Google held its annual I/O developers conference today where it announced a slew of new products and updates.
Google has revamped its key products and services, including Google Maps, further improved its social network Google+, and also released a streaming music service called Google Music All Access.
The biggest surprise was an appearance by CEO Larry Page, who gave a candid speech about the future of technology and held a Q&A session with the audience.
Here’s a quick recap of everything Google announced today.
Google revealed that as of today, there have been 900 million Android devices activated. That number was 400 million a year ago. Android is growing like crazy.
Google has enhanced its Play Store game services. Now it functions like Apple's Game centre and will save games across devices, show achievements, and let you compare scores with your friends. You can start a game on your phone and pick up playing where you left off on your tablet.
Google officially announced its Spotify competitor, Google Play Music All Access. All Access is an on-demand streaming music service that is already full of millions of songs. It will cost $9.99 per month and is available on mobile devices and the web.
Google Maps for the web and mobile also got huge redesigns. The update brought a cleaner design to the web and a ton of search improvements.
Google's social network Google+ got a huge redesign too. The redesign emphasised three main things: the Google+ stream, Google+ Hangouts, and Photos.
The Google+ stream is now cleaner and features a three column design. Google+ will have a new feature called related hashtags, which analyses the content of your posts and shows you related posts. You can also upload high-resolution photos to Google+, something you can't do on Facebook or Instagram.
Google Hangouts is now a stand alone app available for Android and iPhone. The app keeps all your shared photos and texts in one stream and you can video chat with an entire groups of friends. Hangouts syncs across all devices: Web, Android, and iOS. This is also the first time Google put Google Talk on the iPhone.
Photos were a huge deal in the Google+ redesign. Now, Google+ will automatically pick out the best photos in a large photo album, making it easy to sort through a lot of photos. It takes out blurry images and duplicates, and it can recognise landmarks and feature those photos. It can also pick out photos where people are smiling.
Google+ can also automatically edit your photos. Google's algorithms can soften skin, reduce noise in photos, remove red eye, and a ton of other photo enhancements.
Google will sell a model of Samsung's Galaxy S4 phone that runs a clean version of the Android operating system. This device won't have any of Samsung's extra software features. The phone will cost $649 unlocked and run on AT&T or T-Mobile in the US.
Google Now, the company's Siri competitor, got a ton of added features. Now it can help you set reminders, show you public transportation information, and give you updates on your favourite TV shows.
At the end of the show, Larry Page showed up and gave an excellent speech about the future of technology. It's pretty clear he sees Google as more than just a search company. He wants to change the world. Following his speech, Page took a few questions from the audience.
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