Feeds

I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

Lick of paint for Android, car control and more

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google I/O Google has kicked off its annual developer conference with a three-hour keynote in which the search kingpin explained where it's taking Android next: namely, your wrist, your car, your living room, and beyond.

It was long enough to trouble your correspondent's laptop battery.

Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android division, demoed the new build of the operating system – officially referred to as the L release but expected to be codenamed Lollipop – in front of 6,000 developers (and a couple of protestors) in San Francisco this morning. The developer preview released today includes more than 5,000 new APIs, including a new set of Gmail interfaces, we're told.

New user interface on Android

The most visible change in the new version of the operating system is what Googlers are calling Material Design. In practice it’s a revved up user interface with shadowing for icons to make them appear to hover over the page; brighter colors; 3D viewing support; and 60 FPS animations onscreen.

Youtube video of the keynote

Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

The new build will also include new security settings that can remotely wipe stolen Android handsets, and Google also demoed an automatic unlock feature that's triggered when a handset detects a Wi-Fi network associated with the user, a recognized voice-print, or an authorized Bluetooth watch – such as the one worn by Google director of engineering Dave Burke.

Performance ramp

Android's performance is also being built up, with a new virtual machine called ART replacing Dalvik. ART will run processes on ARM, x86, and MIPS processors, and Google claimed it is twice as fast as its predecessor. Developers will not have to rewrite code to see the benefit.

Graphics are also being improved with the Android Extension Pack. Google has been working with graphics chipset companies to allocate specific memory for graphics, including tessellation, geometry shaders, and ASTC texture compression.

Google wants battery life to be improved and so has been working on Project Volta for Android in the new build. This aims to make functions more efficient with a battery-saving mode, and provides developers with a real-time map of how applications are using power at any given time so they can be optimized for more efficient running.

You'll be left Chrome alone

Chrome too is getting a makeover, with deeper integration with applications installed on handsets. Google showed off search results for restaurants that flagged up a review from OpenTable which could be clicked to launch the app automatically, and Google+ will be used to sign the user in.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?