Android M almost doubles the battery life of the mighty Nexus 9.
Google’s annual developer conference, held on May 28-29, 2015, wasted no time by announcing a plethora of ground-breaking features.
The aim was clearly to pull a combination of punches and place its rivalry, Apple, firmly on the ropes.
Senior Vice President, Sundar Pichai, kicked off with a keynote speech at the Moscone West Convention Centre in San Francisco.
Indian-born Pichai addressed his global audience of over 2 million with a bold statement: “This is the moment of mobile and smartphone.”
DESIblitz highlights the most exciting unveilings every Google and Android buff needs to know about!
Google’s first-hand OS upgrades were timed to entice wearable consumers to invest in Android smartwatches as opposed to the Apple Watch which is hot on the scene.
By incorporating a new function called ‘Always On’, users can view information from apps at a glance. ‘In time’ users can also use wrist-flicking gestures to scroll up and down and draw emojis on their screens.
One impressive new feature demonstrated was the ability to summon a taxi to the user’s location via the Uber app by simply saying: “Ok Google, call me a car”.
With over 4,000 available apps and countless Android smartwatches currently on the market, Google already has the edge over Apple when it comes to variation and choices.
If Google can harness the reputation for a smooth user experience which is something Apple is renowned for, then Android Wear will definitely be something to ‘watch’ out for.
Google’s second attempt to compete with Apple sees them ditch the failed Google Wallet for Android Pay. Named similarly after Apple Pay, Google is confident its ease of access will determine its success.
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will allow for a more simplistic process to buy in-app and physical purchases using new secure fingerprint authentication.
David Burke, vice president of Android engineering, said:
“Just unlock your device, hold it up to a reader, and you’re done. There is no need to open an app.”
For now, 700,000 stores in the US will accept Android Pay. A UK rollout date is yet to be announced, but it will possibly follow Apple Pay’s schedule to hit Europe some time in 2015 for a head-to-head rivalry.
Following on from Lollipop, Android’s latest OS is set to ‘solve thousands of bugs’. But what really is going to excite consumers is the promise of extended battery life.
With the aid of ‘Doze’, Android M almosts double the battery life of the mighty Nexus 9. The motion detector cuts off low priority apps when devices are stagnant, while still pushing alarms and notifications.
Android M will support Type-C USB connection, just as Apple has adopted for its latest MacBook. It will be ‘superfast’ for transferring data and recharging. The flow of power is reversible, so you can charge one device with another.
Pichai explained Google’s strategy to maximise smartphone efficienty: “For ‘M’, we have gone back to basics. We’ve really focused on polish and quality.”
A developer preview of Android M is available now for Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Player.
Photo storage is of utmost importance to consumers today. Android users will be pleased to know Google Photos now allows free and unlimited storage and backup of digital media at a high quality.
Distancing itself from Google+, Google Photos will work on Android, iOS and the web. It boasts the power to maintain the resolution of photos up to 16MP and videos up to 1080p.
The need to create tags and albums will be eliminated, as it will cleverly group images based on People and Places and even suggest collages along with instant editing.
Google Photos is available now on Android, iOS and Web.
Other headline announcements at Google I/O 2015 included:
- HBO ~ available on the Play Store much to the delight of Game of Thrones fans
- Google Cardboard ~ Larger phones will now be compatible this updated low budget VR headset
- Now on Tap ~ prompts action and provides information based on your lifestyle
- Offline Use ~ for web browsing and Google maps
- Android Nanodegree ~ a six-month developer course that costs US$200 (£130) per semester
- Project Brillo ~ Google’s gateway into Internet of Things to connect your device with household objects
Google is going from strength to strength, having secured over 1 billion Chrome users in 2015 and more than 1 billion Android users in 2014.
Pichai and his team at Google have clearly given Tim Cook a run for his money, as Apple prepares its equally exciting line-up at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference starting on June 8, 2015.