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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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