Not only is Google announcing all sorts of stuff today, but it's also updating a slew of its apps (it is Update Wednesday, after all). Today's Google Search update brings a huge improvement: "OK Google" hotword detection to any screen... even the lockscreen. If you're plugged into a charger, the feature will even work with the display off. This lines up with the earlier rumor that it was coming eventually.
Once enabled (Google Now > Settings > Voice > "Ok Google Detection"), you'll have to enable Audio History and say the words three time in order for Now to register your voice – much like setting up the hotword detection on the Moto X and recent Droid devices.
If you own a Parrot Flower Power smart plant sensor, or you're thinking about buying one, you will be happy to know that the device isn't limited to syncing with an iOS app anymore. The Android app is out in open beta now on the Play Store, letting you monitor all your garden and plant needs from your phone.
Data is retrieved via Bluetooth Low Energy from the plant sensor and sent via the app to the Parrot Cloud for analysis.
Google Play for Education is an Android thing, not a Chrome thing. But considering the fact that Chromebooks' low prices and web-connected nature make them perfect terminal PCs for schools, it makes a lot of sense to bridge that gap. Today Google has done so, making the Google Play for Education page and app delivery system work for Chrome apps, Play Store books, and other content. It should be a familiar and relatively easy way for teachers and administrators to get things done.
Google Play Services is that app on your phone that doesn't look like it does anything, but actually does a lot of things. This is how Google rolls out new services and features to the core of Android sans OS updates. Today we've got the details on Play Services v5.0. This covers some of the features Google announced in the I/O keynote and a few smaller ones as well.
A quick glance at the OneDrive 2.6 changelog on the Play Store probably would have you saying "meh," but if you actually read it closely, it's more of a "seriously Microsoft, are you kidding me?" The multi-billion dollar software giant's Android app for its cloud-based storage service was apparently lacking a little something called "search" until its most recent update. So now you can actually find your files and folders in OneDrive without aimlessly navigating through them with no help.
Well, that didn't take long. Just a couple of hours after the end of Google's I/O keynote, the Android TV remote control app has burst on to the Play Store. Download it now to control all the Android TV devices in your home! Which are none. Because Android TV isn't released yet. And won't be until the fall.
If you're wondering why Google even bothered to put the app on the Play Store in the first place, it's because it's designed for the developer kits currently on display at I/O.
Google I/O is barely under way and already Google is dropping news that would be considered huge on any other day. The latest – the third piece of the Google Drive app troika has been announced. Presentation app Slides is now live in the Play Store.
Just like the previously released Docs and Sheets apps, this one plugs into Google Drive to give you full editing and document creation capability using Google's presentation tool.
Here's the gist: Google is experimenting with virtual reality displays at I/O 2014, including a new VR toolkit for developers to try out. They've also created an Android app that will let you simulate an Oculus Rift-style, dual-screen VR headset using only your phone, kind of like that Samsung rumor from last month. Here's the problem: you don't have a headset. Google I/O attendees are getting free headsets that they can build out of cardboard, which then holds their phone at optimal VR-viewing distance.
Google is taking the stage at I/O 2014 to announce a lot of really interesting stuff, but if you listen carefully, you may hear a shout out to Udacity. The official Android app has been released in conjunction with the show, allowing you to learn programming at your own pace from your Android device of choice.