Tag Archives: Google Now

Google I/O: What we expect in 2013

Google I/O 2013 is less than a week away at this point. The conference runs from May 15th through the 17th and will hopefully bring plenty of goodies for Android users. While there is still some question as to what will be shown and announced, we do know that Google will be running things a little bit different this year.

Google i/0 2013

The Google I/O schedule was released earlier in the month and it shows just one keynote. The keynote will run for a few hours on the morning of May 15th and this will be where our immediate attention is focused. The Android Community team will be on-site to bring you the latest, however as we recently saw with the release of the Google I/O 2013 app, these events will also be streamed for those not able to attend.

Taking a look back over the recent weeks and we have seen talk of everything from Ingress, Game Center, Google Now and Babel (now expected to arrive as Hangouts) to the physical Google Wallet cards, an LTE equipped Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Android 4.3 and Google Glass. The catch is, some of these topics are expected to be brought up during Google I/O and some aren’t. For example, while Google is expected to talk Wallet, they are not expected to announce the physical Wallet cards. Another possible no-show this year could be the Motorola X-Phone.

Google I/O 2013

 

Ingress

One topic that isn’t often discussed is Ingress. For those not familiar, Ingress is virtual game that has you running around in the real world. In Ingress you travel around collecting objects and discovering the sources of the “mysterious energy.” Ingress isn’t difficult to play, but it is a bit time consuming. Perhaps the hardest part of the game though — getting started. In the beginning you have to choose your side and decide if you want to be with the Enlightened or the Resistance.

Despite the general lack of chatter though, it seems as if Google has something big planned for this year. Not only has Google scheduled three Ingress events, but they have also given an invite to all I/O attendees. In addition, Google has also been sending invites out to others that have only recently requested one. Ingress is a currently in a closed beta period.

Game Center

Game Center could be another exciting announcement this year. There had been some speculation (hope) of Google releasing something along these lines, however a recent teardown of the Google Glass companion app revealed some potential details. At this point we are expecting Game Center to arrive with everything from support for real-time and turn-based multiplayer games to in-game chatting, achievements, leader boards and invitations.

Google Glass

 

Google Now

Google Now remains an often discussed topic and we are expecting to see plenty of talk next week. Google recently released Now for iOS and based on recent talk from Larry Page, we are expecting Now to be a big part of Android 4.3. There is also the expectation that Google will connect Now with the desktop as we have recently seen an extension spotted in Chromium. Of course, there is also the connection with Google Glass which brings the thought of voice improvements. Again, this speculation goes back to recent comments from Page when he mentioned “voice search momentum.”

Google Babel

Babel should be another topic we hear discussed. The details of this have all come by way of leaks up until this point, however it is looking like this will be a unified messaging service. Basically, it is believed that Google will be combining services such as Google+ Hangouts and Google Talk into one cross platform service. We also recently learned that Babel is now expected to be introduced as Hangouts. There should also be support for everything from Android and iOS devices to support within Chrome, Gmail and Google+.

Hardware and Key Lime Pie

Aside from what we have already mentioned, there has also been talk of hardware which includes everything from an LTE equipped Nexus 4 to an updated Nexus 7. One interesting aspect, despite earlier rumors suggesting that Key Lime Pie would be announced as Android 5.0, we are now expecting that to be unveiled as Android 4.3. Putting some evidence to that claim, Android 4.3 has been spotted in visitor logs lately. Along with updated smartphones and tablets, we should also be seeing some talk of Google Glass. Well, if nothing else, given the developer edition Glass recently began shipping, we expect to be seeing quite a bit of people actually wearing and using Glass.

Bottom line here, as we have seen in the past years, it appears as if this years I/O will be full of news and excitement. So how about it, what are you most excited about seeing? Are you looking for new hardware, new services or will you just be content learning what will be coming with Key Lime Pie? But remember, what ever is (or isn’t) announced, the Android Community team will be on-site with the latest coverage.

Via Androidcommunity

Google I/O: What we expect in 2013

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Switched On: On iOS, Now is Google’s Time

In the early days of the internet economy, the saying went that webpages were created on Macs, served on Unix and viewed on Windows. In the iOS app economy, it’s often the case that apps run on devices by Apple, but connect to services by Google. With the exception of many games, at this point, apps increasingly strive to be internet services.

