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Google I/O 2014 keynote unveils Android 5.0 L

Google I/O 2014 keynote unveils Android 5.0 L

Google's Sundar Pichai officially unveiled Android 5.0 L at the Google I/O conference last night, along with announcements regarding Android Wear, Android Auto and the new Android TV platforms.

Advertising giant Google kicked off its annual Google I/O conference last night with a mammoth three-hour keynote presentation, previewing Android 5.0 L, Chrome enhancements, its previously-announced Android Wear and Android Auto platforms along with a set-top box and microconsole oriented variant of the OS dubbed Android TV.

Kicked off by Google's Sundar Pichai, last night's keynote presentation was undeniably Android-heavy. The headline of the event was a preview of Android 5.0, currently known only under the codename of L but likely to receive a dessert-themed title starting with that letter when it launches later this year. As well as the promise of significantly boosted performance over previous editions, Android 5.0 will bring a new user interface design which looks to add depth to user elements with real-time shadows and ripple effects being demonstrated. The upgraded OS also includes a revised lock-screen notification system, seemingly inspired by similar changes to Apple's rival iOS platform, and the ability to use multiple external factors including proximity to Bluetooth devices, physical location and voice authentication to secure the device.

Google also, unsurprisingly, used the event to push its recently-announced Android Wear platform, promising tight integration between Android 5.0 L and smartphones based on the software. The event also saw pre-orders open for the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, both based on Android Wear, although the Moto 360 and its innovative circular display won't be available until late summer - a delay that elicited groans from attendees. The company also spoke about Android Auto, an automotive variant of the platform which extends on Google's previous work within the industry.

The final major announcement from the event was Android TV, the logical follow-up to its Chromecast technology. Designed for set-top boxes and smart TVs, the software will operate standalone or in conjunction with an Android tablet, smartphone or even Android Wear device for media sharing and control. The Google Now voice-activated search system will also feature heavily, as will support for games - which is expected to shake up the low-cost microconsole market considerably.

Other announcements made during the keynote include unlimited Google Drive storage for business users at a cost of $10 per user per month, better Google Docs software, the ability to segregate personal and business data on one device, native Android app support on Chrome OS, and new APIs for developers. A pall was cast over the event, however, by multiple interruptions from protesters under the Occupy Google banner, who are pushing the company to work harder on net neutrality, others complaining about evictions carried out by Google staffers who have bought properties in San Francisco, and even a lone protester who interrupted the keynote towards the end with the complaint that Google is building 'robots that kill people' as part of its drone programme.

If you've got three hours to kill, the full keynote presentation is embedded below - although you might want to skip the first 28 minutes to get to the speeches.

14 Comments

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Anfield 27th June 2014, 01:53 Quote
Hooray for another new android version manufacturers can refuse to push out to already sold devices.
mi1ez 27th June 2014, 04:32 Quote
*cough*Cyanogen*cough*
GreekUser 29th June 2014, 11:33 Quote
I thought the biggest news were that Android will be able to run in x86 systems. With the combination of running natively the apps what we practically have is Google pushing Android on desktops. This might be the countdown to Microsoft's end...
Nexxo 29th June 2014, 11:36 Quote
:) Yeah, right. People have spasms of apoplexy over Windows 8.1 Metro "destroying productivity"; do you think that they will accept Android as a suitable Windows alternative? I think not.
GreekUser 29th June 2014, 11:50 Quote
It has begun though. And so far Android conquers all. It took on smartphones, few years later it was over 50% of the market share. Then it took on tablets, same news - just recently...
Google has proven it's offerings are better than Microsoft's, they involve on a lot faster pace, they are for free and customers don't give a dime about their privacy going down the drain.
With Android's application ecosystem being huge and all these developers having the opportunity to enter a new platform, how long before Microsoft has an actual competitor? It has been decades since the last time they had one and Metro won't be much help.
Gareth Halfacree 30th June 2014, 08:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreekUser
I thought the biggest news were that Android will be able to run in x86 systems.
Android already runs on x86 platforms, and has done for some time. I reviewed the Motorola Razr i a year or so back: announced September 2012, based on an Intel Atom chip.
Corky42 30th June 2014, 08:29 Quote
I thought that as Android was based on Linux it had always been capable of running on x86, but not knowing to much about Android i could just be showing my total ignorance of how different it is, or how Google prevent this.
Nexxo 30th June 2014, 08:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreekUser
It has begun though. And so far Android conquers all. It took on smartphones, few years later it was over 50% of the market share. Then it took on tablets, same news - just recently...

All markets where Microsoft had no significant presence.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreekUser
Google has proven it's offerings are better than Microsoft's, they involve on a lot faster pace, they are for free and customers don't give a dime about their privacy going down the drain.
With Android's application ecosystem being huge and all these developers having the opportunity to enter a new platform, how long before Microsoft has an actual competitor? It has been decades since the last time they had one and Metro won't be much help.

Meanwhile Android tablets cannot multitask, cannot do windows (remember, this was the main criticism of Windows 8 Metro), cannot access my NAS out of the box; it cannot talk to printers and peripherals; it has no MS Office compatible office suite --until Microsoft changes that; it has no software that goes beyond simple games and apps. Productivity software? Nada. Mainstream games? Zilch.

