last year was amazing – skydivers introduced Google Glass
, we saw the reimagined 7″ tablet that became the Nexus 7, and a new buttery-smooth version of Android was released. This year, things were a little more low-key, with few new hardware announcements and no new version of Android. Despite this, I’m as excited this year as I was last year. In this article, I’ll be sharing three of the coolest things for Android users to come out of the keynote this year.
Google Play Game Services
Finally, Google’s got game. Game Services is a new backend for developers, allowing them to integrate
features like multiplayer and cooperative matchmaking, leaderboards, achievements and cloud saves into their games. A number of launch titles like World of Goo and Modern Combat 4 have already been released with the new features, and we should see the same ones adopted by more Android game makers in the near future.
Google Play Music All Access
Google’s second big announcement of the day was their long rumoured Spotify competitor. The subscription-based streaming service will cost $9.99 a month (or $7.99 for early adopters) and allow access to the full range of Google’s music library without restrictions. The service joins Google’s existing music store and digital locker options, making for one of the most comprehensive music services available.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The biggest surprise of the night and perhaps the only piece of substantive hardware news was the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android. Like Nexus devices, that means you get a slim and trim Android experience with timely updates from Google themselves and an unlocked bootloader for easy tinkering with the OS. That makes for an awesome option for Android enthusiasts, as you get rid of the Samsung bloat but keep the wide Galaxy S4 accessory ecosystem and the phone’s powerful hardware. The device will cost $649 and ship from Google Play on June 26th.
I’ve really only scratched the surface of what was announced at Google I/O 2013. For more information, watch the full video.