May 18, 2011
Google announces onslaught of new apps
In addition to the aforementioned Music by Google and Google Tasks API, Google announced a boatload of apps and upgrades at Google I/O 2011 this past week. From movies and entertainment to operating system upgrades and laptops, this year’s I/O was like none seen previously. For the complete list of major announcements and a heads up on what they’ll mean for you, click through the link below!
So you want to know what Google’s been up to? Well then you’ve got good news coming your way, because they just let us in on some things that, until now, have been a bunch of insider secrets! So where do we begin? Well, since you already know about Google Music, let’s start with movies!
Coming soon to an Android device near you…
Google announced that they’ll very shortly be releasing Android Market movie rentals. This is a pretty nice feature to complement what the Market has always been, and may shed some light on why its not called an App Store, as well as what Google may plan on making the Market into. Beginning soon many Android devices, you’ll see a fresh new Market when you click that same old icon, giving you access to the movie store but also…
A Market that’s actually useful!
So everyone that uses Android knows that there are tens of thousands of useful apps in the Market. The problem is, there is about ten times as much garbage. From spamware to total junk, the Market is open, just like your neighborhood dumpster, and accepts practically any app thrown at it. Worse yet, there’s been no good way to wade through the trashy waters for Android’s entire product lifetime, until now. Google announced that in addition to movie rentals, they’ll be adding useful categories to get you from good app to good app much more effectively.
Android 3.1 was also announced, and is already being pushed to devices like the Motorola Xoom tablet. With much faster speeds, new features like widget resizing, and compatibility with a huge number of new USB devices, tablets sporting Honeycomb just got a much needed upgrade. With a faster browser, new control scheme, and Movie Studio for video editing, your Xoom just being an iPad competitor. (Finally.)
Ice Cream Sandwich
In addition to Android 3.1 for tablets, it looks like smartphones and other devices will see the newest Android iteration, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, sometime in the 4th quarter of this year. Bringing an interface that will be a cross between the current Gingerbread iteration and the newer Honeycomb for tablets, Ice Cream Sandwich is meant to close the gap between the two as a bit of a unifying OS. Bringing over features like Honeycomb’s resizable status bar, and hopefully more speed, will make Android handsets that much more desirable.
Last but not least, Android@Home. Announced as a new entry in to the home automation market, Android@Home is meant to be an open standard, allowing developers to create apps that will play nicely with approved hardware (think light bulbs, light switches, lamps, appliances, etc…) allowing you to control your home from your Android device. Welcome to the future.
This was, for all intents and purposes, the most eventful Google I/O ever. With more announcements than we’ve even covered here, Google really went above and beyond expectations, giving us a real glimpse into what they’ve been working on over in Mountain View, as well as what we can expect to see this time next year.
So what was the most exciting announcement? Are you waiting for the 4th quarter to get a new phone so you can have the newest OS version? Or are you sticking with your current phone and just saving up for 30 new light bulbs? Tell us in the comments!