to the old Talk app, hang tight, we are rolling out Hangouts to everyone over the course of several days. Rest assured Hangouts will be available soon for all Android 2.3+ devices, tablets included!"

also G+ messenger will be replaced according to Googler Ben Eidelson but they are still working on importing G+ conversations to Hangouts.

SMS support is coming to hangout According to Google+ Community Manager

brendilon says:

The NOTE was added last night, well after many folks had started banging their heads in frustration and wondering what the heck was going on. There was no mention of a rolling distribution at I/O, which would have abated a lot of the frustration folks were feeling in trying to get the app downloaded.

Any way you slice it, Hangouts has been a FUBAR release, which is a darn shame because I can see that turning a lot of people off of using it.

hellomiggy says:

All you had to do was wait a little while longer while the guys at XDA were fixing it up.

brendilon says:

And why should someone have to wait on that? It should be erady when it's said to be ready and AndroidCentral should report on it fairly, both praise and criticism (which there has been none, though it was well deserved on this).

heathroi says:

(throws toys from cot in howling rage)

Just use TB or any file manager with r/w permissions, delete the Talk .apk, and install Hangouts directly from Play Store.

hodan says:

Google not releasing a make-believe all-in-one chat client (Babel) does NOT make I/O a clusterf***.

Huge props for All Access Music, gamecenter, and especially voice search! Not to mention the coding system and sys admin controls aimed at education.

I think we saw a glimpse of Larry Page's Google. I believe that he genuinely wants to use technology to improve our lives - with open source code - he basically fired a warning shot across the bows of both MS and Apple.

I was disappointed that there was NO new Nexus device, that was a mistake, the market needs reference devices.

brendilon says:

The Hangouts release has unquestionably been a clusterfrack. Read the OP, that's what it says, not that I/O was a CF.

wpavlik2 says:

Although I really appreciate the idea of the "reference devices" I think it's more important that multiple manufacturers build devices that will run "stock Android". Not that I'm a potential customer for the SGS4 "Google Play" version, but it's cool that there's room for more than one "Nexus" device. Everybody wins this way because we all have the opportunity to support the Hardware manufacturers we love AND get the "Nexus" experience.
I think this will become more prevalent than a single Nexus every year or 18 months or so.

dkotoric says:

Yes also why did my whole buddy list disappear in hangouts, wtf.

maryjane2300 says:

Still was hoping for nexus 7 info

cpolism says:

Is there a chance more stuff will be revealed today or tomorrow? Like Nexus 7 or Android 4.3?

I'm not sure but looking at the agenda it doesn't look likely seeing as there's no session labeled Android, the keynote would have been the one to announce it in I think.

brendilon says:

Yup. it really isn't surprise that there was no Nexus smartphone news, that's typically a Q3/4 event. The GS4 Nexus/Google Edition was really pretty cool, no it's not for everyone, but neither is the standard Nexus (no removable battery, storage or LTE). The GS4 broadens the vanilla Android base. i suspect a ot of the folks at I/O might have preferred one of those to getting a Pixel.

No Nexus 7 news is a bit disappointing, but frankly, it's still a great device and arguably still the best 7" tablet on the market a year after launch (especially with price factored in). Im okay with spreading the good news around throughout the year.

izanaki says:

I agree that we won't see a Nexus update until the 3rd or 4th quarter of this year. I thought Google I/O brought some interesting and powerful tools to developers which will in turn create better apps and user experiences for us end users. I'm also excited to see what Google does with Android 5.0 when ever that comes our way.

Insp_Gadget says:

I didn't have any trouble updating to Hangouts on my Galaxy Nexus. It installed fine and replaced "Talk". I wish it had included all the features/integration that we've been speculating about for the past few months, but the parts that are present seem to work fine for me.

Now, when they integrate Google Voice and SMS I'll be truly happy.

brendilon says:

I'm actually okay with it not integrating with SMS yet, since they never said that it would at I/O. They did say it would be available immediately though (it's not for most people) and they didn't say that it wouldn't work with Tablets (which is insane).

shahid99 says:

I think every1 has unlimited texting whoever has data ..m I right or wrong ?? Don't know what so fuzz about SMS integration..

To bring it on par with iMessage. Mind you, iMessage only gives the illusion of sms-integration, but at least it's all available from one, cohesive app rather than the mess that Google's chat services were until yesterday (and still are, if you consider that there's still a Google+ Messenger hanging around in my app drawer...)

Still, the fact is that Google has the code to make this happen (which wouldn't make a GIANT difference to people but WOULD make everything appear more seamless and organized, which is what Android has been lacking since it's launched), but hasn't done so yet, which is a little disappointing.

rlbrooks says:

This is the one thing webOS did so well and no one else has been able to dublicate. I really want an app that will combine all my messages under each contact (regardless of source).

If only this were true. It is like an additional $20/phone on AT&T.

For those who seem stuck on the older 'Talk' app instead of the new 'Hangouts' this appeared today on the play store Hangouts app page...

NOTE: If you aren't yet able to install Hangouts on your phone or tablet, or the Play Store "Open" button takes you to the old Talk app, hang tight, we are rolling out Hangouts to everyone over the course of several days. Rest assured Hangouts will be available soon for all Android 2.3+ devices, tablets included!

Just use Titanium Backup or any file manager with r/w permissions, delete the Talk .apk, and install Hangouts directly from Play Store.

I'm wondering if the problem might just be rooted handsets / handsets with custom ROMs? I haven't used stock Android in forever so I don't know if stock handsets are having the updates pushed out faster while us with custom ROMs are having issues...

brendilon says:

I'm running stock and unrooted and was having the same issue as most others.

traviswhayne says:

I'm running stock 4.2.2 Android on a Nexus 4 and had to force the issue via the Web interface... It's not a custom ROM issue.

heathroi says:

one other thing that I noticed on google now is that badge for sports teams appear (i don't think they were there prviously. A tiny change perhaps.

tibbi64 says:

I wish we could pre-order the S4 with Google.

Majeed Hamid says:

I wish the movie, magazine, books and music service will be enable in Ghana. Is good but not helping without these services, it makes my android device useless to me.

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