Google I/O is only two days this year, but Google definitely crammed plenty of news into the first day. Today's keynote contained all the latest and greatest from Android on your phone, wrist, dashboard, and TV. Seriously, it was Android everywhere. Let's take a quick look at the high points of the day.


The Numbers

There are a ton of Android devices being actively used. In the past, Google has used the metric of device activations in its keynote, but this year is different. Android boss Sundar Pichai told us that Android has 1 billion 30-day active users. That is, devices that have been used in the last 30 days. That's pretty huge. On a similar note, the Google Drive document suite has 190 million active users (and some new features). Not as huge, but still impressive, and probably quite worrying for Microsoft.


Android L

Oh, Google. You're such a tease. After all the speculation on what it would be called, Google reps seriously got up on stage and referred to the next version of Android as "L" for an hour and a half. That's bold. We don't even know the version number, but maybe we will tomorrow. That's when the developer preview of Android L comes out. This is the first time Google has offered an early test build of the new platform, and it's a good thing too – Android L is a huge departure from KitKat.


Android L will have revamped notifications, the Material Design UI, updated web search, "Project Hera" multitasking, and more. Hit the links below for all the details.

Android Wear

The only new hardware announced on the first day of I/O came in the form of the Android Wear powered LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. We didn't know much about the Gear beforehand, but the G Watch has been teased half a dozen times. These devices are available for preorder now through Google Play and will ship early next month.


We finally got a real look at how Android Wear will work with cards, app integration, and voice control. One smart watch or the other is also the only thing Google gave away at the keynote. A Moto 360 is coming in the mail later this summer, but there was very little news about that device.

Android Auto

Android is coming to cars, and soon. 40 OEMs and 25 car makers have signed on to work with Android Auto, and the first vehicles will be rolling off assembly lines this year. Android Auto is driven by your phone, so you just connect it and all the things you care about – navigation, messaging, music, voice, and apps are all on the in-car display.

There's a robust SDK coming soon for devs to begin working on Android Auto-compatible apps.

Android TV

Google TV didn't work out super well, but now Android TV is swooping in to pick up where GTV left off. Well, it's a lot more than that. This is a platform for watching video and playing games. Android TV has all of Google's services built into the core so you get robust voice search, and your games from Google Play will transfer over. Some devs are already getting started.


There will be Android TV boxes and TV sets with the software built-in. Google's developer preview box runs on a Tegra 4, but there will be a variety of hardware specs. The thing they'll all have in common is a killer big screen UI. Android TV will be out this fall alongside Android L.

Everything Else

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Derp

    Standing by for the develop preview link

  • Shadab

    You missed Android one

    • Mike Reid

      My guess is that is will mostly be sold in the "developing countries" it was designed for.

      Can't let us developed nations have dual SIM, SDCard and FM Radio...

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      • Red

        And stock android with direct updates...

    • Dinofan01

      Sounds like Android Bronze.

    • RyanWhitwam

      That's the result of a tagging fail *cough*MichaelCrider*cough*

      Fixed now.

    • WORPspeed

      Is Android ONE what was reported here as Android Silver?

      • renz


        • fonix232

          Well, TECHNICALLY, Android One might be the first device to be featured in the Android Silver program.

          Silver, by my understanding, is basically a Nexus/Google Experience merger. Standardized hardware, with the manufacturer's own addition, but strictly pure Android, without any makeup. So yes, the One might be the first device to follow these guidelines. Though the naming might be confusing (Oneplus One anyone?)

          • David Belyea

            I'd say that's wrong. First off, Android One is not a single device. Second, Silver has always been rumored to be higher end smartphones. Phones in the Android One program are going to be lower end, low cost devices for the developing world and marketed towards people there that can't afford the smartphones most of the developed countries are used to.

          • WORPspeed

            So we are looking for an Android TWO announcement for higher range stock phones? Or maybe Three if midrange gets their own number? :P

          • David Belyea

            Haha. I prefer Android Infinity. The boot animation is Buzz Lightyear styled Android robot falling with style.

          • fonix232

            About the second - the keyword here is RUMORED. It is completely possible that the Silver program will be something like the current Google Experience one, standard phones grabbed, stock Android on them, and Google handles their updates. And by that definition, it is clear that the One would be one of these device lines.

            But it's all just rumors and speculations. Let's wait and we'll see.

          • dhruva

            just bcz android police calls it silver, doest mean google will too. just look at hera, quantum paper.

          • fonix232

            You do realize that Google uses internal codenames that then do not match the primetime product, right? It is the same case - internally it's called Silver, then when released, it might be whatever they want to call. Besides right now that's the only EXACT way to refer to it, or would you rather have me call it "that new program Google working on to get stock Android phones to the mass"?

  • idlukakas

    I hate the new action bar

    • Jake

      Kind of reminds me of a Playstation controller.

    • Zak Taccardi

      I'm totally thrown off by it and I don't know what to think. It is bold though - bold changes are offputting at first but then you adjust.

