July 24, 2014 - A few weeks ago, our co-founder Ben jetted off to Google I/O 2014, and came back bearing goodies and insider info. The main takeaways were the Android L, Android Auto, the cardboard virtual reality headset, and all the wearable gear. Read on for our brief recap.
Android's newest mobile operating system has been updated with user interface improvements, and ameliorations to the notification system. Notifications are being incorporated into the lock screen, and devices will automatically unlock when their users are near it wearing a Bluetooth-connected device.
Ben came back with one of Google's first Android wear smartwatches, and promptly made dinner plans with a friend.
Android Auto syncs users' devices up to their car, giving drivers the control over their GPS mapping/navigation, music playback, and SMS messaging. Android Auto will be compatible with a handful of apps including Google Maps, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, and Songza (so you can keep your eyes on the road).
With virtual reality poised as the next big thing in tech, Google gave fans a more accessible and cheap option compared to Oculus Rift. Google I/O attendees were surprised to receive a flattened cardboard box that they were instructed to fold up. After a successful fold job, users realized they had actually built an Oculus Rift-like headset to place their Android phones into to mimic a VR experience. Users download the app, slip in their Android device and see a split screen that conflates into one 3D image. A sliding button on the side of the headset allows wearers to make tap selections.
At the end of it all, Google put on an amazing event, offered up some great new products, and allowed attendees to let loose and geek out (see below: Ben and friends at a headphone party). Until next time!