Google I/O 2013 has arrived and is open for business.
The keynote speech (this year there is only one, instead of the usual two) has been made and it was a biggie.
Lasting some three and a bit hours and with many of the major players from Google putting in an appearance, the keynote was remarkable in many ways.
Lets get this out of the way first. There were no new devices. There was no announcement of a new version of Android (either 4.2.3 or 5.0). To the relief of my bank manager there is no X-phone, no new Nexus 7 or Nexus 5. That said, there was an awful lot of things announced that will whet the appetite and show what the future holds, both for developers and end users. There was a running theme of unification through software and the fact that Google has sometimes been fragmented was admitted.
Following the introductions whereby we were taken through things such as activation numbers from over the years we were quickly into the meaty stuff…..
First up was an announcement on Google Play Services. There are new elements to Play services such as Play Games Services, Location API’s, Google Cloud Messaging enhancements and a cross platform Sign In experience.
Next was the revealing of Android Studio which is a brand new IDE built just for Android. The demonstration of this should have developers salivating long into the night!
Following this was the announcement of changes to the Google Play Developer Console. There have been several enhancements here including an App translation service, revenue graphs, alpha and beta testing along with staged rollouts, optimisation tips, Google analytics and referral tracking.
The redesign of the Google Play store was discussed next with the announcing of a section for tablet specific app areas and other enhancements and this was closely followed by the showing off of one of the days biggies, the new Google Music.
Google music features several improvements including a complete redesign of the mobile and web app, Listen now, recommendations, radio, and the announcement of a paid streaming service.
Then we had the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition……..
Then Chrome was discussed, how it has come on an incredible journey and how Google want to transform the mobile web.
Google + was then shown off, 41 enhancements in all, from multi column layouts to automatic picture editing.
Hangouts and the unified chat platform was talked about, once again a new app was announced and the new multi platform software was shown off.
Yet another thing to marvel at was the new search. From updated voice control to the integration of the knowledge graph, the demonstration was simply awe inspiring. Reminders in Google Now, new cards and a plethora of new features made the demo almost out of this world.
Mentioning out of this world brings us onto the almost unbelievable showing of the updates to Google Maps. 3D streetview, streetview on trains and underwater, geocoded photos, rating scales and a brand new design all let to a climax of Google maps in space and all viewed from the browser.
The event finished with an appearance from Larry Page who took a swipe at the negativity and stated that so much more could be achieved, that the surface of what can be done has only just been scratched. Lastly was a Q & A session hosted by Larry after which the event concluded.
The keynote was certainly long however despite the lack of new devices or a new version of Android it certainly was not disappointing. The enhancements and re-imagining of the Google products was at times simply awesome and showed off exactly what can be achieved.
We will be examining the announcements and changes in detail in a series of articles so stay tuned to Coolsmartphone for the full lowdown.