Google I/O 2014 kicks off today, with the big keynote starting at 9:00 AM PDT / 12:00 PM EDT, and you can join in and watch the presentation in the player above. What are we expecting to hear about during the Google I/O 2014 keynote? Well, the biggest piece of news will likely be the reveal of the next version of Android, likely Android 5.0. We'll get a look at the future of Android smartphones and tablets, in addition to set-top boxes. Google will be showing off a new Android TV set-top box, which is interesting since Google TV hardware failed so miserably over the last few years. Wearables should also be big today, with Google Glass and Android Wear devices getting some stage time. Google also typically releases Google+ updates during the I/O keynote as well.
What are you hoping to hear about from Google this morning?
Google is making the practice of sending money to friends as easy as attaching a document to an email. Using Gmail, you'll be able to attach cash money to your emails using your Google Wallet account, for free. The nice thing is that you don't have to have funds on your account to do this--you can just have a bank account attached to your Wallet account. Recipients of your paper won't need to have a Gmail account, which is one more thing you don't need to worry about, and anyone you send money to can return it to you as well. Google is rolling out the feature now to Gmail users over the age of 18. Check out a video that explains it all, after the break.
The new Google Hangouts has arrived, bringing together Google's Talk, Hangouts, Voice, and Google+ Messenger under one app and umbrella. Google Hangouts offers unified, synchronized chat that retains history across all devices, allowing you to dig into your history wherever you are, delete messages, and check out files, photos, etc. Hangouts naturally includes the previous Google Hangouts video chat features, which allows multiple people to video chat with each other, again, from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Hangouts it now available on iOS, Android, Chrome, and within the Gmail web client. Get a look at the video promo after the break.
Google Play Music All Access is now live and official. Just head on over to Google Music and you can sign up for the absolutely free 30-day trial. Remember, if you sign up before June 30th, you lock in $7.99 per month pricing. After that, it jumps to $9.99 per month.
Google has announced a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 during the opening day Google I/O keynote, which runs the latest stock version of Android Jelly Bean. This means that the specialized smartphone sports the Nexus experience. It's compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, completely unlocked. The bootloader is unlocked as well, and the device sports 16GB of on-board storage, expandable with a microSD card. One major benefit is the promise of immediate system updates to newer Android versions, thanks to the stock Android being used. Since the phone has no contract, it won't be cheap. The stock Android Jelly Bean version of the Galaxy S 4 will go on sale on Google Play on June 26th for $649.
Google has just announced Google Play Music All Access at its Google I/O 2013 developer conference, the company's new subscription music service. Aside from givng you access to the millions of songs in Google's new streaming catalog, it will also incorporate tracks that you have stored in your Google Play Music account. The service launches today, and will cost $9.99 per month. Google offers a 30-day trial--sign up for the free trial by June 30th, you'll lock in a $7.99 per month rate, making it 20% cheaper than competing services like Rdio and Spotify.
It is expected that Apple will announce it's own streaming music service, possibly at WWDC 2013 in June, but rumors point to it being more akin to a Pandora Internet radio competitor than a full on streaming service where you can pick and choose individual tracks and albums that you want to listen to.
"It's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy, and all of our care, and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it." - Tim Cook, Apple CEO
The same statement rings true for Google. If others are reaping the rewards, and little to nothing is left for oneself, then what's the point? If a product does not meet the expectations set before it, then developing for it doesn't make much sense. If any given product is not self-sustainable, then it is not cost effective and eventually becomes a burden to the maker--even if users appear to enjoy using it. Make no mistake about it, Google is in the business of making money, and everything else is secondary (including good will.)
Google's co-founder and now recently-minted CEO, Larry Page, bought Android in 2005. He also brought along Andy Rubin, one of its creators, over to Google, who recently renounced his post as Senior Vice President of mobile Digital Content. Basically, the guy who was leading Android. It has been said that Sergey Brin, the other tandem co-founder, was not enthusiastic about the purchase. Former Google CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, now Chairman at Google had a similar reaction. These somewhat pessimistic receptions were also shared by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering. However, he recanted these thoughts at Google I/O 2010.
The Google Nexus 7 tablet was announced recently at Google I/O 2012, and the reviews are calling it the first fantastic Android tablet. It's also the first device to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Want one? Good, because we have one to give away! We've teamed up with TRENDOY!, the daily gadget newsletter to give away a 16 GB Nexus 7 tablet, worth $249. All you need to do to enter is head on over to our TRENDOY! page and subscribe! We'll choose a winner of the Nexus 7 from our subscribers in a week. Good luck!
The newest Google+ feature announced at Google I/O is Google+ Events. The social network is aiming to become your one-stop shop for inviting your friends to a get-together, bringing in photos from your attendees into one place, and having a spot to go after the event is over to check out how everything went down. We've gotta dmit that it looks great in theory, the only problem is that we still don't see that much activity in Google+, while our Facebook news feed is flooded constantly with updates. Still, it's worth checking out the intro video that shows how it all works. Maybe if enough people get excited about it, we'll see a bit more traction on the Google+ side of things, right guys? Guys...? Hello?
Now that you've watched the entire Google I/O 2012 day 1 keynote, it's time to turn your attention towards the day 2 affair. We know, day one was packed full of a bunch of hardware announcements, so what more could Google have to say? Turns out, quite a bit. Day two brought us Google Chrome for iOS, Google Drive for iOS and Chrome OS, Google Docs offline capabilities, Chromebooks coming to retail stores like Best Buy, and Google Compute Engine, a rival to Amazon Web Services EC2. Kick back and check out the video of the presentation below--it's over an hour long, so you might wanna grab yourself something to drink.