The pick of the announcements from the first day at Google I/O
The Google I/O 2014 keynote was a firehose of information, but in the best way possible. In almost three hours of stage time we saw so many incredible new things that it's difficult to know where to begin digesting it all. Android L, Android One, Android Auto, Android Wear...you get the idea.
We've rounded up what we think are some – seven, to be precise – of the most important areas that saw new stuff from the first day of the conference. There's still a ton of other stuff that's yet to come, but for now, let's take a look at the best of the best so far from Google I/O 2014.
Android L Developer preview
Coming to developers the very next day, Google – as promised – debuted the L release of Android. We didn't get a name but we did get a whole bunch on what it's all about including the brand new Material Design, improvements to notifications and much, much more.
- Google announces Android 'L Preview'
- Android L shows off all new 'Material Design'
- Notifications take over your lockscreen, are more actionable in Android L
- Android L release will run exclusively on ART
Google showed us the first real step forward since the announcement of the Open Automotive Alliance with Android Auto. With an SDK open to developers, Android device owners will be able to use their favorite apps and services inside supported cars.
- Android Auto introduces mobile app ecosystem to the car
- Android Auto SDK announced for music and messaging apps
- Google announces 40 new partners for the Open Automotive Alliance
The spiritual successor to Google TV, Android TV is the latest attempt at conquering the living room. With support for your favorite apps and media services and a whole host of Android games, Android TV has every chance of succeeding where its predecessor did not. Oh, and it's got built in Google Cast support, which is pretty awesome.
- Android TV announced at Google I/O
- Android TV will pack strong games support: multiplayer, hardware controllers, and more
- Gameloft's biggest titles are ready for Android TV
Android Wear wasn't a secret having been officially announced earlier in the year. What Google I/O brought was yet more on how it's all going to work and news of the very first devices to go on sale. Samsung got in on the act – despite having so far remained quiet – with the launch of the Gear Live, while the disappointment could be felt when the Moto 360 was announced for "later this year."
- Android Wear brings notifications (and so much more) to your wrist
- Eyes on with the Samsung Gear Live
- Hands-on with the LG G Watch
- LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live now available in Google Play
Much like we get Google Play Edition devices already – well, some of us can, at least – Android One looks to be a similar program for emerging markets. Acting as a reference platform, Android One could lead to sub $100 stock Android running smartphones for markets such as India.
New stuff for Chromecast
Chromecast was given its time in the spotlight and besides learning how well the affordable HDMI dongle has done, we were also treated to some new features. Soon we'll be able to cast content without being on the same WiFi network and mirror Android device screens in full to the big screen. Definite result.
- Chromecast 'Backdrop' lets you customize slideshow content for your TV
- Chromecast to allow casting without being on same WiFi network
- Chromecast mirroring will blast any Android display to the big screen
Chrome OS and Android apps
The big Chrome OS news of the day is that soon we'll be able to use Android apps on a Chromebook. Google has done a pretty good job so far of keeping the two platforms exclusive but it was perhaps inevitable that one day we'd see them begin to get closer.
- Chrome OS and Android get cozy with multi-device integration, cross-platform apps
There's still much more
That's a quick run down of what we think are the most important announcements at Google I/O 2014 so far, but there's still much more we didn't mention and much more still to come. The best way to keep up to date with everything coming out of San Francisco this week is to swing by our Google I/O event page where you'll find absolutely everything.
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