Android everywhere – including the enterprise

For this year’s edition of Google I/O, tech spectators everywhere were expecting an Android-heavy show – and Google Inc. delivered, bringing out announcements on how Android will be reaching into more and more of our lives. No longer will Android be confined to our mobile devices – Google’s goal is to bring it to our cars, our TVs, and onto our bodies through wearable devices.

One of the first things to be unveiled today was Android “L,” or Android 5.0, writes Mat Honan for Wired. While the latest release of the Android operating system (OS) was still only a preview, meaning Android L hasn’t received a trademark dessert-themed name as of yet, Android chief Sundar Pichai was still able to show off some of its features.

For one thing, the design of Android L has been dramatically overhauled, displaying something called “Material Design.” It’s meant to mimic what’s already in the real world – for example, it adds the illusion that your mobile device screen has depth. What’s also key is that developers will be getting a grid-based layout, allowing their designs to work for every device once they’ve been ported over.

Google has also adjusted the notifications process, allowing users to act on new messages, calls, and other notifications straight from the lock screen and without needing to unlock the phone. There are also options to unlock the phone based on things other than a passcode – location, Bluetooth, and your voice can all authenticate the person using the phone.

One of the main goals with Android L is to make it useful for all contexts – to bring Android everywhere, it has to know whether users are at home or at work, and to be able to communicate via voice.

Then, of course, there were some announcements around Android Wear, showing some heavy integrations between the LG G smartwatch and Android. For example, when users dismiss apps on the watch, they will also get dismissed on their smartphones. Users can also receive all kinds of relevant information based on context – restaurant reservations, the subway schedule, or tickets – featured on their watch, as well as personalized health data based on how many steps a user has taken or what their heart rate is like.

Android Wear. (Image: Google)
Android Wear. (Image: Google)

And for developers, Google has now released the Android Wear software development kit, meaning there’ll probably be even more to play with in the future.

Still, Android is also making strides elsewhere. During the I/O keynote, Google execs shared some thoughts on Chromebooks – with 15 different versions out there, built by eight different original equipment manufacturers, Google has been working to integrate them with Android as well. For example, users can run the Vine app on their Chromebook, instead of only on mobile, and ostensibly could even take a Vine from the Chromebook camera.

A Toshiba Chromebook. (Image: Toshiba).
A Toshiba Chromebook. (Image: Toshiba).

Plus, there were some announcements for the enterprise – Google said it would be enabling mobile support for the enterprise, ensuring users don’t need to carry two different phones as both corporate and personal apps can be housed on the same mobile device. There was also mention of an Android for Work program, slated to come out later this fall.

And on the productivity side, Google Docs users will now be able to use a new feature called Slides, somewhat similar to PowerPoint. It will now be easier to collaborate online, as it’ll be easier to view documents and deal with changes and edits. Plus, Google Drive now features encrypted data in transit, as well as encryption for data kept on a server. And for $10 per user per month, users can access audit and activity application programming interfaces, as well as as much storage as they want.

For more, including Google’s announcements on Android Auto and Android TV, click on the “Original Article Source” link.

Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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