Introduction by Eldar Murtazin
Do not hurry, we’re slowly descend from the mountains and cover the whole herd – this phrase from a joke in my head spun as being on stage in San Francisco showed more new invention Google developer. This impression is reinforced by the fact that about a month ago, a similar event took Apple – WWDC2014, which revealed many new chips for computers, version iOS8, talked about how they would attract developers. But WWDC long turned into an event for buyers and developers, while at the Google I / O trying to sustain the genre and increasingly address their messages to those who will work with the company, and the buyer does not become its products. It is possible that this difference lies in the approach and the final result.
This material, we write parallel with Eugene Vildyaevym my part goes first and in it I want to focus on those moments that catch the eye, there will not be a complete description of what happened, but rather the most significant pieces of the presentation and the idea , where it leads. Below, you can look at a more detailed exposition shown.
I’ll start with the fact that Apple and Google have learned great public quarrel, like an old couple who habitually swears and uses old arguments. At WWDC in Apple boasted that most of the devices powered by the latest version of iOS, but in recent versions of Google Android occupy a small part of the market. On I / O in Google responded that the Android version is not as important as Google Play Services, which are updated every 6 weeks and this speed no one else on the market. We understand that the phrase “no one” is understood the company Apple?
The highlight of the presentation was a new version of Android, which is denoted as L (in fact this is the fifth version). Almost nothing was told about the chips system, although in total it already contains several thousand different pans, including a huge amount of API for third-party programmers. But the emphasis is on the fact that all the products from Google, now get the same similar design language. No matter where you see Android – on the clock or phone, tablet or TV, controls the appearance will be similar as the behavior of the elements. The lion’s share presentations Android L refers to how the individual will behave elements. It would seem a trifle, but it is an important component of how the system is perceived. I looks like Android L, although there is a question of taste. Recycled almost all menus and views, this fully updated Android which got rid of many of crutches from the past.
But the most important thing now is that Android and another achievement – an update from Google! That is, in the future you will receive OS updates directly from Google, and not from your phone manufacturer. Translated into Russian language, this means that while shells from different companies took, though surely Sony, Samsung, HTC will try to produce their own versions of phones like the shell, and without it. At Google, many years trying to discourage use of their shells manufacturers and today they are closer than ever to do so. At the presentation did not talk about, but even if you use a shell update from Google is possible, but there will not be affected by a piece of code associated with the UI – it’s all Android L.
The first devices to Android L will fall, at the same time and will update the current models. So far we have shown only the tip of the iceberg, no chips, nothing of value – is in store for the fall.
Another point – from Android L appears in devices Enterprise mode, all your data is divided into personal and work. Reminds KNOX from Samsung?Is what he is, is embedded in Android that decision. In fact, life is embodied in a secret agreement between the two companies, which I wrote in January 2014. Pleased that most of the above gradually implemented. Article interesting read now.
In Google moving towards merging the functionality of all devices that have company and do it gradually. As well as in Apple invented the smartphone to combine work and computers, Google now automatically synchronize smartphones near Chromebooks, but the main thing on the computer screen displays an incoming call (can only reject it, saying unlike Apple can not, SMS (can be answered with the computer). This is the first step towards the integration of everything in a clear story. Comfortable? Definitely.
Passing in Google planted plop storage cloud services running Drive for Work. $ 10 per person, you get unlimited space in the cloud, there is data encryption at the inlet and outlet, a means of analyzing the use of space for your company administrators and other advanced features. Looks at first glance as a service does not have pitfalls and very affordable cost.
Entire presentation looked like one continuous action, where the strongest player methodically showed who is the boss and what he plans to occupy niches. Suffice it to say that Google showed their solutions for vehicles (Android Auto), for wearable electronics (Android Wear), for Smart TV (Android TV), device and data fitness (Google Fit). It was a systematic beating everyone who could potentially compete with the company. Take for example the video.
Apple is releasing a pretty good solution – Apple TV. But it should be bought for $ 99 and connected to your TV. If you have a modern television, the more likely it refers to SmartTV. Those who will use the Android TV will be able to buy content from the Play Store and other shops, play all the games from the Play Store on the TV and in the short term, these are the “play” device will press consoles – iron is becoming more powerful and consoles with their long cycle updates will not be able to compete with tablets and smartphones. In NVidia sights on this segment and will be one of the first, but the same Qualcomm just will not go away.
In 2014 we will see Android TV from Sony, Sharp, Philips, but not from LG and Samsung. The latter will use their systems to which they have already invested heavily. For LG is WebOS, for Samsung it Tizen. Something tells me that in 2015, these producers will create a model with Android TV, as one of the variants of their proposal.
