Google unveils Android Auto, wearables at I/O

Google's effort to broaden its focus beyond smartphones and tablets was on full display its annual developer conference in SF.
Google kicked off its annual developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday by announcing a milestone -- it now has one billion Android users. That's 1 out of 7 people currently living on this planet. And now the company known mostly for its web services and smartphones wants to expand onto all the other screens in your life as well.

The soft-spoken Sundar Pichai has become Google's new pitchman for all things Android. And now, that's not just phones and tablets.

"It's finally possible to make a powerful computer, small enough to wear comfortably on your body all day long," said Director of Android Engineering David Burke.

Google unveiled three new smartwatches running Android Wear. Two of them are on sale now. They're made as companions for any Android phone, no matter who makes it.



"They're gonna work together seamlessly," said Google Technologist Daniel Sieberg. "That's really the idea, of getting the information you need, no matter what device you're on, that it works across all of them."

Sieberg showed how Google Now is front-and-center, with appointments, directions, and weather reports. There's even a round one, if you like that look.

"To me, though, these watches look really chunky," said Wall Street Journal columnist Joanna Stern. "I don't personally want to wear one yet based on what I've seen from the hardware design, but the software looks really promising."

From tiny hardware to huge hardware, Google also unveiled Android Auto.



"When you're in your car, we've discovered that there are three things people are really interested in -- navigation, communication, and music," Sieberg said.

Much like with Apple's CarPlay, your phone becomes the brain of Android Auto. It's set to appear in cars near the end of the year.

There was one thing that got no mention during the keynote. Amid all the talk of wearables, the one that half the people there seemed to have on their faces, didn't even show up onstage.

Online, they did release new apps for Glass, but still nothing on a cheaper, lighter version for consumers. But consumers might like something else they unveiled -- Android TV.

You may remember Google TV, or the Nexus Q, or you might even have a Chromecast.

Bloom: "This is the fourth time they've taken a stab at the living room."
Stern: "Fourth time's the charm, right? That's how the saying goes."

Android will be built in to TV's from major companies like Sony.

"One in four television's that are gonna be sold in 2015 will have this built into it in some way," Sieberg said.

It does movies, apps and games. And if you lose the remote in the couch cushions, you can always control it with your watch.

Meanwhile, outside the conference, attendees were greeted by protesters. For the latest on the protests, click here.
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technology google wearable tech business silicon valley apps app television auto industry driving San Francisco Moscone Center
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