There were lots of announcements, unveilings and the like coming out of the 6th annual Google I/O developer conference, which kicked off Wednesday.
Some of the biggies include improvements in maps, search and new features like a streaming music service that will compete against Spotify and other smart radio services like Pandora.
Here are a few highlights. Or head over to the livestream and listen in.
Google Play Music All Access: Google rolled out the new service today, which is available for $9.99 per month in the U.S. Users who sign up by June 30 get it for $7.99 and everyone receives a 30-day free trial of the product. The streaming music service lets users listen to songs across their devices. Subscribers can create a radio station from a song or artist they love, browse recommendations or search by genre.
Subscribers can also fold in their music collection to the service and store 20,000 songs for free in the cloud and listen to them alongside the All Access catalog.
Maps: Google didn't just update its Maps. It rebuilt it entirely. The next generation of Google Maps, which was previewed during the conference, produces a more personal interactive experience. Here's a preview.
Voice search that's like a conversation: Voice search has been around for awhile. Google unveiled its own evolved voice search designed to answer your questions in a conversational manner.
Soon, users will be able to say "Okay Google, ....." and receive a spoken answer. From their, users can continue the conversation. Google provided this example. You could ask "Okay Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” From there, you could ask a follow up question like “how far is it from here?”
- Google+ has been redesigned
- Preview of next generation video codec VP9 for faster video-streaming performance; and the requestAutocomplete API for faster payments
- Google said its has activated 900 million Android devices to date
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com