      In a few months, we'll all be used to it and the old icons will look dated.

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        Also root mods will be able to get the buttons back for those who want it =)

        • mobilemann


          • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

            A fairly safe one, I bet ;D

          • mobilemann

            probably thanks to xposed. Thank god for xposed.

      • fonix232

        I agree, it's more confusing than before. But, it matches the new Material Design style more, so I can understand why Google chose to go with that.

        And actually, it's still better than the atrocity LG did with the G2's action bar.

  • Josh Crumley

    I noticed one of the emails during the gmail app demo (might've been some other demo but definitely while gmail was open on a phone on screen) said "final name for android L release" as the subject. Not sure if anyone else caught that. Oh Google you're such a tease.

    • Sruly J

      I didn't wanna say anything bec I thought it might seem strange that I was focusing on what the emails said as opposed to what was being said. In fact, I paused the stream just to keep on reading that line.

      • pallzoltan

        Those are mockup emails, that mail there must have been a teaser :) Oh Google

  • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

    It's Material Design, not Materials Design.

    I'm looking forward to updated apps more than Android L preview as I won't be installing it on my daily driver Nexus 5 for sometime.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      I'm also looking forward to app updates. I think I'll like that new calendar the most!!!

      • Rovindra Singh

        I hope the Calendar Android app is a lot better this time around. Sunrise Calendar's UI blew Google's current Calendar out of the water. Love the three day view instead of a full week where we can hardly see our upcoming events. Also the smart icons that pop up when you put in certain key words for an event, like running (inserts a man running) or birthday (inserts a balloon). Clever tid bits that make the entire UI that much more appealing.

    • CyberPunk

      It's actually Matias Design.

    • WORPspeed

      will app updates feature the new animations or does that require Android L's new 5000 api's?

  • Zak Taccardi

    Anyone have a .gif of the transition from the holo gmail UI to the material gmail UI?

  • senor_heisenberg

    I so wish I had a Nexus 5. I'd have no problem losing some app data if I could flash the L developer preview.

    Anyway, the only things I don't like about L are the navigation shapes. They'd look a lot better if they were smaller. The other thing being that they're dropping the current hamburger icon for the new one. Current hamburger takes up much less space on the action bar than the one in L. Sorta iffy on the chrome tabs in recent apps. Live everything else about Android L.

    Android Wear looks awesome, especially on the Moto 360.

    Android Auto looks awesome. Best looking/designed car interface so far. Much better looking than Apple's Carplay. Haven't seen enough of MS's car thing to comment.

    Android TV looks really good. Much better than GoogleTV. Excited.

    Sad thing about all this for me, though, is that I won't be able to try any of this stuff anytime soon. It truly sucks being poor.

    Edit: Oh yeah, Material Design looks amazing. I just don't like how much space the new hamburger icon takes up in the action bar, but I guess that's not necessarily part of the new design.

  • JordanMcRae

    Definitely thought that they would announce Google Voice integration into Hangouts.

  • Adulrahman

    I really don't get why would they not make the navigation bar transparent like the status bar!, it looks ugly!, I hope that would change when they release it officially.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      Simple reason. You need to always be able to see it. Although I believe for some instances you can make it transparent.

    • mobilemann

      looks like iOS now.

  • RiderDown

    Google with today's announcements just dropped a nuclear bomb on Apple & Microsoft!

    • Raymond Yin

      I hardly think so.

    • alex0000000001

      I thought it was Apple who was going thermonuclear because Google copied them. Are apple still going thermonuclear? Did I miss something? Android seems more popular than iOs now; perhaps Apple meant they were going to melt down. They should probably stop getting angry and release some larger devices because the currently ones are a little bit too small.

    • fonix232

      No, not really. In some parts, actually, I feel like getting closer to iOS and Windows (and WP). Just look at Material design, the web counterpart is almost a 1-1 copy of the Metro language (okay, they use colorful flat icons instead of white silhouettes, but that's about it). Besides, Windows/WP had a depth feedback since W(P)8 day 0, not to talk about the desktop.

      I'm not about to bash Google here, this is indeed a step forward, unlike WWDC14, so I can't say a word.

      • dhruva

        people can make this point. but unfortunately not a lot of us have used WP, just look at its usage data.

  • shadowx360

    Omg Google. Freaking merge Hangouts and Voice already and let us call with Hangouts! Only thing I wanted from IO this year!

    • fonix232

      There's still time left from I/O, it might be announced later ;) The spotlight's always on the new platform, then it goes on with the smaller details (such as your request).

  • Jonathan Seymour

    With things like Android TV I see a massive need for a family app shared account like announced by Apple to make it work.

  • eric

    Why is Motorola so stupid release the watch

    • sasa

      its lenovo now

  • Andy

    Anyone else think it's possible that "L" release is Limburger? Sounds weird but Google does tend to like dropping hints around and during the live demo they asked Now "what's a limburger?"

    • dessert

      but it has to be sweet...

      • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        And not stinky... :)

  • Stanley C.

