Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Takeaways From Google I/O 2014

_DSC0549This year, Google I/O 2014 attendees didn’t get to bring home a Nexus device. There was no Nexus device. In fact, they didn’t even announce a new Nexus device. I know some of us are holding out for the next iteration of the Nexus phone, aka Nexus 6. Or perhaps others may fancy the next Nexus tablet.

Google had, however, many other new things to talk about and to show the world. I suppose devices, on their own, just aren’t that exciting anymore.

The next version of Android, currently just called L, was revealed, and previewed. I’m surprised they don’t have a codename for L, but I liked one suggestion that L == Life, because Android is set to take over everything in your life that is tech-connected. Android L will have many nice things, from the usual mundane stuffs like refreshed UI and better battery life, but extending into other new areas too.

  • Android Wear — Some smartwatches, namely the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, are on sale in the Play Store. Motorola’s Moto 360 will launch later.
  • Android Auto — This will see Android getting into the dashboards of cars. No, we’re not yet talking about self-driving cars that Google is also working on.
  • Android TV — It looks like Google will have an actual TV set ahead of Apple. It’s not here yet, but it’s coming. The Android TV software could also ship as the operating system in some future smart TVs.
  • Google Fit — Another new area of competition between Apple and Google is health and fitness apps. Google Fit is the latter’s platform for fitness apps, services and data.

You see Android is pretty much taking over your life. The Android L Developer Preview is already ready for interested people to try out, but only on Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) devices. Check out the L Developer Preview site. Really nice, I’m so excited to go try.

Google’s SVP also announced Android One. It’s a program where Google designs low cost reference phone models, but leaves it to third party manufacturers to produce and sell them. The idea is to push low-cost Android smartphones in developing or emerging markets. Think sub-$100 smartphones. Yeah, better yet than Xiaomi’s Redmi.

For the record, Google I/O attendees did get to take home a choice of two Android Wear smartwatches, either the Samsung or LG one. They’ll also get another one from Moto later this year.

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