Live coverage: Wearables to shine at Google I/O – USA TODAY

Wearable technology and a new foray into television are expected to take center stage on Wednesday when Google kicks off its I/O developers conference in San Francisco.

USA TODAY will have updates from Google’s opening keynote beginning at noon ET.


Google formally makes a jump into car technology with Android Auto, a version of the operating system for cars. The service will be fully voice-enabled. Product manager Andy Brenner is on stage in a demo car cockpit to showcase Android Auto. When he plugs the phone to his car, Android Auto connects to the car’s navigation screen. The interface falls in line with watches and phones. Card-based, full of color.


The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch will be available to order later today on the Play Store, says Singleton. The Moto 360 smartwatch, developed by Motorola, arrives later this summer.

Cooking with smartwatches

Another app example features Allthecooks, where users can bring up the recipe directly on their watch, viewing the ingredients and swiping left to right to check out instructions. Singleton notes all Android smartwatches will be water resistant.

More on Android smartwatches

Using LG’s smartwatch as an example, the device features a touch-enabled color screen so users can swipe up and down to flip between notifications or left and right to get more details. It features a card-based interface similar to smartphones. The watch also supports voice commands. “Your watch and your phone stay in sync,” says Singleton. Tasks completed on the watch sync immmediately with the phone. Watch wearers can use their voice to perform a search, take a note or sent a SMS reply to a contact calling their phone. Users can also swipe down on the screen to enable the “do not disturb” feature.

Third party apps will be a part of the watch experience. Singleton cites Pinterest, featuring a pin to a restaurant. The user is notified they are near the resturant, then swipes to the right to view it on a map and navigate to the location via Google Maps.

Watch out for wearables

David Singleton, Director of Engineering at Android, talks about one of the big topics at I/O: smartwatches. Google is working on Android Wear, a version of its operating system for wearable devices. It will support both square and circular watch faces. Singleton says the average user checks their Android phone 125 times a day, and Wear will let them stay on top of key messages while “letting you stay engaged with the people you’re actually with.”

A more secure Android device

Pichai returns to talk about innovation on the platform, including security. He boasts of improved malware protection, security patches through Google Play, factory reset protection in case a user’s phone gets stolen or lost and universal data controls.

Bolstering your battery

Burke details Battery Historian for developers to give them a sense of the impact on battery. Hopefully that means Android smartphones and tablets with better battery life. There’s also a Battery Saver that will turn off tasks to save battery.

‘Unreal’ performance

Burke takes developers through a demo of Unreal Engine on Android, which looks really sharp. It starts with two armored men preparing to fight before moving to an arcade machine to play Epic Games’ Tappy Chicken.

A way to index apps

Shah turns to App Indexing, where installed apps will show up in search results. During a search for the restaurant Waterbar, Google results show an OpenTable link that will open directly in the app. Another example featuring the Ferry Building in San Francisco shows Google Earth results where users get a full tour of the location.

The mobile web movement

Avni Shah, Director of Product Management at Google, discusses updates to the mobile web experience. It uses cards similar to Google Now, which is available through its Search app. Recents in Android have been updated to include apps and Google Chrome pages.

Personal unlocking unveiled

Android developers will have access to personal unlocking, which uses voice prints, location and other features to easily unlock the phone. Burke shows an example where the phone recognizes his smartwatch and easily unlocks with a swipe. Without the watch, he must input a pin to verify his identity. Cool idea.

New Android features

Dave Burke, Director of Engineering at Android, moves through some of the features arriving to Android. Developers will have access to new animations and 3-D views with real-time shadows. On the phone, contacts include larger images and more color. Flipping between the dialer and contacts flows quickly. There’s a “ripple touch effect” where a blue circle fading in and out of the screen as the user presses the number. Another example is Notifications, which will have “interactive access” at the lock screen. Android will analyze user behaviors to list the most important notifications at the top. Additional notifications are filed together like sheets of paper.

Gmail under ‘Material Design’

Duarte uses email app Gmail as an example of the design idea. Fonts pop off the screen more, the app itself features more color. The app itself looks a lot cleaner, too.

Rethinking Android design

Matias Duarte, vice president of design at Google, talks about the concept “material design” for Android smartphones and tablets. It appears more vibrant and colorful. Duarte emphasizes the design adds depth and responds better to touch. Objects seem to move and flow elegantly. It boasts a lot more motion. The design features are part of the L Developer Preview for Android developers. Designers can also adapt design to fit across smartphone, tablet, computer screen and watch.

A look at Android One

Pichai breaks down Android One, a set of hardware reference platforms combined with a stock Android software experience aimed at emerging markets. An example of one phone is made my Micromax, and includes a 4.5-inch screen, removable SD card and dual SIM cards. The phone costs under $100. The program starts in India this fall.

Android dominance

Pichai talks about the success of Android, which has dominated shipment market share. He says there are more than 1 billion 30-day active users on Android. They sent 20 billion text messages and shoot 93 million selfies a day. Pichai also says they check their phones 100 billion times a day. He says tablet shipments are growing, too, accounting for 62% of global market share compared to 39% two years ago.

Pichai kicks things off

Sundar Pichai, the head of Android, Chrome and Apps, takes the stage to start the keynote. He reaches out to several “viewing parties” in London and Brazil. It looks like Pichai may be wearing a Google smartwatch. No surprise there.

Retro countdown

It appears Google is using a very unusual device to count down to the start of Google I/O. It features two giant wheels and a bowling ball, which I’m guessing slides down once the event starts. 4 minutes and counting.

Original story

Wearable devices will play a huge part in the conference, particularly eyewear Google Glass and the company’s upcoming line of Android Wear smartwatches.

Also, Google may reveal details of a new TV set-top box running an updated version of Android for the television. The company has experienced some recent success on TV with the launch of the $35 Chromecast.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

Live coverage: Wearables to shine at Google I/O – USA TODAY

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