Solution for wearable electronics clear – Android Wear. Showed Gear Live from Samsung on this version Android, sale watches come today will be in addition to the current lineup. Interestingly, in Google said that believe it is important that the interface could be hours as square and round. You bet on the maximum number of designs from different companies – the strategy is the same as when running smartphones and tablets, a lot of manufacturers, different prices, appearance, materials. The same Apple will not be able to deal with such a variety and already from the start of its smart clock face with the fact that he could not take a larger share of the market (possible can become a major player, but does not take an overwhelming share of the market, it will remain for Android Wear).
Around the same approach in Android Auto – create a platform for which the device will be created a huge number of companies. That is, in 2014-2015 we will see how Android holds a growing number of niche markets, and that’s fine. No competition from catching platforms, for example, from Microsoft, there is simply no. The only competitor who still holds it’s Apple, but the company has consistently lost market share in smartphones and tablets, giving the initiative Google.
With Google trying to attract developers to pull the blanket over himself. And there is much of interest – this development tools allows you to watch how the load is in the cloud, which creates stress in your application. But the most important tools to promote this application. For users there is a simple but ingenious piece – now with the tablet having only can pay for WiFi applications in Play Store account using your operator on the phone.Payment can be made with a tablet! For Russia will definitely be one of the most requested features. Do not dwell on what opportunities for promotion, testing applications, developers get – a lot of them and some are quite interesting. The important thing is that Google continues to strengthen its efforts in this direction and it produces results – over a year since the last conference, the company paid $ 5 billion to developers.Impressive amount.
But I want to stay on this – as the conference has produced extremely positive experience. Like the year before, I do not understand the pessimistic statements in which sounds “all is lost, will not they.” After this presentation, it is clear that Android comes to new niches and different devices, where not even have a special competition and other companies. Today, it is Android seized the initiative and already it should catch the same Apple, but that we see. And other companies are far behind and are unlikely to be a serious competitor. The figures speak for themselves – Android is the most popular platform in the world. She continues to grow, and all other platforms fall or disappear altogether. I would not like the lack of competition, it always leads to stagnation. But today strongly Android pulled ahead, but for Apple, this means that companies need to tighten up and try to turn the tide. Until all the evidence suggests that if Apple do not, they will continue to lose market. And then do not stop.
Traditionally, Google could not boast of the growth of Android and the rest of its services. So the share of Android tablets is 62%, versus 46% a year earlier. Viewing Youtube tablets with an increase from 16% to 28% of users.
At Google, noted that despite the large increase in the market share of Android, smart phones in many countries can afford not all residents. For example, in India there are smartphones, only 10% of the population. Google plans to change this trend.
The company created several devices with the reference design for the subsequent provision of various companies. These ready OEM models will be very cheap, but the qualitative performance.
Such smart phones will work on “katabatic» Android, but the manufacturer will be able to add them in your applications. If I understand correctly, for updating the OS will respond as Google. One example of this was the model of smartphone Micromax with 4.5-inch display, memory card support and FM-radio.
One of the most important and major upgrades of the operating system Android, greatly redesigned interface appearance. Creating a new UI, Google representatives told us that the source of inspiration for them was the usual paper and ink – something simple and understandable. And indeed the interface is more “paper” and simple. I can not draw an analogy with iOS 7.
In addition to Google and focused on a nice looking animations, apparently they are most similar to turning pages of the book.
Pleased with advanced notification on the lock screen. I should note that this idea is also borrowed from Google iOS. By the way such notifications are broadcast to watch Android Wear.
Another innovation – popup call. Now, when an incoming call it does not open in full screen, and just shows you a small window, which is nice if you, for example, play. I note that this “trick” is already present in the new smartphones Acer.
Personally, I do not particularly new interface much, and it’s not so much in appearance, but in the fact that Google often change design UI, developers simply do not have time for now. This leads to fragmentation and lack of unity between the operating system and third-party applications. Adds fuel to the fire that guideline appearance interface are not mandatory and recommendatory nature.
Android L developer version will be available to users in July 2013 Nexus and Nexus 5 today.
Integration of Google Now and applications
The company noted that they would like to make the boundaries between applications and web surfing less noticeable. As proof of his words was presented Google Now integration with other applications. When searching for information using Google Now now, some links will open in a separate application, and this will be indicated when searching (note the icon with an application under the search result.)
Daylight ART and support for 64-bit processors
In Android L will be made the full transition to medium ART. As Google noted that this change has been agreed with the manufacturers of chipsets.Daylight ART allows applications and devices themselves work much faster. So the primary startup programs will only take one second instead of two or three.
The company also announced full support and 64-bit processors, which apparently is a response to a similar announcement from Apple.
The new Android L will separate power-saving mode, and a special application for the updated statistics battery consumption.
The long-awaited platform for “smart” hours was finally presented. In Android Wear fairly rich functionality, but let us all in order.
Clock connected to the device via Bluetooth and synchronize with it. With Android Wear you can easily view the notification came to the smartphone and “smack them” (Read mark). Management system itself is made quite comfortable. Vertical “swipe” to switch between different information (notifications, mail, incoming call, pedometer) and horizontal open more detailed information in the case is a detailed weather forecast for the week.
