Wednesday marked the opening day of Google I/O 2013, I/O: Input/ Output is a conference held by Google in San Francisco for developers focusing on building web, mobile applications for a better user experience.
The opening Keynote not gave us a brief rundown on what Google have been doing in the past year and boy were they busy! Here are some of the highlights from the keynote.
Google's answer to streaming music but being Google this isn't your normal music store it integrates the music you already have in your library and learns from that the type of genres you like. From there is it selects the music of your preference and shows it in your favourites tab. There is a "Listen now" feature where by a click of a button it creates a play list of non stop music from your favourites, the list can be viewed and edited to the listeners choice. This app will set you back about $9.99 a month.
Ever played a game on your PC, completed a certain level but you also have the same game on your mobile/ tablet and have to go complete that level again? Annoying right? Now with Google "Cloud Save" this problem is a thing of the past when have a game on multiple platforms. By saving your accomplishments on the cloud, it recognizes what level you are on next no matter whichever device you use! Another cool feature is creating groups to race your friends, one of the demo's involved a game called "Racer" which is a digital Scalectrix. A group of 5 friends all of which had different devices joined the game to race each other, they lined up their devices and the track was overlayed over ALL devices!
There were 40 new features added to Google+ but without doubt the most talked about one was the Photos. Everyone loves to take pictures but not all come out great, with the new auto enhance feature Google have created basically photoshop with a click of a button. One can adjust the settings if you want to do an advanced edit to pictures.
Another feature called "Auto Awesome" searches your album and locates pictures that were either taken consecutively or on a burst mode then creates an animated gif with them! How cool?! It also can detect pics that were taken in sequence to create a perfectly stitched panoramic.
But by the best feature for me is "Auto Highlight", my albums contain thousands of pictures, what this does is select the best pictures from the bunch and group them together. It used advanced algorithms to detect the best quality photos, pictures with landmarks or scenery, pictures with people and it even can detect if a picture of the same thing has been taken twice! It sorts everything out for you!
Hangouts on Google+ has reached a whole new level, like everything else it is available on all platforms and with features like group hangouts with group video and file sharing it is a massive threat to WhatsApp and has beaten Blackberry to its release of BBM on multiple platforms.
Theres a lot to offer from the operating system but the demo given to us was one that left many speechless. We've seen attempts by many Software companies to make a voice command functions but Google seemed to have overtook them in a flash. To prompt a search the user simply has to say "Okay Google" and tell it to search, it will then search and with a voice prompt tell you the results! One can then do multi and in depth searches.
My field of work requires me to visit some of the not so ventured areas in the province and Google Maps helps me a lot! Google has a host of imagery in its archives by means of satellites and streetview, using measuring tools were able to create 3D models of buildings. Having integrated all of this they are able to give the user a more realistic view of their route. Google Maps will now also be user based where by it adds places of interests that are prefered by you. For example if you like Italian food it will give you recommendations of restaurants near to you and it will also have a brief summary of what it has to offer. The user can also take pictures and upload it to Google's archive and they will then populate the info to that location. To demonstrate they have created a virtual tour of the Vatican by just using user images.
Planning routes has even been taken a step further when you want to travel from A to B, besides giving you the shortest route by route it now also gives you options of public transport in the area, be it taxi, bus or train. It even has schedules for the trains and buses detailing the stops it makes on the route.
Google Maps is basically transforming to Google Earth as one can also zoom completely out of the atmosphere to view it from space but here where it gets even cooler. The Sun is in its exact position of that current time and if one has to rotate the Earth the side in darkness will have the lights one in the various cities and all the clouds shown are real time! MIND BLOWN!
Google as always didn't disappoint but to see the things they're doing is just amazing, there are over 900 million Android users in the word, over 48 billion Google Play app installs and with their new device the "Pixel" or otherwise known as "Chromebook" which runs Chrome OS, they're sure to keep growing in the market and make known that they are a force to be reckoned with!