    As talked before the name will be Lego. All that geometry squares, blocks and circles. Totally Lego!

    • George Millhouse

      uh no

  • supremekizzle

    This is my 1000th comment. I need a fucking life...

  • Michael

    Once the developer previews are out I am ripping every APK out and seeing what will work on CM11 4.4.4 since I don't have a Nexus

  • CyberPunk

    Engadget had a chance to play a little with the Android L preview build. Here's a video:


    What do you guys think? Also, is there an animation to pulling down the notification shade at all?

  • patrick

    Hopefully tomorrow they talk about the GV merging into Hangouts. Come on Google.

  • Olav

    This completely boring keynote would have been exciting if Google had announced
    VOIP in Hangouts. Wake up and smell the coffee, Google. People
    want that feature and are getting damn tired of waiting for it.

    • Sir Perro

      Yeah because voice being merged in hangouts would've been much more important than what they announced.

      Perfectly respectable opinion. Lol no.

  • J_Pod

    According to Engadget with their playing around with the L Preview: "Quick settings have also been integrated into the notifications panel, instead of being its own separate window."

    WHY? Two separate panels are great, that way my notifications aren't all jammed up with all my settings. I love having separate panels!

  • moehre

    My guess for Android L: Lion (Bar), since it's a Nestlé Product.

    • http://www.twitter.com/italofigueired Italo F.

      Or Lollo

    • mobilemann

      would be awesome, but i don't think it's big enough in their home country. We only get them from import stores who take care of the british (like myself)

  • dhruva

    super exciting. but people should check a little bit of android tv session on youtube/google developers. they are super persistent, end goal is still to integrate with live tv + set top boxes. havent used gtv, but this time like movies collates from every service installed, theoretically live tv could be the same, cable+satellite+ip. cool na?

    • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      AndroidTV seems like GoogleTV's TV and movies app... But front and center... Live tv and online content integrated... I'm hoping so... It was one of my favorite things from GoogleTV... But I'm not sure if AndroidTV will do that tho... I'm guessing the set-top boxes will have HDMI pass through...

  • Hsanchez957

    It'd be nice if Android Auto could be retrofitted on older vehicles. I'd like to replace Ford MySync in my Explorer with something like that.

    Also someone should ask them if they're going to make aftermarket Android Auto sets as opposed to just being available in new vehicles.

    • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      I was thinking the same thing...

      • Hsanchez957

        It doesn't make sense for people to have to buy brand new vehicles just to get Android Auto. I understand some of the features won't be available (like the stuff about the car service and reading the car's health) but the basic functions of navigation and music playing should be available to us who have an older vehicle. It goes against Google's philosophy of getting their products/services in as many places as possible.

        • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

          I agree... I'm not getting anything new any time soon... Depending how old the car is, you should be able to get diagnostics from your car... You can buy OBD device that can sync with apps like dash... I don't see why this couldn't...

          • Hsanchez957

            Oh cool, I didn't know this. I just got a 2011 Explorer and it has Ford Sync. It's probably one of the better car entertainment systems I've seen but that's not saying much since I've always thought most car systems are crap.

            I'm surprised it's taken Google/Apple this long to release something like this. I believe it's a win-win for everybody involved. Auto manufacturers don't have to spend millions and millions on R&D for inferior solutions, Google/Apple get their products in even more places, and customers get a better end result.

            I wonder if Ford Sync can be modded to run Android Auto...hmmm.

  • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

    Looking forward to Android L, and AndroidTV... I've been using GoogleTV since bate, and gotten good use out of it, but it's time to move it to the bed room... If AndroidTV integrates with ChromeCast, if that's what you call it, where I can pick up where I left off with one to the other... Than GTV in the kids room and ChromeCast for the bed room...

  • 16Bitz0r

    Would someone tell us if the Nexus 4 will receive official "L" update?
    There are still too many devz who own this device and don't know nothing. I purchased a Nexus phone to receive official upgrades, not relying on XDA etc.
    An iphone 4 still receives system upgrades and the nexus 4 ends its life just because of a lame "18 months updates program"?
    this device has 2 gigz of ram and a quad core cpu and based on a Qualcomm platform, which is only slightly inferior to the one which is located in the Nexus 5? That's unfair.

    • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      I think it will... As long as the hardware can handle it... I think the Galaxy Nexus didn't get KitKat, because of drivers or something like that... I don't see why the Nexus 4 wouldn't get it, even with the 18 month policy... I believe they said it would guaranteed updates for 18 months, not that it wouldn't afterwards... I don't believe Google would allow fragmentation if they can help it... If there's a good user base yet, I can see them updating it...

  • RiderDown

    Meanwhile Apple announces expandable notifications

  • Stanley C.

    Hey, where the countdown for the L release? Mountain View time?

  • Wall Breaker

    This will make users and consumers be forced to Choose all ios or android now, where is before the incentive to own only one OS wasn't really there but with ios 8 and Android growing its ecosystem thats changed.