On iOS, Now is Google's Time

Google has been investing in more of these services for a longer time and in a way more directly tied to apps than Apple has. Google Maps has been the best example, but others include Google Drive (with its editing features), Google Voice and Google+. In contrast, Apple’s biggest consumer online service success (other than the iTunes store) has been iCloud, which is less app-like and more of a silent shuttle for documents and files among iOS devices.

The latest Google app to come to iOS is the newest version of one of the search giant’s oldest ones: Google Search, now noteworthy for including the Google Now feature set that has become an indirect competitor to Siri. Both interaction models have value. But whereas Siri is about having a conversation, Google Now is about avoiding one. It can do this because, unlike Siri, it is tied into a matrix of information about you through other cloud-connected Google services. Google Now is the proactive payoff for using them. In contrast, Siri requires you to manually specify your name and indicate your address.

On iOS, Now is Google's Time

 

In addition to Google’s heritage being web-based (some of its early rationale for Android was to ensure that it wouldn’t be locked out of Microsoft’s then-ascending position in the smartphone space), it now has its own Chrome OS that is little more than a window into optimized web applications.

Much has changed between Apple and Google since the stalemate around Google Voice, an app that, at least in theory, could have done so much towards winning Google’s allegiance on the mobile phone. Apple has virtually abandoned the prohibition against replicating the functionality of its own apps and Google hasn’t delivered any major new functionality to Voice in years, instead turning its messaging attention to the social focus of Google+ and its integrated Hangout video chats.

One Apple policy that has affected Google apps on iOS has been the prohibition against alternate rendering engines in other browsers on the platform combined with not being able to use Apple’s “Nitro” JavaScript engine. However, the speed hit that followed hasn’t stopped Chrome from becoming one of the most popular apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Google’s support for iOS is, on one hand, a simple way to reach out to a significant share of the smartphone market.

Google’s support for iOS is, on one hand, a simple way to reach out to a significant share of the smartphone market. The company’s line is that it would be open to, for example, supporting Windows Phone were the installed base high enough. However, iPhone users are desirable to Google — not only to try to get them into Google’s rival ecosystem, but to provide a broader target audience, particularly for Google’s premium advertisers.

That said, Google apps on the iPhone are developing their own visual style with fonts and gestures that look and act more like a modern Android app than most iPhone apps — helping to expose and acclimate iPhone users to Google’s aspirational app interface. That situation is reminiscent of when Microsoft’s Mac apps had a particularly Windows-like look and feel during the days when dark gray toolbars and status bars ran amok in Office. There was an eventual backlash that forced a reversal, but Google’s services extend far deeper into our lives than Office likely ever will.

The next chapter of Google’s love affair with Apple users will play out in devices that extend beyond the smartphone. Will there be a Glass app for the iPhone? Would Google Now cards pop up onto an Apple watch? For now, anyway, the detente between the two rivals is allowing rich functionality for those with divided loyalties.

Via Engadget

Switched On: On iOS, Now is Google’s Time

Google Now available on iOS devices starting today

When it comes to major news, we didn’t expect to hear much from Google in the run-up to I/O, but clearly, the company just couldn’t wait that long.Google Now available on iOS

Google Now, a service that Android users have enjoyed for a year, just became available on iOS devices in the form of an update to the Google Search app, confirming those leaked videos we saw a few weeks ago. It won’t have integration with notifications or alerts at launch — it may come in a future update, but the company wasn’t willing to divulge its future plans — so you’ll need to enter the app and swipe up to refresh your list of cards. The iOS version won’t have every type of card that you’ll find on Android, either: boarding passes, activity summary, events, concerts, Fandango and Zillow aren’t included this go-round. Improvements and additional features will likely trickle in over time, but it’s certainly better than nothing for iOS fans who’ve looked at Jelly Bean users with a slightly jealous eye. We’ve included Google’s blog post in its entirety below, and you can jump to More Coverage to download the app. Continue reading

Google Brings Public Alerts To Google Now, Search And Maps In Canada

Google is bringing its Public Alerts system online in Canada today, after previously launching it in the U.S. and expanding it to Japan last month. The launch couldn’t be more timely, as Canada is currently experiencing high waters and flood problems in areas just experiencing the spring…