Google I/O recap: The company that wants to be your everything
It isn’t every day that you hear bold outcries of killer robots at a developer’s conference held by Google which took place on June 25. A man who seemed to be in his late 20s stood up and pointed in the direction the VP of technical infrastructure, Urs Hölze, with an eerie warning for the audience of Android faithfuls. He sounded barely coherent as he babbled on with accusations that would have made the fictionalized Sarah Connor herself proud. “You all work for a totalitarian company that builds machines that kill people!” he said with a finger still pointed towards Hölze’s nervous smile. “You know that’s true.”
While the caution of terminating machines may have been a stretch, the idea of Google being the user’s one and only source for information is a level of creep factor that’s definitely close to becoming a reality — think Skynet.
“We are making everything contextually aware. We want to bring the right information to you at the right time,” says the senior vice president at Google, Sundar Pichai. “We want the experience to be voice enabled and for users to interact with computers in an intuitive way. Users always have their smartphone so we want to make sure all these connected experiences work with your smartphone on wearables, cars and TVs.”
Android Wear was one of the first examples of the company’s goal for global domination shown at Google I/O.The idea is simple; bring Google’s ecosystem to abandoned wrists everywhere. It was, of course, expected that the fledgling company would introduce its own smart watch that appears to perform much like Google Now in wrist form. Checking incoming calls, viewing notifications and controlling various apps from your watch is now all possible.
Google also recognized that people spend a lot of time in their cars, so why not have a presence there too. The newly announced Android Auto serves to address the problem of the company once again not making itself known just about everywhere. Functioning as a direct alternative to Apple’s CarPlay, it adds the usefulness of Google maps and search to any car, whereby adding the “smart” element to the roads. It was just another example of Google’s ever strengthening strive to be omnipresent, but the company also made a point to ensure that it intends to look good while being there.
Gone is the day when Google’s offerings in the Android department were rudimentary compared to Apple. Android L, which functions as the successor to the KitKat operating system,brings more than a simple buzzword to the table. It unites web and app user experiences across Google’s new Material Design interface, which allows for more of a varied, yet similar, look across different sized screens and devices using the OS.
Elements vibrantly expand and shrink with silky fluid animations that run at a smooth 60 frames per second. Other features included a new built-in battery saver mode called Project Volta, for those that would normally be away from a charger, a lock screen that performs much like any standard notification screen and an easier unlocking system that can be activated by the presence of an accompanied smart watch.
Google went as far as to having an answer for the budget minded consumers as well, in the form of AndroidOne. A plan designed to spread Google love to five billion smart-less users across the rest of the world with a cheap line of phones featuring the same software for under $100.
If there was any denial about how strengthened Google is becoming as a force within the industry, consider these stats and be prepared to see a lot more of the search engine giant in the near future.
- Android users take 93 million selfies per day
- 20 billion text messages have been sent per day via Android devices
- 1 billion active Android users on a 30-day usage period
- 1.5 trillion steps are taken by Android users per day
- Android app installs on tablets is up 236 percent year-over-year
- Android has 62 per cent global market share for tablets based on shipped devices
- Android users collectively check their phone 100 billion times per day
– Noel Ransome