Notable tracks from the I/O include Google Glass app dev, Google Play Music All Access; Android integrated development environment (IDE); GIF-image creation; hosting, sharing, and editing tools on G+ (Highlight & Awesome); smarter Google Now functionalities; upgrades to Search, Maps, Hangouts, and Google Now; and upgraded Android developer tools and consoles.
Glassy Outlook: App Releases and Software Development
Google Glass was mentioned only briefly in the marathon keynote kick-off to Google I/O on Glass. With the hardware now in the hands of many developers, the apps flood is sure to follow. Official Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr apps were debuted at the conference. The sessions on Glass were reportedly packed. Interest in Glass technology is surging from a variety of sources including consumers, developers, and government. Consider the development of Glass as a real-time case study on the intersections of technology, politics, sociology, and philosophy.
Digital Self: Google Now Gets Smarter
Google Now is getting smarter, a lot smarter. Google’s Knowledge Graph-based search intelligence grows rapidly, which means a more robust Google Now interaction for users with new upgrades that seek to anticipate information requests and provide the most useful and relevant query results. Precognition via the Nexus 7.
In the era of big data, giving context to data is incredibly important. Google Now promises to
Writing for Time Tech, Harry McCracken reported:
"In Chrome, Google’s classic desktop version of search will get the same conversational spoken search which is already available in the mobile apps.Digi-Terra-Incognita: Google Maps
On all platforms, that search will get smarter about interpreting queries and sequences of queries — such as “Show me things to do in Santa Cruz,” “Show me pictures of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk” and “How far is it from here?”
You’ll be able to go into spoken conversational mode by saying “OK, Google” rather than having to press a button to go into a special mode.
The Knowledge Graph, which gives Google a better understanding of facts about all sorts of entities, will try to anticipate your follow-up questions and answer them based upon what other people search for. Ask for the population of Canada, for instance, and it’ll tell you — but it will also graph how that population has changed over time.
Google Now’s Cards — which present you with summaries of info based all kinds of stuff Google knows about you — are adding additional types of content, such as notifications about TV shows and albums you might like. In a feature which sounds similar to something Apple’s Siri already has, you’ll also be able to create reminders that pop up at the right place and time, such as one reminding yourself to pick up milk at the grocery store.”
Google announced a redesign of mobile and desktop Maps that is intelligent, visually
The Map experience goes deep, integrating map search with visual, social, and data tools in 3D spaces, where the map itself is the interface. Searching for local records stores on maps will include things such as friend likes, card pop-ups, images, direction information, and 360-degree interior viewing. Personalization is a cornerstone of the new Maps, allowing the user to engage in a variety of interactions with new and saved data that interlinks with web resources. Enhancements to navigation tools include easy map routing options; driving, public transit, walking, and biking directions; and public transit schedule viewing with overlays of transfers. All these features are contextualized with spatial awareness and perspective tools; get visuals from space to the coffee shop in a few clicks, in real-time.
Mobile Map upgrades include some cool features such as traffic jam pops-up, suggested routes, and major sources of traffic jams. New tablet interfaces include an “explore” feature for enhanced local search.
Picture Me Rollin’: G+, Highlight, Awesome, and Photo Interwebz Fun
It was announced that Google+ will see the integration of a robust set of photo hosting, sharing,
Awesome is another new tool that has some very cool uses. By running “auto-awesome” on photos, Google+ identifies pics in a series, blending them together into an aggregate photo comprised of the the “best” elements of the pics in the series. Images can also be linked together to create animated GIFs, be used to create HDR shots, or stitched into panoramics. Reddit prepare for the deluge.
Hit Me: Google Play Music All Access
Google has entered the music streaming service in substantial fashion in the form of Google
“Radio without rules.”Google Play Music All Access provides many of the services currently available on similar products such as Pandora and Spotify, yet underpins the experience with Google’s superior search infrastructure and attendant platforms and products. Critical components include personalized radio stations, favorite songs or artists lists, browse recommendations, expanded search functions, easy song access, and music curation and personalization. Pricing models are competitive with current industry standards at $9.99 a month after a 30 day free trial, with an early purchase offer of $7.99 a month before June 30.
Android Developers Get New Diggs
Google also announced a new development environment, Android Studio. While details are
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