Google I/O: APIs and Cloud Platform Tools for Devs on Display
The annual Google I/O developer conference, which wrapped up this week in San Francisco, packed its usual punch with a number of announcements and free stuff for attendees.
We saw the first example of Android Wear software for wearable devices, coming initially in LG's G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live, and later in Motorola's Moto 360. We saw Android TV, which Google will make available to new television sets from vendors like Sony and Sharp.
There was no mention of Google+ in the keynote; make of that what you -- and everybody else -- surely will. There wasn't much talk about Google Glass, either. No skydiver. And no Larry Page on the keynote stage.
In his mobile-focused keynote, Sundar Pichai, Google's SVP of Android, Chrome, and Apps, announced Android One, a new initiative that provides low-end hardware and software to emerging mobile markets, such as his home country of India. And he unveiled the new Android for Work initiative, which will partition personal and work apps on Android and Chrome for added security. (Look for Android at Work in the upcoming Android L operating system update.) And the new Android Auto.
Pichai also dropped some mad stats: a billion "30-day active" users (currently active) of the Android Platform, who send 20 billion test messages and take 93 million selfies per day. Android tablets now account for 62 percent of the global market, and app installs on the tablet is up 236 percent. He also mentioned that this year's conference is made up of 20 percent women, up from just 8 percent last year. Not sure what that means, either, but that's quite a year-to-year jump.
But the big news for developers at this year's show: 5,000 new APIs that will connect Android devices to a broad set of services on the Net and on other devices. Google also released the Android SDK for devs building apps for wearable computing.
IDC analyst Al Hilwa called the Google announcements "an amazing buffet of capabilities and APIs for developers that truly expands the Google ecosystem."
"The reach of the platform to wear, auto, home and TV, as well as connecting them together, really begins to show the connectedness of Android as the leading mobile platform," Hilwa told me. "What came across [in the keynotes] is the expansiveness of the platform overall. I did get a sense at the keynote that Google is talking to the whole world not just to a premium club. Does this mark a transition of the mobile leadership from Apple to Google? We will find out for sure when Apple makes its late fall announcements."
Google highlighted four new Cloud Platform tools for developers:
- A new version of Cloud Save, a service that enables non-relational, per-user data to be storage and synced in apps with no backend programming required.
- Google Cloud Monitoring, which uses technology from the company's recent Stackdriver acquisition to provide dashboards and alerting capabilities for finding and fixing performance problems.
- Cloud Debugger Monitoring, which changes the standard debugging model by allowing developers of cloud-based apps to set "watchpoints" on lines of code, which gives them "a snapshot of all the local variables, parameters, instance variables and a full stack trace," Google says.
- Cloud Trace Monitoring, a performance tool designed to give developers the ability to "visualize and understand the time spent by your application for request processing," and thus pinpoint bottlenecks.
"For developers there's a lot to play with here," Hilwa added. "APIs at every level will enable a new generation of apps connecting smartphones to other objects in life .... It will take some time for developers to absorb all the new APIs, but we will begin to see the impact of these announcements in the coming year. I expect that new SDK's will be added over time to cover other realms of the IoT world."
Posted by John K. Waters on June 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM