Earlier in Google i/o 2015- Part I, a brief about Android M with its many new upcoming features. Google also announced enhancement in existing Products which includes Google Now on Tap, Google Photo App, Offline Google Maps, Android Wear, Google Cardboard. Let’s see in details:
Google Now with Now on Tap
Google Now is getting smarter and it’s going to be incorporated throughout the phone by a program called Now on Tap. With Now on Tap, user can hold the home button that brings up Now cards with relevant information, either user is in an app, email or web browser. For example: If someone emails you about going to a movie, summoning, Now displays information about whatever was mentioned, with links to YouTube trailers, ratings, and other info. If user is messaging about laundry and dinner, it can prompt to set up a to-do item, and give restaurant listings, along with buttons for Help, Maps, and OpenTable. It’s a big expansion for Now and Google emphasized improvements in contextual understanding.
Google Photo App
Google has a strange relationship with photos and videos. In spite of owning Picasa and introducing tons of awesome features in Google+ Photos, user hasn’t picked up due to being tucked away in Google+. It can automatically organize user’s photos by location, time, or even faces that appear in the images. Google Photos offers unlimited free storage up to 16 MP photos and 1080p video, with compressed file storage and a complete overview always available to access entire library at fingertips, all without saving anything in phone. User can automatically backup all the photos and all Auto Awesome features have been incorporated into the new service.
Offline Google Maps
Now it is possible to save map data in Google Maps for offline use. If user preload map data of a particular area, can search for locations in that region, get directions and start step-by-step navigation. The offline data also includes restaurant hours, reviews and many more. Now, “offline Maps” means actual Maps experience, totally without an internet connection.
Some new powerful apps have been added by Google to its Android Wear smartwatch OS which includes an easy option for calling Uber cars. Android Wear is still a very young platform, but several Android partners are already developing (or open to developing) their own wearable platform to make up for Google’s failure to improve Wear fast enough, this really needs to be on Google’s radar for 2015. There is also a new app launcher designed to make loading apps faster and easier and can be used without voice commands. While Android Wear announcement was not that much technically new but yet exciting, Android watches will now get gestures that will allow user to move between cards by just flicking wrist. By keeping power-saving mode always-on, will allow user to keep to-do list on wrist without running down the battery. If user is navigating with Google Maps, directions will stay on the screen, making them brief as they move. All watches of Android Wear now supports WiFi. There is the cluster of other small updates, including the ability to recognize drawings and turn them into emoji. Android Wear is still in its infant stage but is getting better at a rapid phase.
Now phones have become much bigger so Google launched a new version of Cardboard that can fit phones as large as six inches. Still there isn’t a ton of content available on Cardboard, Google is financing a program called Expeditions, designed to insert virtual reality into the classroom. From a single control panel, a teacher can lead class of cardboard wearing kids on a virtual expedition.
The new unit is ditching headset’s original magnet clicker for a cardboard button which will work with any phone. Google is now making it’s SDK available for iOS as well as Android, and a dedicated Cardboard app that is launched on Apple’s App Store. It’s also announced Expeditions in order to help kick-start VR use and virtual reality education tool that lets students take VR field trips while teachers control their experience with a tablet.
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