Google I/O, one of the most exciting conferences of the year for us, has come and gone. From sleeping several hours a day to juggling about seventeen things during the live keynote coverage to suddenly finding ourselves within inches of people like Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai, Lord and Savior Matias Duarte, Hugo Barra, Vic Gundotra, Robert Scoble, Chainfire, Saurik, and other brilliant Googlers, reporters, and developers, the days spent at every I/O are absolutely priceless.
There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO!
The white LG Nexus 4 has popped up a few times thus far, but now it has found its way into the hands of AndroidAndMe. The new image looks legit to us, so it appears this device is finally going to be a reality. What's potentially much more interesting is the assertion that Android 4.3 is going to be announced along with the new color option on June 10th.
The white N4 reportedly has the same vibe as past white Nexus devices with a white back and black screen surround on the front.
Field Trip is an oddity in Google's app lineup. It comes from Niantic Labs (the people who went on to create Ingress), looks fantastic, and it's made for a very specific kind of user. The app highlights attractions of historical, cultural, and entertainment value in your immediate area, using GPS and services like Thrillist, Zagat, and Cool Hunting to create a "hyperlocal" experience. Of course, any travel app is only good if it works where you are, which was a sticking point for international users.
The first and most important day of Google I/O 2013 is drawing to a close. If you've just gotten home from a long day at work and don't have time to sift through a mountain of Android Police live coverage, fear not: there's a roundup for that. Here's a concise list of everything that's new and updated in the Googleverse.
If you'd like to spend almost four hours watching Google show off all its new goodies, our Live Blog has the keynote embedded, plus Artem and David's reactions.
The Nexus Q has had a tough life so far – that goes without saying. Things just got a little worse for the handful of us that use (and enjoy) the Q though – Google has seemingly sliced streaming support from the latest Play Music update, further reducing the impact of the Q's admittedly very limited use case.
At the start of this review, I was simultaneously excited and frustrated. Now I'm just plain excited. For a bit of context, I have been bouncing between cloud music services since Lala was still a thing. I had one simple desire: I wanted to pay a monthly fee for unfettered access to a large library of content, but still wanted to be able to bring my own. I know that $10/month is not going to get me every song in existence, but if I can pay for most music, and then supply the rest, I'll be happy.
Those of you who like your games served fresh while you peruse the day's social updates might want to sit down. Google+ Games will shut down on June 30, taking users' game data with it. But social gamers aren't aren't entirely without hope. Some developers will designate new destination sites for their games, and a few games already have alternative links set up.
In-game payments inside any of the games that are set to disappear will have to be used up before June 30 arrives.
The new Google Messenger is real! It's not called Babel, or Google Talk, but "Hangouts." It also isn't the unified messenger we've all wanted - maybe it will be someday, but Hangouts is strictly a Google Talk replacement - there's no SMS or Google Voice integration.
What Hangouts does have going for it is that it is really pretty. It supports group messaging, pictures, video chat, and even has read receipts!
Today, Google announced a new look for the Google+ stream. Gone is the weird, bubbly look that we've had for forever. The cards-centric UI that we've seen on phones and tablets is now coming to the desktop as well. You can select a one, two, or three-column layout and each individual card can flip over with a slick animation and provide more information and options.
Google's also improving its search and tagging functionality.