Spark Blog Notes from the Spark Team

May 16, 2013

Google Apps, Maps, and More Get Makeover at Developers Conference

A roundup of the announcements at Google I/O.

This week Google is hosting its sixth annual developers conference in San Francisco—called Google I/O. The event is filled with sessions that promote and teach developers how to create apps for all of Google’s operating systems—including Android, Chrome, Google Glass and Google TV. They also show developers how to incorporate Google services, such as Google Maps, into their own apps. (A full agenda can be found here).  

The most exciting moments, however, definitely are contained in the opening keynotes, which are always filled with hardware and software improvements. Here’s a round-up of the announcements so far.

Google Maps Gets a Makeover

Google Maps for the desktop Web browser, Android and iOS is getting a UI overhaul this summer. Anandtech explains that the changes include merging Google Earth, Street View and Maps, as well as adding data and imagery around planet Earth.  Expect the Android and iOS apps to roll out this summer.

 Google

Galaxy S4 with Nexus

One of the top smartphones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4, now comes with a pure, unadulterated version of Android, according to Droid Life. The updated model will go on sale June 24th for $649 in the Google Play Store.

Kick Out the Jams with Google Play Music

Until now, Google Music was a free cloud storage service for up to 20,000 songs. The new Google Play Music streaming service can access a library of millions of songs, play unlimited streaming radio, and offer playlists curated by music experts. It’s all for $7.99 (if you sign up by June 30), Rolling Stone says. You can access a free one-month trial by downloading the Android app or clicking here.

So Long, Google Talk

Slashgear has reported that Google+ Hangouts for Android is now live and available for download on Android and iOS, replacing Google Talk—its IM/video chat application. Google has also added 41 new features to Google+.

 Google

A Bonus For Developers

Since it is a developer-focused conference, TechCrunch is reporting that Google has launched an Android SDK called “Android Studio.” One of the features demo’ed was “live layout,” which can display your app on a variety of devices different size devices so you can watch your app come to life in real-time.

You can watch a video summary with other announcements from the show here. There’s still a lot more, including more keynotes with announcements. Stay tuned. 

Photos courtesy of Google.

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