Seeking Alpha

Google shows off Android L, Wear, and Auto at I/O

  • The next version of Android (its developer preview is simply called "L") will feature major UI changes linked to Google's (GOOG +1.4%) new Material Design language. Buttons, icons, colors, and animations and much else has been tweaked. (live blog)
  • Feature updates (mostly incremental) include: 1) Interactive lockscreen notifications. 2) A battery saver mode. 3) Voice and location-based device unlocking. 4) A new runtime (called ART) and graphics extension pack that improve performance. ~5K new APIs are provided for developers.
  • Android Wear, first announced in March, is getting shown off in detail. The wearables platform tightly integrates with Android phones: Notifications are synced, and when an app is installed on the latter, the wearables version automatically installs on the former. Two Android Wear watches - Samsung's Gear Live and LG's G Watch - are launching today. Motorola's Moto 360 will arrive this summer.
  • Android Auto (previous) places a strong emphasis on navigation, communications, and entertainment apps, supports Google Now, and comes with a developer SDK. Initial app partners include Pandora, Spotify, the MLB, and iHeartRadio. Automotive partners include Ford, Honda, Audi, Chevrolet, Kia, and Chrysler.
  • Google shares have ticked higher amid the flurry of announcements.
  • Earlier: Android MAUs top 1B
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