Google Gets Smarter With New Watches, TVs, Cars and Analytics

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-06-26 Print this article Print

Conventional watches may be a bit old-school for the 21st century, so Google is revisiting the genre and making it about much more than simply offering the time of day. At the Google I/O developer conference on June 25, the company showed off Android Wear, the company's platform for wearable devices, plus Android development platforms for automotive and television app development. Using Google's APIs and basic hardware requirements, car and device manufacturers can create products that deliver a consistent user experience but with only small differences in appearance and implementation. Samsung, LG and Motorola are the first three Android Wear hardware makers, and their first models were on display at the conference. (They were very popular, by the way.) In addition, Google showed its revamped television platform (not available until the fall, it said), along with other aspects of how the company is moving more and more into users' daily routines. (Photos by Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK)

  • Google Gets Smarter With New Watches, TVs, Cars and Analytics

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - Google Gets Smarter With New Watches, TVs, Cars and Analytics
  • G Watch

    The LG G Watch: Users can cycle through notifications on an Android Wear watch like this one with an upward swipe. A horizontal swipe brings more details about the notification. When a device like this one is on your wrist, users don't need to enter a passcode to activate a handset.
    2 - G Watch
  • Sneak Preview

    Google previewed all three of its early smartwatch models (not available until fall, however): the LG G Watch, the Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live. Crowds gathered around the devices for hours on June 25 to try them on and check out the functionality.
    3 - Sneak Preview
  • Google TV in the Works

    Google's upcoming set-top TV box, which can be used in concert with the popular Google Chromecast dongle (the $35 plug-in that is now the biggest-selling IT item on, is expected to become generally available this fall. The company demonstrated how it will look on big screens June 25 at Google I/O.
    4 - Google TV in the Works
  • New Looks for Android Smartphone Interfaces

    Google is getting much more specific about the user experience in Android 4.4 (which uses the revamped Android L code). For example, various tasks lined up on a phone now overlap slightly and are 3D in appearance on the screen, adding a richer look overall. The action is faster, Google claims; colors and themes continue from device to device, and a touch of the screen elicits a "water drop in the pond"-type effect.
    5 - New Looks for Android Smartphone Interfaces
  • Big Data Analytics Delivers via Mobile Devices

    Google introduced a group of new cloud services, including Dataflow, which is meant to replace standard MapReduce. Google said Dataflow is a much simpler way to build parallel data pipelines to handle both batch processing and streaming data.
    6 - Big Data Analytics Delivers via Mobile Devices
  • Topical Big Data Queries on World Cup Action

    On-demand research to solve business problems and/or predict important trends is a huge topic in enterprise IT, and Google is right in the middle of it, with its own apps for this purpose. A good use-case example of how this works is here at this World Cup booth, where queries such as "What are the chances U.S. goalie Tim Howard will let a shot go by him?" were entered. One answer: 20 to 1.
    7 - Topical Big Data Queries on World Cup Action
  • Google 'Car' Exposed to the World

    If you haven't yet seen a Google automated automobile driving down the street or highway, well, they don't look like this. This mockup was onstage at Google I/O for photo opportunity purposes. There were several real Android-equipped cars in the conference center to check out, but no real driverless cars were in evidence; those are still kept under wraps.
    8 - Google 'Car' Exposed to the World
  • Introducing Android One

    This will become Google's entry-level smartphone in a few months, designed mostly for third-World cultures in Asia and Africa. It will be a fully functional Android smartphone with an FM radio, a removable SD card and a 4.5-inch screen. The cost? Less than $100, Google said.
    9 - Introducing Android One
  • Watch Out, iPad

    Google released some interesting market-share numbers at the show. Android tablet sales have absorbed 62 percent of the world's overall market—up from 39 percent only two years ago. Apple's iPad still is No. 1 in the United States, but these numbers appear to be a serious threat to that dominance.
    10 - Watch Out, iPad
  • Connected Cars

    Microsoft, with its Lync connectivity, has a head start on connected automobiles, but Android appears to be a game competitor. Google now has partnerships with about three-dozen car and truck makers globally to install Android PCs in their vehicles.
    11 - Connected Cars

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