People keep ragging on Metro but it's undeniable that Android L is suddenly all Metro Material itself. Everybody who actually tries Metro on a tablet finds it a superior experience to iOS or Android. Microsoft is struggling only because it fails to leverage its own resources and made some epically stupid marketing decisions. If Windows RT had offered an open desktop, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. But that is gradually changing.

Android is sublimely tailored to mobile devices, but it won't do big-boys computing anytime soon --and nobody wants a PC that is only as powerful as a tablet. As technology advances however, full-fat Windows may come down to tablets more, and then you have a mobile device as powerful as a PC.
Gareth Halfacree 30th June 2014, 09:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Meanwhile Android tablets cannot multitask, cannot do windows (remember, this was the main criticism of Windows 8 Metro), cannot access my NAS out of the box; it cannot talk to printers and peripherals; it has no MS Office compatible office suite --until Microsoft changes that; it has no software that goes beyond simple games and apps. Productivity software? Nada. Mainstream games? Zilch.

Not too sure about some of those. Android certainly does multitask, but tends to have a single application in focus at once; there are apps to enable a split-screen mode, but I don't use 'em so can't tell you how well they work. NAS access is certainly fair enough, but Cloud Print works pretty well these days. Android *does* have a Microsoft-compatible office suite, available for free on all recent versions of Android (I use it m'self.) As for "no software beyond simple games and apps," I'm not sure what else you're looking for: on Android, I use a text editor, office suite, web browser, PDF viewer and image editor; on my desktop, I use a text editor, office suite, web browser, PDF viewer and image editor. Was there any other productivity software you'd like? As for "mainstream games," mobile games typically outsell any other type of game - look at Minecraft, which has sold more of its Pocket Edition on tablets and smartphones than the PC and console releases combined - so I'd argue that mobile gaming is mainstream, and it's now PCs and consoles that are the niche.

(Well, no, I wouldn't, but you've got to admit that numbers-wise the argument has merit.)
Nexxo 30th June 2014, 12:40 Quote
Given that Metro got absolutely slated for not running in windows but at most split-screen, I'm not sure how Android apps are going to be considered an acceptable substitute.

Cloud Print basically relies on a Windows PC to act as intermediary with the printer. So Android is an acceptable PC OS, as long as you also have a PC running Windows somewhere? :p

In terms of productivity software I'm looking at CAD, full video and audio editors, any of the thousands of software packages out there that have specialist functions beyond SoHo.

But that is all academic, as long as I cannot even do something as basic as access a network drive or printer.
Corky42 30th June 2014, 14:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Given that Metro got absolutely slated for not running in windows but at most split-screen, I'm not sure how Android apps are going to be considered an acceptable substitute.
Not that I'm advocating it but isn't running software in separate windows Chrome OS territory ?
Just like Apple has OSX for desktops and iOS for mobile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Cloud Print basically relies on a Windows PC to act as intermediary with the printer. So Android is an acceptable PC OS, as long as you also have a PC running Windows somewhere? :p
Buy a Cloud Print enabled printer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
In terms of productivity software I'm looking at CAD, full video and audio editors, any of the thousands of software packages out there that have specialist functions beyond SoHo.
Does KineMaster Pro fit in the full video editor category ? Would Audio Evolution Mobile DAW fill the audio editors needs ? How about CAD Touch Pro for those designers on the move ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
But that is all academic, as long as I cannot even do something as basic as access a network drive or printer.
Cloud Print enabled printer and ES File Explorer File Manager

Not that I'm advocating all this cloud rubbish you understand :)
Nexxo 30th June 2014, 18:36 Quote
Sorry, I quite like my networked colour laser printer. I quite like how my Surface RT talks to any printer or NAS, out of the box. Seems to me that is the kind of basic functionality you should be able to expect from an OS. You know, like you felt that a Start Menu should have been included in Windows, not an additional app you download. ;)
GreekUser 30th June 2014, 18:58 Quote
Nexxo. No one is arguing Android L will be better than Windows 8. All i'm saying is, here it comes...

Yes it has no specialized apps to substitute full fat programs. But who's using them? I don't. And how long will it take to get them? Android did start from nothing to reach a million apps in five years. Fart apps, maybe, but still. There's a huge community now, unlike then and sooner on later it will take on Chrome OS.

Microsoft won't have competition in 2014. In 2017 though, it will be a different story.

Edit
I have to apologize, the news i was triggered by were about chromes ability to run future Android apps.
Corky42 30th June 2014, 19:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Sorry, I quite like my networked colour laser printer. I quite like how my Surface RT talks to any printer or NAS, out of the box. Seems to me that is the kind of basic functionality you should be able to expect from an OS. You know, like you felt that a Start Menu should have been included in Windows, not an additional app you download. ;)

It took Microsoft what 6 years to get the things you say you want out of the box working out of the box, trying to get Windows 1.0 through to 3.1 connected to a network was a nightmare, getting it to play nice with a printer was equally hit and miss.

And this was a time when Microsoft faced very little competition in trying to get hardware vendors to support them instead of the other guy, try convincing a hardware vendor to support your upcoming OS nowadays when Windows is installed on over 50% of the worlds devices.
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