Google’s I/O Conference was today and was largely aimed at developers. But its keynote was rather wide-ranging and touched on a lot of products. And we mean a LOT of products. Here’s a rundown of everywhere Google wants to put Android.
Adorably, Google thinks wearable technology is still the wave of the future, despite leading the charge in proving otherwise. That said, Android Wear is at least a pretty interesting bit of technology. It pairs with your phone to do tasks. Say you’re at the airport; your Android Wear device would tell you whether there were any delays, allow you to access your boarding pass, and tell you what to prepare for when you land.
And, in fact, some of Google’s watches go on sale today, with more coming. None of which you’ll use, but hey, it’s a good idea.
More impressive, and likely more actually useful, is Android Auto. Why? Well, it pairs with your phone, so you have all those apps, but more importantly, it’s entirely voice controlled. That’s right; you don’t touch a thing to get directions, send messages, and so on. It’s a pretty smart solution to a fairly serious problem, and it has a lot of automakers behind it.
AndroidTV is Google’s next attempt to take over your idiot box, after Google TV and probably a bunch of other forgettable products we’re forgetting. This time, it’s basically Android with a more TV-friendly UI and, again, voice search. So essentially it’s the Fire TV, but on the Google ecosystem. And people will be forced to use it, as Google is shipping it in a bunch of TVs and set-top boxes. Mostly we predict this will be for the people who don’t shell out $35 for a Chromecast.
Your Doctor’s Office
We could point out everything wrong and terrifying with the world’s biggest collector of data trying to get you to voluntarily fork over vital health information, but we think that’s pretty obvious. Suffice to say Google wants in on the fitness tracking revolution, making this another reason to avoid Android Wear.
Apparently functionality is coming that allows your Chromebook to mirror certain Android apps. It’s not perfect, but it’ll go a long way towards making those cheap little computers more useful.
Finally, there’s Google’s incredibly smart-assed response to the virtual reality fad: Google Cardboard. It’s literally just a piece of cardboard with some lenses you can slot your phone into, and, with a special viewing app, use it as if you were on a virtual reality headset.
It’s one of the best deadpan jokes a company has played in a while, and we’ve got to admit, it puts the current VR fad in its place. So at least the company inserting its software into every aspect of your life has a sense of humor.