Certainly in Google could not use their own experience with voice commands in Android Wear. And you know, in my opinion, turned out well. You can quickly dictate a note, make an alarm clock or even read a recipe of some dishes, all on a small clock.
Currently announced three watches: LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live and Moto 360. First and second will be sold literally tomorrow at Play Store, but Moto 360 will have to wait until late summer.
Another area in which Google decided to make a big update. Android Auto is a separate mode for the car owners that displays only the most relevant information for the driver: map, dialer, SMS-messages, and switch music tracks. During the presentation, I laughed at the fact that the focus on the possible track in the car, but careful readers noted that it is also important function that affects the formation of selected playlists.
And of course the voice search Google Now also works fine in this mode.
First steps to a niche Google TVs were taken a year ago with the advertisement of Chromecast. Then it was the kind of gadget that turns your TV into a Smart TV, working on Chrome OS. This year the company went further and announced a special platform Android TV, optimized for navigating the TV using the remote or smartphone.
The conference showed how you can quickly find and buy a movie, view information about the actors or add to favorites. I should note that for convenience purchases of digital content are far ahead of the United States.
Android Games and Mirror Mode
Now you can play games from the Play Store directly from your TV by connecting your joystick. In addition, improved multiplayer capabilities, play with friends has become much easier. At the same time they do not need to sit behind a screen and TV, they can use the same tablet.
Was also presented a separate regime Mirror Mode, which allows the screen to broadcast the contents of your smartphone directly to the TV in real time. True currently support this function only to some devices.
In Google has agreed with some companies (Sony, Sharp) on the use of their Android TV TVs. Funny that neither LG, Samsung or not on this list.Apparently these companies plan to continue to use its operating system, which has invested large amounts of funds.
Over the two years of Google Drive, he scored 190 million active users. This considerable number. At the conference, Google introduced Google Drive for Work and talked about its benefits, including increased security system and the best plan with the provision of unlimited disk space (for $ 10 a month).
The company noted that 72% of the universities top 100 Google services already use in teaching and working with students.
Another interesting feature is the ability to open, save and edit MS Office documents in their native format without conversion.
Google Fit Platform
Single platform aggregator that collects information from different applications, user activity and representing it as a separate service. In my opinion, this solution is very classy. For example, you used two months pedometer FitBit, then switched to the Nike Fuelband, and statistics “fitbita” got lost. In the case of Fit Platform that will not happen, because all the data will be in one place.
I note that in addition to collecting information, the platform allows third-party applications to access and organize their services tracking your physical condition.
Google Play Games
Was shown the new Google Play Games with the updated user profile. In particular now in this service will be published and your screenshots from games. Besides addition added Quests, allows developers to give special assignments for additional bonus game.
Developers and profit
Over the past year Google has paid developers $ 5 billion. This amount is 2.5 times higher than a year ago.
The company also announced a new possibility of payment applications. For example, if you have a Wi-Fi tablet, then as a means of payment for the purchase of a smartphone can be used. The company also noted that the number of countries in which the content can be paid directly from the account operator, is constantly increasing.
To start a company noted that most of the positions in the top 10 best-selling laptops occupy exactly Chromebooks (which is not surprising, when the price in the U.S.) and Google is very proud of this.
As companies try to improve the integration between Chrome OS and Android. Excellent demonstration of this is the ability to respond to SMS directly from their smartphone Chromebooks (but can not receive calls, only to reject). In addition, the Chromebooks came three more good applications: Evernote, Vine and Flipboard.
One smartphone for business and personal goals
Often for business and personal purposes, people are forced to use two separate smartphone, Google said in a wrong approach and developed a system in which the user can use for business applications and personal use the same smartphone, without security risks. The company separately thanked Samsung for their participation in the creation of this function (through their service KNOX).
To tell the truth, I have two kinds of feelings after this presentation. On the one hand I am impressed features Android Wear, new Android TV, Google Fit platform and updated features Chromebooks.
On the other, I was expecting more from the presentation, in particular the addition of full backups and cloud storage. As for the design Android L, it is pretty good, but I am very interested in how much it will change, companies such as Samsung, HTC, Sony. Another question is how much in Google can influence developers, so they used the updated guideline.
And a few words about Play Games: despite the fact that it is one of the fastest growing services in the Market Play is still not very many games that support Play Games. I believe that Google had to introduce compulsory service in addition the game, it would have a positive impact on Android.
And the last little disappointing – personally I was really hoping to see some of the new Nexus-devices, and it is a pity that none of them was presented (although the network flowed photos alleged Nexus 8.9).
In general, this year’s conference can be considered a response to the WWDC from Apple. As said Eldar Murtazin, both conferences can be seen “stud” of companies with respect to each other, but that is not a drawback, but rather encourages competition (which is good).