Google I/O 2014 Live Blog: All The News As It Happened

It's here! Smartwatches, health-tracking and Android in the car and on your TV. Oh my! Get in here and watch how the event unfolded with our Google I/O 2014 live blog!

All the action of Google I/O kicks off from 2am AEST on Thursday 26 June. We'll be watching and bringing you all the action.

All times are in AEST

6:30pm, 25 June

It is upon us. I/O 2014!

6:35pm

Don't forget, you can live stream Google I/O with us from 2am AEST. Check out the live stream over here!

6:40pm

Here's our wishlist for Google I/O this year. What do you want to see?

10pm

See you in the morning, readers!


1:55am

And so it begins! We're about to kick off our Google I/O live blog coverage.

1:58

The live stream is now up, so you can watch along with us!

2:03

The room looks packed.

2:04

Oh hello there. Looks like we're going to see a giant Rube Goldberg Machine kick off I/O. There's a spinnong clock counting down for 2:07am and a giant bowling ball on a track. This will be fun!

2:06

And the ball is released!

2:09

Basically it's a giant Rube Goldberg machine for all the cool stuff on Android! What a fun little way to get the keynote started.

2:10

Sundar Pichai, head of Android Chrome and Apps is up!

2:11

People are having Google I/O viewing parties around the world right now. We've just checked in with Brazil, London and Nigeria.

2:12

Good news: there are 8 per cent more women at Google I/O this year, up to 20 per cent overall!

2:13

As always, we start with a talk about some graphs, and the state of the market.

The number of Android users have been doubling year-on-year. As of this year's I/O there are now more than a billion Android users on the planet. Phew!

That's 20 billion text messages sent every day; 93 million selfies every day and an estimated 1.5-trillion steps.

That means there's definitely a health tracking service coming this I/O!

2:16

Android tablets, meanwhile, are doing quite well: Android tablets now account for 62 per cent of global tablet market share.

2:17

Here's something interesting. Sundar Pichai is using an Android Wear-based smartwatch from the looks of it.

It looks like the Motorola one.

2:17

For the emerging market, Google has developed something called Android One. Basically it's a set of hardware reference platforms to identify components in a next-gen smartphone in order to make a turn-key Android phone for OEMs. Android One will also allow developers to throw stock Android and direct updates from Google. It's Nexus phones for the developing market!

One example device is a 4.5-inch dual-SIM phone which will cost just $100.

2:21

The new Android Developer "L" release is now about to be previewed.

Google wanted it to have a fresh, bold new look. New design language incoming.

Matias Duarte, VP of Design is up!

2:22

Android, Chrome and all of Google's apps are getting a design update!

2:23

It's called Material Design, and it's based on the idea that pixels can respond to depth and not just colour.

"We drew inspiration from paper and ink," says Duarte.

2:24

Google is now allowing developers to specify a shadow value, which means that Android will render the light for you.

The system font, Roboto, is also getting an update.

2:27

Every touch responds with a splash of colour like virtual ink.

2:28

We're now getting a preview of what this new design language means for an app like Gmail. The new design looks great!

2:29

Dave Burke, director of Android Engineering, is here to show new features in "the biggest release of Android" yet.

2:31

Here's how that new Material Design language affects the Phone Dialler app.

2:32

That ripple colour effect on touch looks really awesome.

2:33

Notifications are also being updated. Thank God!

You can now read, open and dismiss notifications from the lock screen.

There's also a new type of notification in Android L for notifications that won't interrupt you when you're doing important stuff like playing a game.

Who needs loved ones or work ethic when you're playing Flappy Bird!

2:35

There's also a new way to unlock your phone called Personal Unlocking. For example, it can be paired to your smartwatch for security purposes. When your Android Wear watch isn't detected, it brings up a PIN or pattern unlock screen.

2:36

Avni Shah, director of Chrome Product Management is up now talking about what's going on with the mobile web for Google.

2:38

The new Material Design look goes right up to the mobile web as well. Google seems pretty pleased with itself when it comes to animations.

2:39

Time for better multitasking: recent apps now stack in the same way that tabs stack in Safari for iOS. Nice!

Chrome tabs are also stacked in Recent Apps view too. That's pretty nifty.

2:42

Oooh, nice. Doing a Google search from your phone will now realise you have an specific app on your phone installed, and allow the app to take you right to the corresponding page straight from the web. That's being opened up to everyone today!

