Google’s I/O developer conference which kicked off on 15th May 2013, revealed an array of new developments and features which Google has planned across most of it’s platforms. Let’s have look at some of the major highlights from this year’s I/O. The event started off with the senior VP of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai, talking about some key figures for Android. More than 48 billion applications downloaded from the Goolge Play Store, with 900 million active Android users. Google aims to expand even further and tap those markets where Android’s penetration is less than 10%. This was later supported when the company announced more language options through its APIs.
Google’s Gaming Hub
Google also introduced its answer to Apple’s Game Centre, Google Play Games. The various features like achievements, cloud saves, and synchronous multiplayer etc. were shown during the event. If the teasers of the features shown at the event are something to go with, Play Games can be a serious threat to Game Centre.
Google + currently has 390 million monthly active users. A total of 41 new features were announced at the event, which included a revamped Photo product, Hangouts App & Stream. The stream has been given the three-column treatment, like it’s iPad version. The multi-column enables the user to browse contents quicker, rather than scrolling to no end for something to interact with.
Play Music: All Access
Rumours of a subscription based music streaming service from Google were floating for quite some time, and this year’s I/O proved all those rumours true. Google announced Play Music: All Access at the event. Dubbed as the ‘Spotify Killer’, Google has already signed deals with major labels for their brand new product. How will it fare? Well only time will tell.
Google Play For Education
This year’s event also had one very special announcement. Google has decided to turn it’s attention to the growing concept of e-Learning, by launching a dedicated app store, which will up and running by autumn. The applications in this store will be divided on the basis of education level and subject. The idea is for the teachers to use and experience the applications before sharing it in their class. How feasible will this new app store be will depend on how teachers, students & parents interact with this concept.
The biggest updates in terms of design and user experience, this year had been saved for Google Maps. The new Maps will give users a revamped directions and navigation experience, and will be more personal than ever. After being the most successful map tool for 10 years, Google has now taken Maps to the next level by making it more user friendly. Now it helps you discover new places, rate them, see pictures etc rather than just tell you how to go from place A to B.
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