Liveblog: Google I/O developer conference 2014
11:51: And that’s a wrap! Sorry about the drop-off, folks. But thanks for reading.
11:47: Whoops, I lied. Folks in the audience will ALSO get a Moto 360 when the time comes — pretty darned generous.
11:46: But no Moto 360, though. (Makes sense given that’s not coming out until much later this year.)
11:40: Every year, Google is pretty darned generous with giving away freebies at I/O, and this year is no different. This year’s big swag? The LG G watch or Samsung Gear Live watches, which were featured earlier during the keynote.
11:38: Google reveals it’s paid developers who have had their apps on the Google Play $5 billion over the last year alone.
11:37: Sorry, folks. Connection issues on my end…
10:47: Android users can now finally stream what’s on their mobile devices’ screens onto the TV. Great new feature, and about time.
10:46: A feature called “Backdrop” lets users stream photos to TV.
10:45: More voice recognition tie-ins, this time of course with Googlecast.
10:36: Google and Chromecast updates. Over 50% of Googlecast users use multiple devices.
10:33: A very brief demo of accessing Android games via Android TV. The Android TV store will be available in the fall.
10:32: Users can also use their brand-spankin’s new Android watches to get around Android TV’s menu. Ah, synergy.
10:30: It’s easy to use voice commands to search by shows, movies and actors, even “Oscar-nomianted movies in 2002.” Amazon’s Kindle Fire TV, launched earlier this year, also lets folks search via voice but the search isn’t as sophisticated yet.
10:27: “Users don’t expect or want complexity from their TV.” So Android TV’s menus are kept simple, with several rows breaking movies and TV down by different categories and services like Netflix.
10:26: Onto Android in the living room. “Today, we’re announcing Android TV. This isn’t a new platform. That isn’t the point. … We want you to leverage your existing skills with Android for the living room.”
10:24: “When does the rubber actually meet the road?” asks Brady rhetorically. (Make the bad jokes stop.) “Soon,” adds Brady. But there are roughly 40 Android Auto partners already signed up, including a lot of recognizable brands likes Honda and Nissan.
10:22: “We’re really excited to bring Android to the car,” says Brady. “Wouldn’t it be great if building an app for your car was as easy as building an app for your phone?” Enter Android Auto SDK, or software tools specifically for that purpose.
10:21: As the demo shows, it’s possible to get directions somewhere without having to take your hands off the steering wheel.
10:18: Time for an Android Auto demo. Google has a partial interior of a car onstage. The faux-driver, “Andy,” syncs up his phone with his car. The opening screen lets the driver do things like play music, receive notifications and make calls.
10:17: Director of Android Engineering Patrick Brady announces Android Auto, a version of Google’s mobile operating system made especially for the car. It’s largely controlled by voice.
10:15: The LGG smart watch, as well as Samsung’s Gear Live watch, will be available to order online later today. The Moto 360 watch? Not until this summer — news that earned some “awwwwwws” from the crowd.
10:13: Oh, and in we were wondering — and I’m not sure I was — both watches features onstage are water resistant.
10:10: Online ordering service Eat24 has an app for Android wearables that will let users quickly tap to order and pay without whipping out their phones or going to their computers. (It actually looks pretty nifty.)
10:09: A Pinterest tie-in allows the user to potentially get notifications if they’re near something they’ve “pinned.” (Think possibly restaurants and stores.)
10:06: Ah! Health tracking features: the number of steps a user has taken each day and gauging heart rate.
10:04: A plus: the LG watch recognizes voice commands. You can also use the watch to control other devices like, for instance, controlling the music playing on your smartphone.
10:01: Now onto wearables. (Finally.) An upclose look at an Android Wear watch from LG. Hoping this is a prototype because it looks pretty “meh”: a squared-off screen bordered by black plastic and pretty much nothing else to distinguish it.
9:55: Confession: Duarte, one of the main designers for Palm OS, is much smoother onstage than Pichai. “Sundar ain’t Mr. Primetime yet,” agrees a colleague watching the event online.
