Expect Android news, wearable gadgets and smart home devices at Google developer conference

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - 11:29pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Web Team
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You can expect Android update, wearable gadgets and smart home devices at Google's two-day developer conference, which begins Wednesday in San Francisco.

In recent years, the conference has focused on smartphones and tablets, but this year Google's Android operating system is expected to stretch — into cars, homes and smartwatches.

Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson believes Google will unveil a new version of its Android operating system — possibly called Lollipop — with a "heavy focus" on extensions for smartwatches and smart home devices.

Google's I/O event comes at a time of transition for the company, which makes most of its money from advertising thanks to its status as the world's leader in online search. The company is trying to adjust to an ongoing shift to smartphones and tablet computers from desktop and laptop PCs. Though mobile advertising is growing rapidly, advertising aimed at PC users still generates more money.

At the same time, Google is angling to stay at the forefront of innovation by taking gambles on new, sometimes unproven technologies that take years to pay off — if at all. Driverless cars, Google Glass, smartwatches and thinking thermostats are just some of its more far-off bets.

On the home front, Google's Nest Labs — which makes network-connected thermostats and smoke detectors — announced earlier this week that it has created a program that allows outside developers, from tiny startups to large companies such as Whirlpool and Mercedes-Benz, to fashion software and "new experiences" for its products.

Integration with Mercedes-Benz, for example, might mean that a car can notify a Nest thermostat when it's getting close to home, so the device can have the home's temperature adjusted to the driver's liking before he or she arrives.

Opening the Nest platform to outside developers will allow Google to move into the emerging market for connected, smart home devices. Experts expect that this so-called "Internet of Things" phenomenon will change the way people use technology in much the same way that smartphones have changed life since the introduction of Apple's iPhone seven years ago.

Google says working to bring low-cost phone to India in the fall

Google Inc is working with three manufacturers to develop a sub-$100 smartphone for the Indian market this fall, getting Android software into one of the fastest-growing major mobile markets.

Those "Android One" phones would come with 4.5 inch screens, dual SIM cards and FM radio, Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai told the crowd at the company's annual developers' conference on Wednesday. 

Watch the live updates here: 

With agency inputs


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