This week in your world of Android: Google I/O brought us Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and a preview of Android L release, Android One was announced as a way to bring more smartphones to developing countries, Chrome OS and the Chromecast got some big new features, we learned that Nexus is here to stay, and we heard a couple of juicy Note 4 rumors.
These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few words. It’s Android Weekly.
Here comes the L release
At Google I/O, the company gave us a preview of the features and design coming to Android devices this fall through the new L release. From a new design language called Material, to building blocks for creating a consistent experience across platforms, and cool new features, L release is the biggest Android update in years. Plus, we get to try out all the goodies right now, thanks to beta versions available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013).
Android Wear was no secret, but this week we saw the full release of Google’s smartwatch centric operating system. The first devices to be powered by AW are the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, with the round Moto 360 expected later this summer. Asus too is rumored to release an Android Wear watch, due in September for $150!
Flagships may be flashy, but the majority of Android devices are at the low end of roster. Google wants to improve the quality of entry-level smartphones with Android One, a program that will bring decent devices for $100 or less to developing markets, starting with India.
Using Android hands free was one of the big themes of Google I/O this year, and nowhere is that more important than behind the wheel. Android TV attempts to bring the power of Android to the dashboard, without compromising on safety and usability.
From your phone, to your wrist, to your car, and now your living room. Android TV is not Google’s first attempt at conquering the living room, but it’s the most promising yet. With a sleek interface adapted to the big screen and built-in gaming capabilities, Android TV could turn out to be a real success.
The Nexus program isn’t going anywhere, a top Android executive said this week, putting an end to months of rumors and speculation. So, when can we expect a new Nexus device? According to one report, it may be this fall, when HTC’s Volantis tablet is due, possibly alongside the full launch of the L release.
The next big device on the horizon is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. Rumors claim Samsung is speeding up its production cycle, with the device scheduled to be available as early as the beginning of September.