9:53: Pichai is back now. “If you take a look at the innovation happening at Android and look at the recent announcements from others [Apple] like custom widgets, Android has those 4 or 5 years ago.” Some folks hoot and holler.
9:51: Prostester. Burke keeps talking, and I can’t hear what the protester is saying before she gets kicked out by security. She quickly waves an indecipherable banner.
9:50: There’s a woman in the crowd yelling loudly… Protester??
9:47: The “Android Extension Pack” is a set of tools that will let developers create more realistic graphics for the phone. Burke shows off a clip of actual game graphics developed with these tools. If this eye candy is legit, it’s definitely impressive.
9:46: Talk about graphics performance. “Historical, mobile graphics have lagged behind desktop… but that’s changing quickly. Mobile graphics are catching up…”
9:45: No more stuttering apps!
9:41: Back to Burke, of Android engineering… Onto performance. Lots of talk about how they improved behind-the-scenes. (Translation: Stuff only developers would love.)
9:38: Individual Chrome web browser tabs are now viable on mobile, too. Mono-web browsing is a thing of the past.
9:37: Shah reiterates just how much better browsing the Web on mobile will be thanks to all these little tweaks and new graphical bells and whistle.
9:35: Avni Shah, Director of Product Management for Chrome, is taking over to talk about Google is redesigning the mobile Web experience. For users, that translates to web pages basically loading quicker.
9:33: Improved notifications. Users will soon be able to check out and dismiss notifications right from their phone’s “Lock” screen. Double-tapping a notification takes the user right to the app, for instance.
9:31: A look at neat, new graphics effects developers will be able to take advantage of with “L.” Minor stuff, but some developers are cheering.
9:28: Dave Burke, head of Android Engineering, to the stage. He’s going to walk us through some of the new features they’re bringing to “L,” the latest version of Android for developers.
9:27: Duarte: “You can now bring the same rich, material design to every screen.”
9:24: Talk of developer tools for this. Also, new small features for the latest developers version of Android, including “rich, touch-based animated feedback.”
9:22: Introducing a new kind of digital material that Duarte says has physical surfaces and edges for “the human mind” to easily recognize and work with.
9:21: Matias Duarte, VP of Design, to the stage. “We worked together — Android, Chrome and across all of Google — to craft one experience for mobile, desktop and beyond…”
9:19: Meet the Android One Micromax phone, aimed at emerging markets like India. The Micromax will sell for under $100 when it eventually ships.
9:16: There are now over 1 billion monthly active Android users, who check their phones 100 billion times and snap 93 million selfies each and every day.
9:13: 20% of this year’s conference-goers are women, up from just 8% last year.
9:10: Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Chrome and Apps, to the stage. He says 1 million people from around the world are watching the keynote on the Web.
9:07: We’re off! Video of Google’s different software products: their Chrome browser, Google Now…
9:02: They’re officially running a few minutes behind now.
8:59: That loud horn goes off again. Blargh.
8:59: I’ve only seen two folks sporting Google Glass, the far-out augmented reality eyewear vaguely resembling a Star Trek prop.
8:48: I swear the person in front of me is eating a cronut.
8:45: To the left and right of the stage, Google’s projecting random video: clips of a bowling ball polisher, a tweaked out xylophone (?!). Cut to video of the audience.
8:42: A loud horn goes off for over 10 seconds. If we weren’t awake before, we are now…
8:40 am: And we’re in. Finding a press seat was a brief game of musical chairs.
Thousands of developers flock to Google’s (GOOG) developer conference each year to learn about cutting-edge technology and see the introduction of new Google products. In previous years, the company has introduced updates to its mobile operating system, Android; a revamp of its social network, Google+; and Project Glass, the web-connected eyewear that still has people talking years later.
Early reports suggest that the company has a TV set-top box waiting in the wings, but we won’t know for sure until it’s official. Which is why you should stay right here for our liveblog of the event, which begins at 9:00 a.m. PT/noon ET. We’ll be there to cover every moment: the keynote address, new products, and everything in between. Just remember to refresh this page—often.