The annual Google I/O developers conference has kicked off in San Francisco. Google is trotting out the latest updates to its ever-expanding portfolio of gadgets and services. The live stream of the event is underway below.
A new set of hardware reference platforms, called AndroidOne, provides a turnkey opportunity for Google’s partners. This means companies are able to develop devices quickly and cheaply.
Android chief Sundar Pichai showed off an example during the Google I/O developers confab in San Francisco, with slides of the $100 Micromax AndroidOne.
The initiative is similar to what Microsoft rolled out earlier this year. Microsoft created a reference design based on its Windows mobile operating system and using Qualcomm hardware.
Google enters I/O as a vigorously diversifiedcompany. While Apple, which held a similar developer conference earlier this month at the same location, focuses its efforts on a small number of categories — PCs, mobile devices, and a few media services among them — Google has a wider palette. Its hand is in everything from search to tablets to smart home devices.
Google’s pitch to developers comes as tech giants are watching users switch their attention away from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets, and starting to look at other screens, including smartwatches and car dashboards. Inhabiting those platforms means Google can extend its reach, and collect the valuable user data the company — and advertisers — covet.
Google shows off LG G Watch
Google on Wednesday showed off the LG G Watch running its software. The company provided a demo of voice commands, notifications, and other actions on the device. David Singleton, director of engineering for Google, said Android Wear devices will be available with both rectangular and circular screens and will come in a “wide variety of fashionable designs.”
“We’re right at the beginning of a new phase of the miniaturization of technology, which means it’s finally possible to make a small computer that can fit comfortably on your body all day long,” Singleton said.
So far, Google has only talked about LG’s design, but executives speaking during the keynote have worn various models of Android Wear, including versions likely designed by Motorola and Samsung.
Google currently is hosting its annual developers conference in San Francisco. Before the event, the Mountain View, Calif., company said it would focus its army of attendees on the three Ds: design, development, and distribution. The conference regularly fills out Moscone West with more than 6,000 attendees.
Google and other companies have been looking to wearables as a new market of opportunity as smartphone and tablet growth slows. By the end of this year, over 19 million wearable devices will ship worldwide, tripling last year’s figure, market researcher IDC reported in April. By 2018, wearable shipments are expected to hit 111.9 million worldwide shipments — still a small number compared with continued…