In yet more app news today, Google pushed out updates to Maps and its cousin Streetview.
First, Google Maps received the promised offline mode, wherein you can pan to a certain area and save it for use without an Internet connection. Pretty neat, though it remains impossible to use navigation offline, limiting the practical applications of this feature.
Additionally, Street View saw a minor update that should improve everyone's favorite compass mode - devices with a gyroscope should now be able to use it more smoothly.
This is insane. Google. You've gone too far this time. Look, the Nexus Q was a cool idea. Social streaming? Yeah, I love it! Hooking it up to the Nexus 7? Great! Making it giant, placing it in the center of the I/O conference and giving it access to the deadly neurotoxin? MAYBE NOT YOUR BEST MOVE.
In case you weren't already feeling left out of all the fun I/O goodness, what with the free Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, and Nexus Qs Google is giving out, Artem and David—who are currently at Google I/O having all the fun—sent back this video of a gigantic, glowing Nexus Q, controlled by a Nexus 7 and what can only be described as a control orb.
The Google+ app has received another fancy new update today. Avid Google+ followers will remember that just a month ago, the mobile Google+ got a facelift. Well, forget everything you knew about that app. Google's social network is getting another new facelift. And a sweet tablet interface to boot.
The new interface has a much lighter, brighter look, while still maintaining the large focus on pictures and videos of the previous update.
Android has become somewhat infamous for slow (almost unbearably so) updates for users of pretty much any non-Nexus device. In fact, when Jelly Bean was announced earlier today, the first thought on some users' minds was that their handsets haven't even tasted Ice Cream Sandwich yet.
Google is well aware of this issue, though - last year, it made an attempt (albeit a feeble one) to solve the problem with the Android Alliance.
Man, news is coming fast and furious, isn't it? Here's another one to add to the pile: a big YouTube update. The "What's New" section on the Play Store reads:
What's in this version:
Android 3.2+ devices: v.4.0 * New UI: Guide on the left side of the screen with instant access to channels * Preload videos while on WiFi and charging for smooth playback on the go * Turn your phone into a remote, to play YouTube videos on other devices * Access your watch History across devices
Earlier Android devices: v.2.4 * Sign-in with Google account * HD playback (on capable phones) * Multiple bug fixes
First up, let's check out the new look:
YouTube has switched to the same left-side menu style as Google+.
We knew it was coming, and now it's finally here. Google+ Events. And it's even bigger than we ever thought it could be. Google has gone beyond mere RSVP. Google wants your Events page to be central to your real-life get-togethers, before, during, and after the event. In addition to tying into Google Calendar, Events serve as a central place for all your event photos, organized chronologically that can be uploaded by all guests.
There were several new announcements today for the Play Store at Google's I/O keynote, which included the arrival of new content. As previously expected, the Play Store now offers TV Shows, magazine subscriptions, and movie purchases.
First off, let's take a look at TV Shows. This is one thing that the Play Store has been missing since day one, so it's nice to see it finally show up. After spending a few minutes looking through the titles, it looks like Google stocked it up with quite a bit of good content.
Coinciding with the announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android developers can now pull down a new revision of Android's SDK tools – revision 20, along with a new version of the ADT Plugin, also r20 (which Eclipse users will need to use SDK r20).
The revised SDK tools bring several improvements. One of the notable additions to the SDK tools is System Trace (otherwise known as systrace), a tool (included in Project Butter) that helps monitor system activities, allowing developers to pinpoint graphical rendering or other issues.
Google Now is a feature we've been eagerly anticipating for what seems like forever now. In fact, we've been seeing hints at something like it since 2010. When Apple announced Siri last year, an official counterpart from Google became not only inevitable, but necessary - iOS' speech service provided direct Apple competition to Google's mobile search engine. Today, in one of the most notable announcements at I/O, the Big G made official its answer to Siri: the aforementioned Google Now.