It has begun! With Google I/O underway, more than 6,000 developers and entrepreneurs were present, with a line of even more wrapped around a city block. Many improvements to several Google services were announced during the three-hour marathon keynote event, and we have summarized a list of product introductions below.
The importance of apps being built on Android cannot be undermined as the numbers speak for themselves. Google Play has crossed 48 billion app installs and 2.5 billion installs in just the last month alone.
1. Google Play Services – Includes APIs that Google uses to build own apps and will be available to developers. Three new APIs were launched: Fused Location Provider to get location faster and low power uses less than 1% of battery per hour; Geo-fencing providing virtual fencing around a geographical area; and Activity recognition to help people track their activity (walking, running, biking, driving, etc). Activity recognition does not use GPS, making it battery efficient.
2. Google Cloud Messaging – Services to synchronize messaging between apps, enabling upstream communications from apps to servers. Cloud Messaging is getting faster and will now be a part of Google Play Services.
3. Google Play Game Services – Allows you to save games across the cloud. An individual can now finish a level on one device then pick it up later on a different device. Cross-platform gaming services are supported with Web and iOS.
4. New Developer Tools (Android Studio) – Built for Android, the goal is to make you faster as an app developer. According to TechCrunch, “It’s got all sorts of snazzy tricks that only Android developers can really appreciate: mentions of icons get a little preview in-line. When you’re building layouts, you can preview those layouts on the fly. You can also view those layouts on all sorts of different device form factors and sizes.”
5. Google Play All Access – Music app to rival Spotify and Rdio. Starts with Explore, a guided way to explore new music based on personalized recommendations. Users will have the ability to pick top 22 genres, see the playlists that are created, and turn the list into a radio station. It is almost like having a radio without rules where users can enjoy All Access on all Android devices. In addition, the Listen Now functionality allows users to go directly to a radio station or a playlist already created to make it easier to access music. It is $9.99 a month but you also get a 30 day free trial and it is launching today.
These have been all the highlights during the first few hours but we will keep our ears peeled for other noteworthy events.
Feel free to leave comments about these new features and what you thought was missing this year from Google I/O.
Crittercism is the world’s first mobile application performance management (APM) solution and sits at the center of the global shift to the new app economy. Crittercism products monitor every aspect of mobile app performance, allowing Developers and IT Operations to deliver high performing, highly reliable, highly available mobile apps. Crittercism offers a real-time global view of app diagnostics and app crashes across iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Hybrid and HTML5 apps used on more than 500 million unique devices and in more than 50 billion app sessions. The company’s investors include Google Ventures, Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures.