The 4 Biggest Announcements at Google I/O 2013
Google’s I/O developer conference is an event mostly focused on the latest and greatest tech being worked on by the search giant. Over the past few years, however, the event has become an outlet for Google to announce new hardware and services that appeal to the masses and thus attracting a lot of media attention.
This year is no different. Google pulled the curtain on many services that had been the subjects of speculation. The most important announcements from this year’s event are listed below.
Google Play Music All Access — All Access is Google’s new streaming service that will act as an alternative to Spotify and other established streaming services. It’s already up and has millions of songs available in its catalog. The service offers a 30-day free trial and a $2/month discount for early adopters. It will be priced at $9.99 per month after June 30.
Google Play Game Services — Similar to Apple’s Game Center, Game Services will act as a platform for game developers to integrate save syncing across devices, achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer functionality. This will make the job of creating social and rewarding games much easier for developers and enhance the mobile gaming experience on Android devices.
Google to sell unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android — The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google plans to sell will be carrier unlocked and compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile’s growing 4G LTE networks. It will run the latest version of stock Android, allowing users to skip manufacturer and carrier bloatware, and receive regular system updates straight from Google. The device will cost $650, which is about the price you’d normally pay through a carrier.
Google Now’s powerful voice search comes to the desktop — Soon, Google’s search team will roll out an update that brings the voice capabilities of Google Now to the company’s Chrome web browser. By simply saying “Okay Google” into your computer’s microphone, you’ll be able to activate voice search without a single click. And just like Google Now, search queries will often elicit a voice response, with certain commands able to send emails, view photos, and get directions.