Google I/O is an annual developer-focused conference held by Google. The event takes place in San Francisco (CA) but they have extended events in many cities around the world. The Brightcove, in Boston, showed off the Zencoder cloud transcoding service at the conference. I had the opportunity to join developers, engineers and passionate students to watch and discuss some of the conferences.
Google Play is the Google’s distribution platform which allows to download music, books, movies, videos, games and applications. Google redesigned the platform both mobile and web versions. They also introduced new services such as Google Play Games and new features such as the personalize suggestions based on the user preferences and search history.
Google Play Games is the new game service with real-time multiplayer action and multi-platform synchronization. The gaming experience becomes more social, allowing for example to invite and play with your friends and share your scores. It can be synchronized with other platforms such as tablets, computers, smartphones running both Android and iOS, which is an interesting feature for the developers.
A monthly music subscription service has been introduced for the Google Play Music. It allows to play all songs available in the market and also to upload your songs. Google Play Books now allows to upload your files to the cloud and it includes a Read Now section that features books you have recently uploaded, purchased or read.
Google also announced a new education program that will help teachers manage and push out apps, books and other educational content to student tablets and computers: Google Play for Educational Program.
The social network of Google has been redesigned with responsive design in the feeds, a tags feature to dig into more content and a new photo manager and editor.
When you upload hundreds of pictures, Google+ Photos will choose the best ones based on the bright and contrast, number of people in the picture, famous landmarks and attractions and it will use face-recognition algorithms to select the one where you and your friends appear in the picture.
Google Hangouts is a new application that substitutes Google Talk. The new multi-platform app allows to chat, share videos and pictures with your friends. It is available on Android, iOS and Chrome.
Google Maps and localization
Google released new APIs to improve localization and battery life on Android devices. An interactive map will recommend location, compare travel modes and integrate Street View and Google Earth on Google Maps. The new APIs includes better outdoor localization, indoor localization and navigation and human activity recognition.
The most common IDE to develop Android apps is Eclipse which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac. But Google developed their own IDE, Android Studio that runs on all operative systems.
The new features that Android Studio includes are the navigation drawer, a better integration with Google Analytics and the possibility to launch beta and alpha versions of the applications.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The new Samsung Galaxy S4 from Google is a completely unlocked device. It comes with an unlocked bootloader that gives to the developers a root access to the operating system. The phone will be release on June and it costs $649.
Google Voice Search is already available for Android devices but Google wants to expand its voice search capabilities and other features on Google Search for desktop devices, a fundamentally change the way the people look things up on its search engine.
Google Wallet, the online payment method from Google, enables now to send money as a Gmail attachment over other interesting functionalities. It will be integrated on the Chrome browser wich gets faster, more secure and includes faster video-streaming.