Did you make it to Google I/O 2014? If so, you've probably been waiting on the edge of your seat for Google to send a Moto 360 to each of this year's attendees. Well, the wait is over! Almost. Shipping notifications have gone out to each of the lucky recipients indicating that the packages are on the way.
The packages are coming out of Fremont, California with 2-day shipping via FedEx. For most of us, that's going to mean they'll arrive at our homes -or wherever you asked for them to be sent- on Wednesday the 10th.
Google I/O was pretty amazing this year, right? We got the deets on Material design, a preview version of Android L, the formal release of Android Wear, the first manifestations of Android TV and Android Auto, and plenty of other bits and pieces. However, all of that content and all of those developer sessions can take forever to absorb, and professional developers just don't have time for that. Now that all of the videos have been posted, I've combed through every last one to narrow the list down to just the sessions that absolutely can't be missed.
Another Google I/O has passed, and with it, a slew of Android-related announcements and reveals we've only just scratched the surface of at this point. This year was all about platforms: phones, tablet, watches, TVs, and cars - Google wants Android on all the things in your life that should be smarter (well, at least some people think they should be).
Which, though, was the showstopper for you? What are you waiting on more than anything else at this point?
Google announced Play Games at last year's I/O conference (hard to believe it's already been a year), and this year the company stepped it up a notch. They're integrating new features into the app, which includes a new Game Profile feature that exists and a sort of unified leaderboard with achievements and the like. Naturally, this lets users compare how they play with their friends. Nothing like a little competition, right?
If you happen to be in one of the 25 countries where Google offers direct carrier billing on mobile phones, good news: you'll soon be able to buy apps, movies, music, books, and the like on your tablet and have it billed to your carrier...even on Wi-Fi tablets.
So, your tablet doesn't have to actually be set up on your mobile account, just your phone. Once everything is good to go on the phone side, it should work through your Google account, thus allowing purchases to me made on tablets and show up on your monthly phone bill.
At this point, it's no secret that Google was going to unveil Android TV. We've already seen several leaks, and last night Vector Unit prematurely published a changelog with the words "AndroidTV" all over it. So yeah, we knew it was coming. And now it's here.
First things first – Android TV looks fantastic. It's a new take on Android, designed from the ground up with a specific experience in mind (just like Android Wear), only this one's for the big screen.
Android's L release is going to bring about a ton of new changes and improvements, and they took time to talk about a few of the most important today. That includes a new default runtime, improved graphics, and improved battery life.
ART is now the default runtime
We actually saw this coming, but it's now confirmed. ART brings twice the performance over the current runtime, Dalvik. It has been available as a preview for KitKat, but is becoming the default (and from what I can tell, only) runtime in the L release.
During the presentation for the L release, Google talked a little bit about the new search experience in Google Now. Firstly, there's a huge focus on animations and fluidity, with animations running at a super fluid 60 FPS (this is LEGO). It looks so good.
Oh, look...a new keyboard.
Further, all installed, relevant apps will be able to launch from Google Now. This has been a feature available to a handful of apps for a while now (like IMDb, for example), but with the L release, the API is becoming available to every developer, so all apps can be incorporated into Now's search results.
We knew this was coming, but Google just showed off the Android L release at I/O 2014. The entire thing appears to be based off off what we've come to know as Quantum Paper, but they're actually calling it Material Design in the release. It's so sexy.
It's definitely a very content-driven interface, with simplicity and minimalism the primary focus with the primary UI.
L appears to be a pretty major overhaul in both form and function, with things like enhanced lockscreen notifications, new navigation buttons, and a focus on fluid design and animations that make sense.