The search giant will soon follow you everywhere: in your home, in your car and on your wrist. In a series of keynotes during Google I/O developer’s conference in San Francisco, the company announced its plans to expand Android, its mobile operating system, for new categories like wearable computers and automobiles.
At its annual developers’ conference I/O, held Wednesday, twice disrupted by protesters, Google said the first cars running its new Android Auto software for navigation, music, and messaging will hit showrooms later this year.
Android Auto is completely voice-enabled and allows the user to cast navigation, communication and music apps from the phone to a car’s dashboard. Voice commands, enabled by Google Now, allow you to send and receive text messages, get directions and make phone calls with only voice commands.
The launch of the new software will coincide with the rollout of Android L later this year, but developers will soon be able to start building their own apps for the car with the Android Auto SDK, which will be “published soon,” says Mashable.
Android TV, just like the mobile operating system used by Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and many other companies to power their smartphones, will be available for manufacturers to integrate into their own hardware.
“[TVs] are becoming computing devices in their own right,” Dave Burke, senior engineering director for Android at Google, told a crowd gathered in San Francisco. “So we see a great opportunity to bring some of the strong capabilities of Android, such as voice input, UI and content, to the largest screen in your house.”
On stage, executives demonstrated how Android TV, reviving Google’s foray into streaming video, aims to give viewers an easy interface through which to search for and display content. TV version of Android comes four years after Google’s first effort to enter the living room, via Google TV, failed to catch on with consumers.
Google has found some success with Chromecast, which was released last year and has been a top seller on Amazon. Google on Wednesday said it had improved Chromecast, allowing any phone to connect to the device without having to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
At the conference, Google also showed off LG’s G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and Moto 360 models, which are all running its software.
The voice-activated devices from LG and Samsung, which both have square faces, will be available for order in the Google Play Store today, while Motorola’s classic round-faced watch will launch later in the summer.
David Singleton, Goggle’s engineering director, demonstrated the simplicity of the smartwatch to the conference, ordering and paying for a pizza using an app in under 20 seconds, says the Telegraph.
Google’s push into wearable devices comes as Apple looks to move into the market. Several analysts have speculated that Apple may unveil a smartwatch later this year.
Google also unveiled Google Fit, its new platform for tracking health and fitness information. The platform will be open to developers and an SDK will be made available in the coming weeks.