2:43

This is also pretty nifty: Google apps now remember searches you made within other apps. Any app that uses a new API will be able to do that, which means you won't lose stuff you found in software around the device.

2:44

Dave is back, talking about Android performance.

2:46

Android L matches Apple, going 64-bit for its OS.

2:47

Google is working to make mobile graphics much better, to the point that they're indistinguishable from PC.

NVIDIA, Qualcomm and ARM all worked with Google on Android Extension Pack to close the gap between Direct X 11 and mobile graphics.

Google is demoing a Desktop version of Unreal Engine 4. It looks pretty awesome, but there's a massive flicker on the display. Ruh roh.

2:50

Android still wants to fix battery. There's now a new initiative called Project Volta to improve overall battery life.

Battery Historian is a new tool which graphs battery usage information correctly, so that you can act on battery information better.

2:51

A protester managed to get into I/O!

She jumped up at the front and started screaming, reportedly, about Kevin Rose's newest house.

2:53

Oh look. Dave made a protest joke. Let's see how that goes down with the people who have no qualms camping outside the houses of Googlers. Eek.

2:53

The Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 developer images will be live tomorrow!

2:54

Sundar Pichai is now back up!

2:55

Interesting. Google is trying to hit back against claims made by Apple about fragmentation. Rather than say who is using the latest release, it's saying that 93 per cent of people are running the latest version of Google Play Services, which is pushed to devices every six weeks.

Hurrah! Moved goalposts!

Having said that, Google's dig at Apple over stuff like customised keyboards and widgets being installed over four years ago is valid: Apple just introduced those at WWDC this year.

2:58

Pichai wants to make everything "contextually aware" so you have everything everywhere all the time. New experiences for new connected screens.

2:59

Wearables time! David Singleton, director of Engineering for Android is up to talk about it.

3am

We're getting a rundown of Android Wear right now. It works on circular and square screens and stuff.

3:01

Here we go: demo of the LG Smart Watch.

Notifications get sent directly to your watch, Google Now cards appear and apps even run on the watch itself so it isn't just a dumb remote.

There are also a bunch of different watch faces.

3:02

3:03

"OK Google" also works on the smartwatch, and syncs stuff right back to your phone.

3:05

Oh dear. The live demo crashed.

3:07

We're now getting a demo of what Android Wear does when you travel. It's based predominately on Google Now, and as we've said before, Google Now is at its most useful when you're abroad.

3:08

Android Wear also supports step counts and heart rate tracking for devices that have that sort of hardware.

3:09

There are also lots of different apps that now support Android Wear and wrist-based notifications.

For example, if you're nearby somewhere one of your friends has pinned on Pintrest, it pushes a notification about it to your wrist. That sounds awful, but mainly because I'm not really into Pintrest.

3:11

There's a full Android Wear SDK coming today!

3:12

While the LG G-Watch was low res and slightly uninspiring, the circular Moto 360 looks freaking awesome.

3:13

So, how do apps get onto your Android Wear device?

Well, Google says that all you need to do is install an app on your phone, and the Android Wear component will be automatically installed.

3:14

All Android Wear watches being talked about today are also "water resistant" according to Dave. Note: resistant, not -proof. Don't go dunking your Wear into the shower.

3:15

The LG G-Watch will be available to order today on the Play Store. No price just yet.

3:16

Samsung has a new smartwatch too, called the Gear Live! It's available to order today too.

3:16

Everyone goes "awwwww" when it was announced that the Moto 360 wouldn't be available today: later on this year.

3:17

Android in the car time!

3:18

There's a new thing called Android Auto for simplified Android in the car.

As soon as you connect your Android Auto compatible phone to your car, the in-dash entertainment system casts the new cut-down UI to your car. Looks good!

3:21

Google seems to have updated all of its apps to cast an eyes-free version of said app to your car's in-dash screen.

3:24

There's also an Android Auto SDK coming so developers can build better car apps that stay updated.

Lots of Audio apps are getting initial support for audio, including Aussie app, PocketCasts! Nice work, lads.

3:26

Android in the living room is up!

Problem: there are way too many TVs and TV manufacturers making different things. Solution: Android TV! It's putting the same dev emphasis on TVs as it is on phones and tablets.

Android TV looks awesome!

Search has been directly built into the experience, meaning you can search from your phone using your voice, and link to results on Google Play to buy content, as well as related shows and YouTube results.

