Are you curious to see how all the new parts of Android will work together? Do you want this information delivered in advertisement form? Would you prefer this ad to feature an attractive yet non-threatening male model, a generic alt-rock backtrack, and a cute doggy? Then sit back and watch, my highly-specific friend, because your world is about to be rocked.
OK, so Google's latest advertisement isn't exactly breaking the mold here, but it does show a pretty seamless transition between an Android L phone, an Android Wear watch, an Android Auto car, and finishing with Android TV.
If you're still toting around a stock AT&T Galaxy Note II, good news: your phone is finally getting Android 4.4.2. The rollout should be starting now, and includes all of the basic 4.4 goodies you can expect coming from 4.3, like wireless printing, the new storage access framework, SMS default app selection, Google Wallet tap-to-pay support, and a few others. Here's Samsung's full changelog:
OS upgrade to Android 4.4.2 KitKat
New Lock Screen Access
Media Controls - full-screen album art and media controls when listening to music
Camera Shortcut - access the Camera application right from the lock screen
Improved user experience when multiple messaging apps are installed - All SMS and MMS messages are together in the same app, alongside other conversations and video calls.
I know, it's I/O day and there are a lot more exciting things going on than OTA updates to Google Glass, but hey, the news is the news, right? The XE18.3 build should be rolling out to explorers now, and it adds a couple changes that make Glass a bit easier to use. First, pairing has been simplified with a walkthrough for the setup process. Second, Glass now has a user-accessible recovery mode.
LG's G Watch is one of the first two devices to launch with Android Wear. The G Watch, along with Samsung's Gear Live, are expected to be available for pre-order from the Play Store today, so it's worth taking a quick look at how the two stack up. The Gear Live is still awaiting our hands-on treatment, but we've already spent a little time with the G Watch.
For those who aren't caught up, LG's first Android Wear entry is a 37.9x46.5x9.95mm smart watch with a 1.65" IPS display at 280x280.
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.
We've heard that Google intended to really make a push for greater corporate adoption with the L release, and the company touched on some of its plans in today's keynote. It confirmed that Android will empower companies to separate personal data from work data using containers without outside companies having to apply additional code to their devices. Interestingly, this comes thanks in part to Samsung, which has contributed some of its KNOX code to the next version of Android.
The new Google Fit Platform is a set of cross-platform APIs that developers can use to provide consumers with the means to better keep track of their fitness goals. The product intends to blend together data from multiple sources, so users can get a better overall picture of their performance and health. It empowers apps by providing them with access to a user's entire stream of fitness activity, letting software tap into data that it didn't capture itself and provide better recommendations.
The Android L release is so new it doesn't even have a name yet, but HTC wants to make sure you know it will be ready when it comes out. Or at least, shortly thereafter. Before the Google I/O 2014 keynote had even finished, HTC released the following statement on its software update page:
HTC Customers and Enthusiasts,
HTC is excited about the new features in Android L release and we can’t wait to share them with you.
Chromecast might not be the most dramatic of Google's products on stage at I/O 2014, but it's getting just as much love. Rishi Chandra, product manager for Chromecast, demonstrated a lot of new features in his presentation. The low-cost streaming device will get newer and more advanced capabilities soon, including the ability to stream the screen contents of your phone or tablet directly to the television. We've seen this done with various third-party hacks, not to mention a peek or two on some people's active devices.
The Moto 360 made a brief appearance in the I/O keynote with a very pretty watch face. You won't find very many pretty watch faces in the Moto 360 design contest. Still, the people have voted, and the winner has been picked. It's one David Pascual, who came up with this.
It's an attractive enough design, but there's a lot of stuff on it. It's probably too information-dense to work on a small smart watch screen.