Google also builds contextual queries in there, allowing you to say something like "Oscar-nominated movies from 2012", with your TV showing you results.

You can also ask it questions!

You can also control your TV with your smartwatch for next-gen derp!

3:34

Google is also bringing Play Games and multi-player games on the TV, which you can use on any tablet or device.

3:36

And of course, Play TV has Cast support so you can throw stuff to your TV like you would on your Chromecast.

3:37

Bad news, guys. I've run out of tea.

3:38

Lots of people support Android TV!

3:39

Rishi Chandra is up to talk about Chromecast. New device coming perhaps?

Right now, it's just a catch-up about how good Chromecast is for developers and users.

3:41

Users will get new content discovery options from today at chromecast.com/apps.

3:42

You'll also now be able to stream stuff to Chromecast without being on the same Wi-Fi network. So is it Miracast?

Doesn't look like it.

It's reportedly being done with a "variety" of technologies to authenticate users sitting in the same room as the Chromecast. If that fails, the Chromecast will give users a one-time PIN. Interesting.

3:43

Google is also looking into new user experiences. Like one that lets you put new pretty pictures onto your Chromecast.

Let's remember, this is a company that makes wearables, devices and self-driving cars, yet we're stuck talking about how to turn your TV into a goddamn digital photo frame. What gives, Google?

3:47

Google is also no including Android/Chromecast mirroring: something which probably should have been there in the first place.

3:49

Sundar is back, and we're talking about PCs. Specifically Chromebooks.

3:50

While that happens, it's worth noting that there are no options to pre-order any of the Android Wear smart watches in Australia. Yet.

We'll keep an eye on that later on today.

3:52

Chromebooks will now push call notifications straight through to your desktop, as well as notifications like the fact that you're running low on battery.

3:54

Google is also working on bringing Android applications to Chromebooks.

3:55

As for work, Google is separating data on your phone so that corporate stuff and personal stuff can live on the same phone now.

All that sweet corporate security comes courtesy of Samsung and its Knox platform. Safe!

3:57

Looks like Android L is called Android Lollipop.

https://twitter.com/MFaroTusino/status/481858489078128640

3:59

Google is also adding native .doc support to Google Docs, so you can open it right in your browser, edit it, and re-save it as a .doc file. Nice!

4:01

We're now at 2.5 hours into this keynote. Still with us?

4:05

We're getting into the nitty gritty for developers now: talking scale on Google Cloud Platform.

4:08

Most. Excited. Google person. Ever.

4:09

Why are we talking about Google Cloud platform right now? Did someone lose a bet?

4:10

Another protester! "You're all involved with a company that builds robots to kill people!"

4:10

That's one way to keep my attention.

4:15

We're now doing live coding demos. Raise the f**king roof, Google.

4:16

Here's that guy who was ejected for killer robot ranting.

4:18

We've now spent more time talking about Cloud than we did about Google TV.

4:20

Google trying to keep this boring cloud demo interesting by bringing Eric Schmidt out to do demos. Woo. Except, you know, not that eric Schmidt.

4:22

What the actual fuck is happening now. Yes, it's important in a developer conference that you focus on developers. But this is too much. This is why there's a week of smaller conferences so you can talk in detail about code to people who give a shit.

4:24

You thought there were lots of protesters inside the keynote, look outside.

4:25

Things we haven't talked about so far:

• Google Glass • New phones and tablets • Google+ • Sick Sergei Brin • Streaming music services • Self-driving cars

Things we are talking about:

• Cloud and stuff • The World Cup

WHAT IS HAPPENING.

4:26

We're now talking about cloud data analytics.

4:27

Thank God! We're moving onto Google Play. Let it be interesting, I beg you.

4:29

4:30

Google bought something.

4:31

Finally! Google's health tracking service!

It's called Google Fit.

It gives you a single set of APIs, a complete picture of user's fitness and blends data from multiple apps and devices.

The Google Fit SDK will be available in a few weeks.

4:33

Coming up on three hours now.

4:34

Everyone on Google Play is getting a Game Profile! Lets you see games, share screenshots, play new daily quests and play with friends.

4:37

New gadget time!

Everyone who goes to I/O is getting a piece of cardboard.

Just for those who are greedy, everyone gets either the LG G-Watch or the Samsung Gear Live.

4:39

Just kidding: everyone gets a Moto 360 as well because circles!

4:40

And that's all she wrote! Google I/O is done for another year!

Thanks for joining us for our live blog.


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